02 Jan Goals that matter
If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ll know how much I believe in setting goals and having something to work towards. I believe so much in this process because we’re then able to focus on specific things that help us grow and move towards being better versions of ourselves. But something I’ve learnt over the years, as the number of grey hairs on my head increase, is that setting goals and staying motivated to stick on your path to achieve them, can ONLY happen when our goals are aligned with those things in our lives that are truly important, those things that truly matter to you. If you’re asking ‘how do I know what truly matters to me?’, read my previous post here. Another thing that I’ve learnt is that there is nothing magical about the 1st of January. Yes, it is the start of a new calendar year and yes, it is the start of a new month, but that’s it. There is no rule that says you need to set goals that start in January and end in December. Nothing. In fact, what most of us do is we get to the end of one year and then get caught up in the whole hype of New Year’s resolutions and feel pressured to set goals because everyone else it. These goals normally involve fixing something about your life that you’re not happy with. This is often a result of comparison to something or someone. A New Year’s resolution I’ve heard a 1000 times before is the classic one of “this year, I’m going to lose weight”. It means that you’re not happy with your current weight, you’re not happy with the way you currently look and feel. Ok, that’s fine, I get that. Almost all the women I know, including myself, have some sort of body image issue. So, the goal you set yourself is “I’m going to lose 10kgs” and your reason for this goal is that you want to be thinner because you want to fit into the jeans you wore before you had three kids, or you want to be thinner than the chic, always-put-together mom at school drop-off. Will you stay motivated enough until you achieve that resolution you made, champagne glass in hand, on New Year’s Eve? Research proves that that is unlikely. Most progress starts falling away after a couple of months into the year and three months in, you’ve lost all motivation to stick to your resolution to lose weight and you beat yourself up about still not being able to fit into that pair of jeans from 10 years ago. Sound familiar? Why? Well, because you haven’t linked your goal to what really matters to you. Often these New Year’s goals are set without much thought or assessment of reality. What you need to be doing is digging a bit deeper. Why do you really want to lose weight? Can you back up your goal setting with positive reasons for them, rather than to fix something? Is it to be and feel healthier so you can have energy to play cricket with your children in the garden? Is it so you are able to walk 5kms to raise money for a charity close to your heart? Is it to live a long and healthy life to be able to spend time with your great grandchildren one day? Your children matter to you, that charity matters to you, your great grandchildren to be matter to you. If your goals are aligned to the things that matter to you, rather than to fix something you don’t like about yourself, then you’re more likely to stick it out and work on achieving that goal, little by little each and every day.