The new year has started and many people start with good intentions and it is a fact that many people do not live up to these good intentions. Everyone has goals, but how are you going to achieve them now? How do you stay motivated and why do we often drop out with the first setback? I was particularly curious about the latter, so I decided to go exploring for Body, Mind and Guilty Pleasures.
What the hell
I never had problems setting goals, but what I struggled with in the past was the ” What the hell effect” – which kept coming back. You may recognize it: for example, you have planned to eat healthier and have been doing well for a while until you eat a piece of chocolate and you feel that you have failed. Then the whole bar then has to be taken up, and when you have finished it you can just as well eat everything you have in your house, because it doesn’t matter anymore. You know at that moment that it is not smart, but it still happens. How is that possible?
Why do we drop out?
It has been scientifically proven that setting a goal far in the future will make you more likely to fail (1). This is because we want something, but don’t think about how we want to achieve it. When we do this, so we really imagine what it would be like to achieve a goal and especially how we want to achieve that the chance is much greater that you will ultimately achieve it.
It is important to really feel it. How do you feel when you have reached the goal? What would you do differently than now? By imagining it you make it lively for yourself and you become more creative in coming up with solutions that will make it work this time (2).
In the meantime I have read, researched and experienced so much that I know very well what does and does not work for me. And visualizing, what I described above, I think works very well. I enjoyed reading that what I have been feeling all along, has been proven! Of course it is not only about visualization, you will also have to take real steps to achieve your goals. Being motivated alone is unfortunately not enough. Motivating and controlling yourself takes effort and mental energy, and just like a muscle, your self-control can become exhausted (3). It has even been proven that if you have already had to resist many temptations during the day (to keep the example of healthy eating), the chance that you lose sight of your goal in the evening and have less self-discipline is much greater (4 ).
The reason we are dropping out is now known. Time to do something with it. But how will you achieve your goals? I have described a step-by-step plan below with which I hope to be able to help and inspire you to also achieve your goals:
1. Write down your goal and visualize it
Make your goal as concrete as possible. What exactly is your goal? How do you feel when you have achieved this goal? Why do you want this? What happens when you have achieved this goal? Make a step-by-step plan. But remember, small steps.
2. Be positive
Try to stay positive, even when things are not going the way you would like. This has also been proven to help you achieve your goals (5). Try to surround yourself as much as possible with people who inspire you and who are positive.
3. Start NOW!
Don’t wait until January 1, Monday, the first of the month, but start now. Procrastination comes with procrastination as the saying goes, and that is not for nothing
4. Check in
How do I feel? What is going well? What is not going well? If necessary, adjust your plan so that it works for you.
5. Consistency is key
Failure is a necessity, so you will definitely ‘fail’ once. Then simply pick up where you left off and keep your goal in mind. You will get there!
6. Vision board
In today’s episode I showed my vision board (see image above), I find this a fun way to be busy with my goals and it helps me visualize. It is not a must to achieve your goal, but it can help you to give that extra boost!
Good luck with setting and achieving your goals! Also let us know if you like these tips and if you have any good tips yourself