Let’s talking about how this may present in your life.
- It is the start of a new month and you have planned your SMART goals like a pro. They’re on the white board, transferred to the vision board and even in your planner/diary. By the end of the month the situation is more like, ‘what goals?’
- You start a new exercise routine. You push through and ‘kill it’ for the first 3 days. Reality sets in and you take a break because you overslept.
I can imagine there are so many scenarios that I’ve not yet captured.
If you have read this far, then you definitely resonate with something I’ve written about quitting on a regular basis.
Let me tell you the truth (just so we get it out of the way): You are quitting on your best self. All. The. Time.
You set those goals as your best self. So, what happens when you don’t hold up the end of the bargain?
Your brain wants to keep you safe and when you start venturing out to do things that are uncomfortable – success happens outside the comfort zone, right? – to create new, epic habits and hit those goals, it’s trying to stop you. Your ‘prehistoric’ brain is there to keep you safe and comfortable and venturing out into the cold wilderness of unchartered territory is not considered safe. It’s going to do it’s best work to talk you out of it in the moment.
If you are a serial restarter … don’t worry. Solutions exist to help you override those ‘error messages’ from the brain:
- Document your ‘why’ behind the goal. Make sure it’s compelling enough to hold up even under the toughest circumstances. If you can’t come up with a strong enough reason, keep asking yourself, ‘why do I want to do this? Why is it important? How is it necessary?’ Repeatedly until you have the absolutely best reason ever.
- Learn about the 5 Second Rule created by Mel Robbins. You can watch a short video here. It’s a habit you’ll need to develop to help you hack your brain when it is trying to talk you out of taking action. Let’s say you are ready to wake up at 5 am to get through your workout before your day starts and your brain starts to tell you to stay in bed and sleep a little more.You implement the 5 Second Rule quickly, which is to start counting backwards from 5. By the time you hit 1, you will need to physically move yourself into action.
- Write down what will happen if you DON’T meet this goal. What will that mean for you and your life. Write down a few sentences and have it close by so that when you are thinking about letting another day slide by, you will first have to read this and then make a decision taking full responsibility for your inaction.
- BONUS: Instead of saying to yourself, ‘I can’t because of xxx reason…” you must praise that you will instead say, “I am choosing not to [insert goal] today, which is part of my goal [insert overall goal].”
I am sure that you have set goals and met them in the past. Perhaps it’s harder now but it’s definitely not impossible. You now have some amazing and brilliant tools that will help you stay on track for success.