The new year brings new hopes, dreams and possibilities. We imagine that with the new year will also come a new version of ourselves; a more efficient, organised, kale eating, gym going, goal achieving person.
We have high hopes, high motivation and feel inspired and energised. Gym memberships are bought, diets started and new job hunts begin. January is hopeful, and you even see some success. Your new organisational system is going well, you are exercising more and feel good about yourself.
Then February comes. You're bored of the healthy eating, the gym is hard and the work is piling on too quick for you to even pretend to be organised. You wrote your goals down at the start of the year but you don't know where you put the list. Oh well, back to reality.
There is still hope! Don't give up, follow these tips and keep going...
1. Don't beat yourself up about failure. Your human, you're supposed to fail, we make mistakes and learn and grow from them. Perfection is not necessary, in fact it's impossible. Embrace your failures as part of your character, they make you human. All we can do is move on from mistakes and use it to do things better next time. As you learn more about yourself you find out what works for you and what doesn't so you can make realistic but stretching goals.
2. Do you really want it? Ask yourself if you want the outcome enough to make it happen. What does this goal mean to you? How would your life be better if you achieved it? There is an argument that says we have exactly the life we want for ourselves. What that means is if you want something bad enough you will make it a reality. If you really want to be a millionaire that will involve working hard for long, long hours. Do you really want that or do you want a more balanced life? If you want a promotion at work that will mean getting better at what you do and learning new skills, such as how to manage others. If your not prepared to do this then does the promotion mean that much to you? You want to be healthy but wont go to the gym. Chances are the draw of losing weight isn't strong enough to make you endure the gym. If you really do want something then direct your energy into making it happen.
3. Practice Temptation Bundling. Ok, so you do want it, but it's still hard right? The immediate pleasure you get from not going to the gym or putting off that work far outweighs the future negative impact of this behaviour. One way to overcome this is through temptation bundling. This is where you combine a pleasurable activity with something you dislike doing (but is good for you.) For example only watch your favourite tv show at the gym; treat yourself to a nice meal once all your projects are up to date or go to your favourite café to have that difficult conversation with a member of your team. You are immediately rewarding yourself for doing the task that you find difficult or boring and are therefore more likely to do it.
4. Surround yourself with people who already have what you want. There is a saying which goes "you are the average of all your acquaintances". Basically if all your friends are losers, you will be one too! Surrounding yourself with motivated, successful people will help you to achieve your own goals. As well as feeling more inspired to achieve you can learn specific things from others to help you. Lets say you want to get promoted at work. Your chance of success will increase if you seek out a mentor who can offer advice and guidance to help you achieve tour goal.
5. Remember you have an opportunity to start fresh everyday, it's called tomorrow. If you mess up, dust yourself off and start again the very next day. You don't need to wait until next year.