We all start off the year with the best intentions. Some sign up for gym contracts, others go on radical diets, some give up alcohol and so it goes. As the old adage goes “ good intentions pave the wave to hell” and that really is so true. An intention without a plan is merely a dream.
What is it that makes human nature want to wait until the 1st of the month, Mondays or the start of the year! Simply put, we all make the mistake that we plan what we can’t sustain. We make the mistake of not thinking things through as to how we will go about implementing our intentions.
There is a constant battle between our heads and our hearts, which without discipline and motivation, fails us. Setting out on making positive changes needs to be done in small steps that we know we can achieve. We need to first change our mindsets and focus on the small steps and not the ultimate result. Someone climbing a mountain knows how important it is to look ahead at the next steps as opposed to the peak. We are overwhelmed if we look at the entire journey without a road map.
Thus, embarking upon change needs to be:
- Bite sized
Moreover, the change needs to become a lifestyle one where perseverance is the key.
Staying motivated may well require support from loved ones.
It is important not to allow setbacks to cancel out the effort that has preceded the fall. As humans, we all falter along the way. The greatest strength lies in getting back on track immediately and not letting the process snowball negatively downhill. It is easy to fall into the trap.
Missing one day of gym doesn’t need to mean that it’s the end of the contract. A glass of wine or a piece of chocolate doesn’t mean that the original intention should be cancelled and that we should revert to bad ways.
Keep goals in mind, stay focussed and expect setbacks, Its part of building strength and character. Life is all about attitude. Being “all or nothing” is not a fruitful way to live. Finding the grey area or the middle ground makes life so much easier. It also makes goal setting far more attainable.
So, if you are serious about making any changes in your life in the New Year, plan ahead, make it a lifestyle, realistic and sustainable change and stay focused . A small occasional slip can even be useful in demonstrating strength and determination to get up, dust yourself off and start again.
Keep track of your successes and achievements and make notes for yourself. If you land up having an “off day”, examine the events of the day and emotions of the day that preceded the lapse. Learn from it.
If you want it badly enough, you can do it. The mind of a human being is extremely powerful.