You commit to action! Intent on achieving your goals, getting healthier, being productive and taking control of your life to feel fulfilled as you go in search of your purpose. To get there, you lay out a plan and visualise the finish line. Before long, you're not maintaining the habits, routines and self-control required for you to achieve progress. Blame then has to be placed somewhere, and that somewhere is you. In no time, goals shrivel up, and you continue to kick the crap out of yourself using language and tone you wouldn't use with anyone else, but in your head, that's ok.
The goal you set was too linear, and you didn't account for the unknown. Imagine a pyramid with your end destination at the top. What you have done is assert that in x time you will be at the top of the pyramid and that is the only outcome you can see. Human nature means you will only focus on making it come true. In your mind, no other possibilities can exist. Your thinking will narrow, and you will defend this plan at all costs because your name is on it.
I get it! You have fought this image of perfection your whole life. The world tells you this is the box you need to fit into, and so much of your energy evaporates trying to squeeze into it. When you don't get to where to you want to be, it feels like a punch to the gut and back to square one you go. Growing into ourselves shouldn't be painful for any human; it should be a joy to explore and experiment with who we are. Growth, however, does occur outside our comfort zone and is meant to be a challenge as we stretch ourselves for progress. Here are my top 3 tips for managing change, that I've coached to countless humans and successfully used to get myself from addiction to being on the telly helping others.
Change is not linear and narrowing your sights on the top of the pyramid will lead to hidden surprises as you focus on one possible outcome. Imagine a zig-zag starting at the bottom of that pyramid, that could potentially land anywhere depending on what the road ahead uncovers. Instead of setting forth a perfect route to achieving future goals, and sticking to them at all costs, be open and flexible to readjusting along the way. You have to give in to the belief, that in life, to some degree we are and always will be making it up as we go along.
Balance is bullsh$t! However, it's vital to keep yourself grounded in the lifestyle choices, people and processes that help you manage your health. By doing so, you equip yourself with everything you need to explore the unknown. Living in the void outside of our comfort zone is scary because it's dark and at first we can't see a way out. To stay calm and rational as we fumble our way through, we need to manage our stress, ensuring we keep access to our "higher mind." Keep those tools close! The more pressure that mounts, the more the irrational mind tries to take over.
Stop having discussions about progress in your head, because you will struggle to analyse your performance objectively. Human nature and random psychology overtake our thoughts, and it all gets too personal and messy. Keep a “progress journal” that you use as a feedback loop. Create a template inside with the right cues (questions) laid out to help you figure out what is and isn’t working, so you can zig or zag in a new direction or keep going on a path that is working. “What did I learn today?” “What challenges did I face?” “What improvements are there, and what are the step by step actions to make them happen?” “What am I grateful for? (especially on the days that weren’t great.”)
92%* of people don't achieve their New Year goals. If you keep kicking the crap out of yourself, you will continue to fall into that category and struggle to get from where you are, to where you want to be. I challenge you to start working your way through these three tips as you embark on a new goal in life. The result? You will stop thinking you're not capable and start believing that anything is possible. With this outlook, you will be able to inspire other people close to you to do the same, and that's pretty special.
*University of Scranton
Until next time friend, keep it simple, don't make life harder than it needs to be and ensure you keep taking action to make your life enjoyable.
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