January 2nd of every year will always live as a day of infamy. More dreams die on January 2nd than any other time of the year. That’s because most new year’s begin with some of the loftiest goals a person can imagine. From winning the lottery to losing 400 lbs., many people continue to set themselves up for failure only to be in the same position the following year.
Others may spend a little more time pursuing their goals and remaining focused on what they’re trying to accomplish. Some may have gotten three months into their new goal only to realize it may take a little more time and energy to accomplish the incredible feat.
My point is that many people look at the new year to begin a fresh start and renew themselves. That is a great decision and a great time to do so. In fact, I always suggest using New Years Day as a launching point for a new set of goals to accomplish within the year. However, many of you have yet to accomplish a goal you’ve set a couple “New Year’s” ago.
Regardless of the situation you were in at that time or the situation that may have arisen to completely change your decision to commit to these goals, you have yet to mark that goal off of your list. I am not here to place blame on you or scold you like a disappointed parent. However, I am here to help you create a foundation for your goal setting plan so you can accomplish those goals.
Let’s look at three reasons why you may have not been able to achieve those goals you’ve set for so many years.
Your Goals Are Unrealistic
One of the most difficult aspects to goal setting is being honest with yourself and determining exactly how long a specific goal will take to accomplish. One must be able to understand their own capabilities before committing to the goal itself. I know you’ve heard self-help guru’s yell at the top of their lungs about how you should feel about your goals and why they must put the fear of God into you.
Though this may not be the most popular opinion, I completely disagree with this notion. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t be inspired to accomplish your goals by any means. However, you must be realistic. Today, people lump realistic with words like “scared” or “limited” as though you are scared to “dream big” or your belief in yourself is limited.
In reality, it is important to understand the step-by-step process that it will take to accomplish your goal. For example, if you’ve decided and committed to losing 35 lbs. in three months, you must have a plan on how you will accomplish this goal. Just writing down on a sheet of paper and sticking it on your wall will not make it come true. You must commit to a new nutritional plan that is sustainable for you. You must commit to a workout regimen that matches this weight loss goal. This could be a regimen that is heavy on cardio but mixes in resistance training of some kind.
During those three months, you must be absolutely locked into this goal you’ve set with the understanding that any distraction can set you back. Too often, we look at new goals as challenges to accomplish. Instead, look at this as a radical lifestyle change that will require emotional and physical energy. You should also have the understanding that if you keep up with this pattern, eventually you will develop a healthy habit and you will make the most difficult things look easy.
You should look towards your purpose for inspiration. That inspiration should “motivate” you to accomplish those smaller goals, or mini milestones. Those mini milestones should take you toward accomplishing your ultimate goal. This foundation should be what you balance your entire purpose onto of if you want to sustain success.
You Are Inconsistent
How many times have you started a regimen only to make small changes and restart after two weeks? How about you leaving the gym after the first week of a new year? Have you sat down with yourself, designed a flawless nutritional plan only to throw it away after you were completely overrun by stress?
After all, those beers at the company events won’t drink themselves. Like most people, you may have issues remaining consistent to the point of accomplishing your goals. Don’t feel bad though. Only a small percentage of people actually accomplish their goals. The main reason over 90% of people do not achieve the goals they set is because of inconsistency.
Regardless of the goal itself, you have no chance of accomplishing that goal if you are inconsistent. Using the weight loss example, you must go to the gym when your regimen says you need to be there. You must perform all the exercises prescribed to you. You must eat what you’re supposed to eat to maintain a healthy body and lose the weight you’re intending to lose.
You must do all of these tasks every single day. Most people cannot sustain a daily regimen this rigorous because it is far too unsustainable. Revisiting the first point, I mentioned that unrealistic goals can set you up for immediate failure. Being inconsistent in your workouts or your nutrition ensures that you do not stand a chance to succeed.
My advice to you is to build upon your consistency. What does that mean? Start off with the most uncompromising workout regimen and nutritional plan you can find. Walk through that regimen for a couple weeks and make a small tweak to it. Maybe you add in an extra set to your resistance training regimen. Maybe to add an extra five minutes to your cardio workout.
You can include an extra serving of protein, fruits or vegetables to your nutritional plan. The most important thing you can do is make your plan as sustainable as possible to allow yourself to make 1% improvements as you move through. The goal will always be the goal. There is no need to challenge yourself to beat your set goal if you have consistency on your mind.
You Are Not Making Progress
This has to be one of the most underrated reasons why most people fail to accomplish their goals. You may get over that first wall, but are you prepared to climb the higher one that awaits you. You may feel as though an incredible jump is necessary, but you could miss out on an opportunity to prepare if you rushed to the next level. Follow me here for a minute.
Let’s say I started the regimen from a very sustainable perspective, similar to the one mentioned above. After about two weeks, a couple things could happen to my mood. Either I will get bored of the regimen because it is monotonous and not challenging enough and quit. Or I may accelerate my journey in order to get to my goal faster. Both of these approaches will cause you the opportunity to progress slowly through your regimen.
My advice would be to make slow and consistent progress after the first couple weeks of your regimen. You may add 10 lbs. to an exercise or a couple minutes for a cardio exercise. That progress that you’re making will increase the challenge without completely discouraging you to the point of quitting. The point is to ensure you can achieve your goal. Period.
If you need to tweak anything on the journey, you’re well in your right to do so. In fact, it is encouraged that you make small tweaks based on how far into your journey you are and how your body is feeling after the first two weeks. If you need to pull back from the rigor of the exercise regimen to ensure it is sustainable then do so. However, do not quit.
Accomplishing your goals can be difficult, yet extremely rewarding. I remember going from not being able to bench press a barbell to maxing out at 405 lbs. I remember not being able to get any depth from squatting. However, with consistency, patience and persistence, I was able to achieve a one-rep-max of 535 lbs with a full range of motion. Don’t even get me started on deadlifting. I have a pretty serious hereditary issue and it causes major back pain.
In fact, I have had back pain for the majority of my life. It hurts to stand and sit for long hours at a time. However, I was able to take my deadlifts from 225 lbs. to 550 lbs. in the matter of a couple years. Now, could I have accomplished this goal quicker? Absolutely! But, this is not a race. Form takes precedence when you’re involved with resistance training. This is a marathon and I currently have a goal of 650 lbs. before 2024.
Remember that your goals should be directly tied to your purpose. Once you understand that fully, you should not have an issue with sticking to your goals and accomplishing the ones beyond your wildest dreams.
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