For many of us, it’s not starting a goal that’s difficult. It’s sticking with it that trips us up.
How many times have you found yourself starting something that you really wanted to do, starting strong and full of motivation, but then completely falling off track?
Whether it’s exercise, eating better, staying positive, stopping smoking, or any other worthwhile goal you’ve set out to accomplish - the desire is there, you’re feeling awesome about it, you’ve even accomplished your activities toward it for a few weeks.
Then you wake up one day and realize you’ve stopped, or you just can’t resist, or you are so tired you can’t do it today, and that becomes the next day and the next and the new norm.
This is probably a big reason people avoid goals and New Year’s resolutions - they’ve had bad experiences in the past and it becomes a joke!
Before we can tackle this problem of falling off track, we’ve got to make sure we’re completely aware of our situation, what we really want and why, what obstacles might get in the way, how we might fall off track and what we can do to eliminate as many as we can. See how GRIT can help with this! And guess what, you’re still likely to get off track now and again. So that is one of the realities.
Do you neglect to brush your teeth once in a blue moon, maybe when you’re so exhausted you’ve fallen asleep on the coach and stumbled your way into bed. You don’t give up on brushing your teeth, right? Of course there could be a lot of extrinsic motivation for this one (like not having horrible breath), but hopefully you realize how important it is to your health and wellness and that’s your intrinsic driver. The other thing that makes it a bit easier to get back on track with brushing your teeth is you notice very quickly how gross it feels and you probably can’t stand it.
Taking complete ownership and responsibility will help you stay on track.
If we blame someone or something, we become victims and feel powerless. Often we do this without even being aware. I’ve found myself saying I can’t exercise regularly because of my travel schedule. My inner truth knows that’s nonsense! It might be a little more difficult, but when I value the activity I find a way.
How often do we blame other people or things for our situations? This video from Brene Brown on blame and accountability made us chuckle because it’s so spot on! It really made me think about how I can someone blame others for things that are clearly my responsibility.
Some of our goals are a little harder to notice so when we fall off track, we can stay off course longer, and then it’s even harder to get back on. Be aware of your potential obstacles. Plan for them. If there’s no way around them, for example when I travel I can’t do my daily walk on the beach, then plan an alternate and schedule yourself when you get back home. For me, it works best while I’m home and in the habit to schedule this in my calendar for when I return. I remind myself how good I’ll feel rather than just telling myself to do it. My calendar appt to “walk on the beach” says “Soothe with the sun on your face and the sand on your feet.”
How we fall off track:
Change in schedule
Don’t schedule it
What to do to get back on track:
As soon as you’re aware, don't beat yourself up about falling off track. It happens to us all. You can look at why and how with the intent of learning from it and improving but don’t dwell on it.
Make a new plan asap. Make it very doable, and not too difficult that you won’t start.
Wrap your mind around why it’s important to you. Imagine how you want to feel.
Set reminders that focus on the ‘why’ and the feeling so when they pop up, they instantly remind you of the importance, not just the task.
Plan ahead, and do your best.
What do you do to get back on track? We’d love you to share what things knock you off course and what strategies you use to get back on track.
In my next webinar, we’re talking about How to NAIL Your Goals - With GRIT. I’ll address the challenges faced when working toward your goals and how you can use the GRIT model to overcome them. We answer questions LIVE in that webinar, so if you’ve got a particular roadblock ahead of you with your goals, hit me with your challenge and we’ll work together to help you overcome it!