How are you doing with your new year’s resolutions? I hope everything is working out well for you and 2013 is shaping up just the way you want it to. In case all is not going according to plan, though, here are a few thoughts to help you get back on track.
Achieving your goals is a process, not an event. The word ‘goal’ is widely used to mean something we want to accomplish but actually, because we associate it with a quick boot of the ball into the back of the net, it’s not the most helpful way to describe our aims. I prefer to think in terms of a journey and a destination. This way, I understand there are going to be days when I struggle and can’t get very far but I will make up for it on other days. Before, I used to think one slip spelt disaster, that I’d let myself down and might as well abandon the entire project. Now I know that, as long as I’m travelling in the right direction, the odd day – or even week – when I can’t make any progress doesn’t matter. What’s important is to keep your eyes on the destination and to feed your enthusiasm for getting there. Instead of upbraiding yourself for sitting down, remind yourself regularly how great it’ll be when you arrive. I find the carrot much more powerful than the stick.
Are the targets you’ve set yourself realistic? If you’re not making the progress you hoped, perhaps you’re asking too much of yourself. Trying to be superman or superwoman will only wear you out; you’ve got to pace yourself for this journey. Sort out your priorities, break tasks down into manageable chunks, do whatever you can to smooth your own path: this isn’t about giving yourself a hard time, it’s about facilitating your success.
Is this really the way you want to go? If you find yourself consistently resisting progress, the chances are you’re trying to push yourself towards somewhere you don’t really want to be. Never mind what other people think. Forget ‘should’ and ‘must’. What is your heart’s desire?
Another possibility is that you’re sabotaging your own progress because you don’t believe you deserve to achieve your heart’s desire or that somehow it’s not your destiny. I spent many years wrestling with this and, if you suspect it may be the case for you, I urge you to invest time and energy in rooting out this poison ivy that’s blocking your path to happiness. The life you dream of is not just for other people. Honestly.