When The Going Gets Tough (The Tough Stick it to their Goals)
This time of year can be tough is a bit two pronged. There’s the wonderful Christmas and New Year holiday period, time with family, AMAZING food, the summer heat and not having to feel guilty for relaxing. Unfortunately it doesn’t last forever and back to work we must go and while the holidays are great, sometimes there is a little bit of an adjustment period while weget used to being back at work. Inevitably, it’s about this time that goals and the progress made towards them begins to suffer.
It’s easy to focus and work towards achieving our goals when our day is flexible, when we are relaxed, have support and our thoughts aren’t pulled in 20 different directions. When we don’t have to drop the kids at school, menu plan, figures out when we can fit that meeting in and when that invoice has to go out. When there is increased pressure and less flexibility in our day to day timetable, we tend to prioritise automatically, focusing on what we always have in the past. Due to this, the new goals we set are often forgotten, or put at the end of our list of prioritisation.
What can I do to help me stick to my goals?
Keep your focus
One of the ways we can combat this is to remain focused on our goals. Keep reminding yourself WHAT your goals are, WHY you want to achieve them and HOW it will be different when you do. This continued focus will help to keep these goals in the forefront of your mind. This way you can be choosing to work towards your goals, instead being on autopilot.
Set reminders and use them to help you to prioritise
Set reminders to help you to work through the progress to achieve your goals and in these reminders use the focus tips above to help you to keep your motivation to follow through with them. A reminder is no good if it’s dismissed or snoozed constantly. Figure out what will work for YOU to help you to keep motivated.
Use your social connections
The people around you are so powerful. As humans, we are social creatures and the emotions of guilt, shame, approval, and acceptance are incredibly strong for us, so strong in fact, that it can cause us to alter our behaviour. It’s important to get these strong emotions to work FOR you, rather than AGAINST you. Talk to the people around you and give them suggestions and feedback about how they can help you. Some ways they can do this could be:
- Checking in with in a specified timeframe on how you are going with your goals (ie. checking in each day whether exercise has been completed).
- Giving positive feedback for specific activities / tasks (ie. each time they see you wearing running shoes)
- Offer to do tasks with you for support
- Offer to take on other tasks to give you more time to do the tasks needed to achieve the goals (ie. cook dinner exercise can be completed)
If you are having trouble sticking to your goals. Try sitting down and re-evaluating. Look at the changes in your life that have happened which have made it difficult for you to stick to you goals. Is it going back to work, a gap after you have become sick or going on holiday. Then look at those changes and see whether you are able to develop strategies to manage them. Alter your behaviour to take those changes into account. Most people don’t realise it, but setting and achieving goals is a constant process of re-evaluating what is working and what isn’t, looking at what needs to be changed and having goals both rigid enough so they are a priority and flexible enough so you can achieve them despite the changes that happen in our everyday life. If you are able to re-evaluate, you will naturally find yourself evolving your goals to suit your situation and give yourself the best ability to achieve them.
The Psych Professionals have a number of psychologists who have a wide variety of experience in ma ny different areas of life, from treating complex mental health conditions to family problems to general wellbeing. Give us a call to find out how we can support you today.