Stop setting unrealistic goals that are only going to serve to frustrate you and set you up for failure. For 2021, set realistic, attainable goals and set yourself up to be your best self.
There are a couple of ways to approach a new year, especially this new year. You can write down a handful of lofty goals with high hopes and great expectations or set some specific or even abstract realistic goals that you have a chance to achieve.
Let’s do that. 2020 was rough, let’s get set up to win 2021. We don’t need to rehash it. We don’t need to wax poetic and sort through the good. It was hard. It was much harder for some and I won’t try to pretend we were among the some because we weren’t. But, it was still hard. For everyone. So, in 2021, let’s set ourselves up for success.
Let’s resolve to create goals or resolutions if you must that will work and set us up to be the best version of ourselves in the coming year and beyond.
You Can Have Results or Excuses But Not Both
It’s easy to develop a plan. It’s easy to stick to it while the motivation is high. But, what happens when the motivation starts to slip? When you are faced with a decision of sticking to the plan or straying from it? When your partner stops being supportive or starts hinting at ways to deviate from your plan? That’s when you fail.
When the excuses start to creep in, remember these words, “You can have results or excuses, but you can’t have both.” When you start to justify sitting on the couch all day, that extra scoop of ice cream, the snacks, the laziness, you and you alone are responsible for that. You and you alone are responsible for staying on track and you and you alone are responsible for the hard work and results.
Instead of coming up with a grandiose plan to lose half your body weight or drop 6 dress sizes or give up alcohol for 6 months, or working out two times a day every single day, how about developing a plan you can stick with.
It’s important to reflect on what is realistic for you and even taking baby steps to get there. Is a giant leap into something you know you are going to struggle with setting yourself up for success? Would something small that would allow you to celebrate your willpower and your win be better?
Want to lose weight? How about starting by giving up soda? Cutting out chocolate or providing yourself 2 small pieces a week. If you cut out something you know you struggle with, it takes about two weeks for your body to stop craving that thing. Want to stop with the chocolate or candy in the afternoon everyday? Power through those cravings for two weeks and you will see your body start to adapt to your new choice.
Do you drink soda everyday or always reward yourself (we’ll talk about that in a minute) with a sweet treat at night? Grab an orange or a handful or grapes instead or sip on a sparkling water. No, not sugar filled versions like San Pelligrino or Splindrift, opt for Bubly, Waterloo or La Croix instead.
Want to start a fitness routine? Make small goals and increase the goals as you become more confident. If you aren’t a gym rat, don’t set the bar to become one the first two weeks of January. Start with a goal of X amount of workouts by March. Or 1 or 2 to 3 workouts a week (set a specific goal) until April.
Once you hit that mark, set a new goal! This is a great way to show yourself how successful you can be in accomplishing your goals. You will still see excuses creep in but you have to be better than your excuses.
Don’t Reward Yourself With Food. You Are Not a Dog.
When we are kids, when we had a great baseball game or tennis match of gymanstics meet, our parents typically rewarded us with ice cream or food. One of the best things anyone told me throughout my years of struggling with goals and success and happiness with my body, was that we are taught that everything we do we should be rewarded for and our first instinct is to reward yourself with food.
You are not a dog. You don’t need to be rewarded for everything. You don’t need food to justify your accomplishment. That simply reinforces our depency on food and our need the justify treats all the time.
That isn’t to say you shouldn’t treat yourself but save it for very special occasions and it doesn’t always have to be food. Following The Dopey Challenge that I finished virtually, by myself, I wanted champagne and you bet your bottom dollar I had some champagne.
I set goals for myself and if they are far reaching, I will have a reward but it very rarely is food. Set goals, crush your goals and set new goals. You don’t need ice cream or a new designer bag every step of the way.
In addition, sitting down at the end of the night and saying, “I survived today. Let’s have a milkshake” probably isn’t going to help you fit into those pre-quarantine clothes.
Be Realistic. Set Yourself up For Success.
It’s okay to fail. Everyone fails. It’s a part of life and it’s a part of success. It’s also okay and good to set lofty goals and believe in yourself. But be realistic when you are setting yourself up for success. Have a big goal, a lofty goal, the light at the end of the tunnel, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Set smaller goals that help you achieve that big goal. Be prepared for setbacks but overcome them don’t let them drag you down or pull you off course.
Don’t let your setbacks dictate your journey. Let your strength and your willingness to be better than your excuses decide your path. Failure is a part of the journey and a stepping stone to success but don’t let it define who you are.
There’s No Time Like The Present
You don’t have to wait for a new year to decide it’s time to make changes and be a better version of you. But, there’s no time like the present. What are your goals? Who do you want to be? How do you want to live? Who do you want to inspire?
If we took anything away from the past year, it’s that there’s no time to waste. You get one life, you get one shot. Throw your arms up, throw your head back and jump in. Make the decision now, that this is the first day to the best you, you can be.
Whatever your goals, stop making excuses and get going. Success happens when you stop making excuses.
What’s it going to be? Excuses or Results?