Stay Focused & Never Give Up
Ever wonder why it is so easy to get discouraged and give up? I see it many times: people start strong, eager, and excited for change. Then 3-6 months down the road, the cycle starts all over. Why do you think that is?
Based on some research, here are 5 reasons people give up followed by ways to combat becoming another statistic. Just remember, at the end of the day, it’s up to you. Like anything in life, you get out what you put in.
Cause: Setting Unrealistic Expectations
“I’m going to workout 3 times a week and expect to lose 15 lbs in 4 weeks.”
“I just made these new friends and now my social calendar is going to be packed!”
“Even though I’m usually a night owl, I am going to get up super early to get stuff done.”
Do any of these sound familiar? Yes, we all want to see results immediately, we all want to believe that the path of least resistance will yield results, and we all want to believe that we can be 100% disciplined 100% of the time and maybe for some of you, you can. But for the rest of us mere mortals, it doesn’t always work out that way.
Solution: Be True To Yourself
Sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Do the research to see if your goals are even realistic. For example, when it comes to weight loss, a goal of .5-1 lb per week is a safe and realistic amount. Anything over 1 lb per week (especially in a short amount of time) could be a little too aggressive & unsustainable. You know yourself better than anyone, so if you know that your goals are opposite of how you are 99.9% of the time, what do you think the chances are of you sticking to it?
Cause: Lack of Planning
Benjamin Franklin said “If you fail to plan, you are planing to fail” and I couldn’t agree more. From what I have learned from clients, they are most successful when they have a short-term, achievable PLAN. Be it a meal plan, life road-map, or just prioritizing & scheduling tasks, it helps to have something written as a reminder of what needs to be done. Without a plan, it is easy to get distracted, deterred by obstacles, and feel overwhelmed.
Solution: Make a Plan & Write It Down
I’m not telling you that you need to go out and buy a planner. We already did that in January and it’s probably already forgotten about along with those pretty colored markers and pens we bought to color code everything. We all start with the best of intentions, but intentions mean nothing without action. It’s OK to have different vessels here (online calendar, meal plan / recipe book) as long you have it accessible. Take your meal plan for example. If you don’t have a clue what you’re going to eat for lunch one day and your friends invite you out, you are more likely to end up joining them and eating something that isn’t in alignment with your goals. But if you are in tune with your goals and have an idea with what you need to nourish your body, you’ll know you can still join them and be mindful with the menu.
Obstacles can be a little more difficult to plan for, but if you’re flexible enough, you won’t let them knock you down. When the road is blocked, you don’t just sit there and think “oh well, guess I can’t get to my destination.” You take a detour!
Who doesn’t feel overwhelmed most days of their lives? As someone who suffers anxiety, it is very easy for me to get overwhelmed when just by thinking about all the things I need to get done. A lot of times they happen when I start mentally listing all the things, then going down a rabbit hole of other tasks I haven’t even started on, leading to the inevitable anxiety attack. But when I write it down in order of importance & deadline, I realize that it doesn’t ALL have to be done right then and there. I break that list into small manageable chunks making it much easier to tackle. I then put a plan in place as to how I am going to get it done.
Cause: Lack of Support
Not having a good support system can be detrimental to your goals. When you’re trying to eat healthy, but the rest of your family wants dish deep pizza, it is easy to give in to the temptation. Friends that encourage you to stay out late and have another drink, knowing you have to get up early for a run are not going to help you get to your goal. Sometimes that lack of support isn’t coming from our friends and family though. Sometimes it comes from within. If you suffer from low self-esteem and don’t believe in yourself that you can accomplish those goals, you will self-destruct.
Solution: Find An Accountability Partner or Group
Surround yourself by people who want to lift you up and see you succeed. We’ve all heard the saying “we are the 5 people we surround ourselves with the most”, so make sure you’re surrounding yourself with the right people. If you find that those closest to you still aren’t going to help you reach your goals, try looking for it in other ways. There are many online accountability groups and I promise, if you ask, there is always someone looking for an accountability partner because they need it just as much. If you're trying to lose the baby weight, a workout group full of new moms with the same goal can be incredibly empowering. When your goals seem too daunting and you don’t believe that you will succeed, build your confidence by setting small, achievable goals.
Cause: All or Nothing Mentality
This means you believe that if you don’t go big, you need to go home. The problem, though, is that home is comfortable...so why wouldn’t you want comfortable right? This would be like saying “I am going to go from having 6 cokes a day to none” overnight. Without weaning yourself - or having a plan - you could be setting yourself up for failure.
Solution: Change Your Mindset
YOU are the one in control. YOU get to decide how much effort you’re willing to make. It does NOT have to be all or nothing. It can be baby steps if that is what is needed. Be realistic with what you CAN achieve and take it day by day.
Cause: Lack of Motivation
Does this sound familiar “Ugh, I’m tired and just not feeling motivated today, so I’m going to skip my workout”? I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that and every time a piece of me dies inside. As much as I wish I had the ability to motivate everyone, I know that at the end of the day, it is not up to me. You can listen to the most uplifting pep talk every morning, but if you don’t make the moves, nothing happens.
Solution: Remember Your “Why”
Yes, another cheesy, cliche line, but its powerful. When you’re lying in bed thinking about how tired you are or “unmotivated” you are, think about WHY you wanted to get up in the first place. WHY did you set that goal to go for a run each morning? Was it so you’d feel good physically? To prove to yourself you can do it? WHY do you need to prove to yourself you can do it? WHY do you want to feel good physically? Don’t just answer that question on the surface level and stop there, dig deeper each time. Ok, so you want to get in shape for an upcoming event, but WHY is that important to you? Write down those reasons and put them somewhere you can see EVERY DAY. So when you start to feel unmotivated and lose sight of your “WHY”, it will be right there to remind you.