A long-term goal is like a romantic relationship.
At first, it’s sunshine and rainbows all the way. You’re 100% committed, ready to take on the world and do whatever is necessary to see this goal through. Nothing will stop you!
Your workouts get boring, you don’t feel like sitting for 15 minutes of meditation and that Milky Way at the checkout is calling your name.
Just like you have relationships with people, you have them with your long-term goals. And just like any relationship, you’re gonna have your high roads and your low roads, your smooth roads and your bumpy roads (as my dear mom always says).
Where are you with your long-term goals? Are you on a smooth road or a bumpy road?
After 3 months of consistently working out — a big deal for me — I was on a bumpy road. Here’s how I got re-committed (Note: This is for a fitness goal, but would work for any other long-term goal):
1. Forget the idea of “blowing it.”
You know what I mean – when you’re on a “diet” (yuck), eat a brownie and decide you blew it, so you might as well eat 3 more. Yeah, that. Don’t do that to yourself! With a long-term goal, there is nothing to blow. Eating one treat or skipping one workout does NOT mean you have failed forever. It just means you ate a treat or skipped a workout – that’s it. Don’t dramatize it. It is what it is.
2. Remember why you’re doing it.
If your long-term goal is to exercise every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, like me, your reasons could be many: increased energy, better muscle tone, good health. Write down all of the reasons you committed to that goal in the first place. It also helps to write down what benefits you’ve already seen; this motivates you to keep going so you can see more.
3. Get right back on schedule.
If your goal is to meditate daily for 15 minutes daily, but you’ve missed 2 weeks (guilty…), as soon as you realize it, get back at it. Don’t let the fact that it’s been 2 weeks keep you from starting again – remember, there’s nothing to blow. In the grand scheme of things, 2 weeks is nothing compared to what it could be if you let that stop you.
If your goal is to work out, know what your workout will be the night before. This is a tough one for me, but when I do plan, there’s less of a chance that I’ll duck out. So lay out your workout gear, set your alarm in another room, put your meditation cushion where you’ll see it.
5. Stop thinking.
When your morning alarm goes off, you might start thinking, “Well, I could just sleep a little later and then workout”. Nope. Don’t even think about it. Tell your brain to hush, because it’s only formulating excuses. Maybe you will sleep a little later and still workout… But maybe you won’t. If you start thinking about what you need to do, you’ll find a million reasons not to. So stop thinking and start doing.
6. Add some variety.
Often we stray from our goals because they get boring. For me, it helped to watch a health documentary, to remind me of the importance of exercising and staying healthy. What would re-ignite your excitement? A meditation cushion? New running shoes? A different workout?
7. Tell someone.
Accountability is a huge motivator. If you’re the only one you have to answer to, it’s way easier to hit the snooze instead of lacing up your running shoes. But if you have to report to a supportive friend about your fitness goals, you’ll be way more likely to stick to the plan. You could even do one better and partner with someone – greater accountability equals greater commitment.
What’s a long-term goal of yours that you’ve kinda let fall to the wayside? How would it benefit you to recommit?
Whether you’ve been slacking for 2 weeks or 2 years, it’s not too late to pick up where you left off. It never is! I dare you: begin again today.
(Photo credit: Destination via Freedigitalphotos.net)