If you feel like you have the best of intentions when creating a goal but you seldom find yourself making any progress, this post is about to put things into perspective for you.
We’ve all made a plan on a productive day and then failed to follow through when things got tough. This happens in all areas of life — fitness, career, romance and more mindful topics like your contribution to charities or your carbon footprint.
So, how can we hold on to our productive mindset and give our life goals longevity? We’ve listed nine different ways to stay on track below.
This year, a study revealed that 73% of people who create fitness-related New Year’s resolutions give them up before they reach the end point. It’s likely that anyone reading this article has made a January resolution to get fitter and take out a gym membership, so that’s an awful lot of people who are struggling to stick to their promises.
Here are three ways to fix your fitness frenzy:
Maintaining Your New Year’s Goals in February — For those who have specifically vowed to get fit in January, your best bet might be to postpone your gym membership.
This advice might sound like a counterproductive tip, but as gyms become overcrowded in January, it’s possibly the worst time to get set up. Ditch the gym membership and do some home workouts before easing into a public space. Joining the gym in February — when your goal is still going strong — will be way less overwhelming, and trainers will have more time to focus on your individual needs.
Making Fitness Fun — Instead of zoning out on a treadmill — which experts say won’t help you to reach your workout goals, anyway — try a sport or activity that you’ll find fun.
Activities like rock climbing, yoga, and running groups might help you to pass the time a little and even get to the point of enjoying working out. Trying to find the fun in fitness will ensure that you won’t get bored of it so easily and persuade yourself to stay in and watch Netflix instead.
Removing Unachievable Targets — Stop staring at girls in bikinis on Instagram (or men with solid abs, for that matter). While there’s the classic idea that putting an inspirational picture on your fridge will help move things along, in reality, this is only setting yourself up for failure.
Being realistic and logical about your goals will help you to achieve them. Read sources which will help you to recognize your body type, your metabolism, the diet which will suit you and your genetic makeup.
Did you have a ten-year plan written out when you were fifteen? By twenty-five where you supposed to live in a mansion with a pool — but instead, you’re still living at home and not able to save anything from your monthly wage?
If you’re finding your age scary, your achievements embarrassing or your progress to be poor, here are three ways to make a realistic timeline of events:
Sticking to a 30, 60, 90 Plan — Don’t make one plan — make three. Instead of one overarching strategy where things “work out on their own” having three different long, medium and short-term plans will help put things into perspective.
The 30, 60, 90 concept (often used as a career development format) follows the number of days your goals are set for, creating a sense of urgency and invoking activity. Most of the time we don’t reach our dream goals because they remain dreams, rather than an achievable reality.
Favoring Flexibility — We just told you to make three plans, but don’t take them too literally or seriously. Beating yourself up about missing “life” deadlines can make you miss the moment that you’re in.
If you were supposed to have a husband by your 30th birthday and it didn’t happen, wallowing in self-pity won’t make you very attractive to potential soul mates and might get in the way even further.
Developing a Daily Reminder Ritual — Making the perfect plan is useless if you never take the time to review it. Self-reflection can be a great tool and helps you to stay on track in the short-term.
Creating a daily ritual to remind yourself of your long-term vision will help you to track your performance. This ritual should follow a format that suits you. Some common approaches are journaling, creating a vision board, saying self-affirmations or hiring a life coach.
Ethical promises — things designed to help others and not yourself — often fall by the wayside as personal problems and our reliance on “the self” push our ideal worldly view into the waste pile.
Well, we’re here to tell you to be selfishly ethical, as being a better person can make you happier.
Getting Educated on Important Stuff — Making yourself aware of the finer details when it comes to wider issues will make you more inclined to take action. Set aside some time to educate yourself on different topics each week and see this as part of your ethical promise.
Keeping Google Alerts for key phrases like “environment” will give you a daily dose of important news straight to your inbox.
Keeping Resolutions Realistic and Relative — Remember, while reading up on the latest climate change news, recycling regulations and charitable causes — keep your personal goals relative to you. Advice on ethics is often extreme with bold statements that urge people to go above and beyond. If this will be draining, affect your lifestyle or make you not want to participate in charitable actions again, you should do what you think is right for you.
For example, only give what you can afford — without suffering — to charities. If you want to go waste-free, you don’t need to be perfect — you can still eat takeaways with sustainable packaging and use up your plastic bags before buying a cotton tote.
Stop Preaching and Do It Silently — While you might benefit from accountability partners in other aspects of your life — like finding yourself a workout partner — when it comes to ethics, you should go it alone. Preaching about saving the planet, donating money or helping the homeless has a detrimental effect on your conscience.
You shouldn’t boast about your selfless actions — otherwise, they become obviously selfish. You also shouldn’t tell other people that they must do what you’re doing. After all, you wouldn’t start a new diet — and then tell others that they must change their eating habits too!
Adam Middleton became the Business Development Manager for Takeaway Packaging after a varied career in PR, shipping and marketing within the packing industry. With a Bachelor’s degree in Human Geography and a Masters in International Marketing, Adam has a keen interest in the environmental impact of consumerism.