All week we've been discussing goals and how well we are doing this late in the year with the aspirations we set for ourselves at the start of the year. Today we're going to disuss how to avoid/prevent the obstacles to meeting goals discussed in the previous blog.
To avoid setting unrealistic goals, break goals into smaller, more manageable goals. For example, if your overall goal is to lose 20 lbs (or more), break down the goal and tell yourself, "I want to lose 5 lbs". 5 lbs is more achievable than 20 lbs. Once you hit that 5 lb mark, then your next goal is to lose 5 more pounds, and so forth. You get to celebrate more victories along the way, and build confidence as you go.
A crisis, illness, trauma or emergency can throw you off your goal path. Realize it is very natural & expected to get thrown off by a crisis. Next ask yourself: Is most of the healing done? Is it time to re-visit your goal? Is it time to put the focus back on yourself?
"All or Nothing" Thinking: If you find yourself with this unhealthy pattern of thinking, we encourage you to embrace the middle ground. Be flexible, find balance, and don't expect perfection. You may not be able to meet the initial demands of your goal, but that does not mean you quit. It means you re-evaluate and change the initial expectations. "Something" is better than "nothing" with this extreme mindset.
Quit procrastinating! We encourage you to look at the purpose for your procrastination....is it to feel that rush of excitement to get something done at the last minute? The constant cycle of feeling like a failure and having something to complain about? Are you depressed, and don't have the energy to get things done? Whatever the reasons, realize that with procrastination, if you don't have boundaries with yourself and do it right then and there, it will not get done.
Make your goals a high enough priority & set boundaries with others to ensure your goals get met. Part of taking care of yourself includes saying "no" to others and making sure your goals are high on your "to-do list". No one else can accomplish your goals but you. No one else is going to make sure they get done. This is your gift to yourself. We often hear the scripture verse "Love your neighbor as you love yourself". We cannot love others if we do not love ourselves!
Get an accountability partner. Talking to someone about your goals and checking in with them on how well you are accomplishing them and sticking to your goals, keeps you focused on them and increases your chances of success.
We hope this helps you re-evaluate what may have gotten you off track. If you're on schedule, then congratulations! In our next blog we're going to discuss exactly how much time is left in the new year and what can really be accomplished in that amount of time. Thanks for reading!
Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.