Sometimes, the hardest part of any goal is getting started. Like Isaac Newton said, “an object in motion stays in motion and… an object at rest, stays at rest.”
Facing an important goal, like weight loss, can feel as though you have a huge boulder blocking the path to your desired future. Sure, you want the boulder moved. You want the freedom to traverse down the path the boulder is standing in the way of. But it feels like such a big boulder! It will surely take some work to get it moving. And, let’s be honest, a part of us is a little afraid that it will be too much work, or maybe, that we won’t be able to move the boulder at all.
Let’s get the ball rolling this week by, well, getting the ball rolling. We’ll review the top five things that typically stand in the way of reaching our goals.
1. Fear of failure… or even success
Being afraid that you will fail is a common reason that many people do not set a goal to begin with. The thing is, most of us never take the thought process any further than the original fear.
Say that you do fail. That you “gave it your best shot” and still didn’t succeed. Are you truly any worse off than before you began?
On the flip side, it is equally common to not set a goal because of the fear that you might actually succeed. The success of reaching your goal will lead to change, and most the time we’re naturally apprehensive about change. The fear of uncertainty can be a strong roadblock on the path to our true potential.
What is the worst that will happen if you fail? If you succeed? Is that truly any worse than where you are at right now? Probably not.
2. Lack of understanding or lack of a clear destination
If you want to build a house, yet you have no knowledge or misguided knowledge of how to build a house, naturally, you will struggle to be a successful house builder. Similarly, if you have no clear image in your head of what that house will look like when you finish, you will also struggle to build the finished house. What color siding will you have? Where will the windows and doors be? What about shutters? And on and on…
The same principle applies when you work on a weight loss goal. If you do not understand the science behind how food, sleep, exercise, and your body all work together, it will be much more difficult to be successful. Equally, if you do not have a clear destination, how will you know when you get there? How will you even know which path to take to arrive?
Also, watch out for the tricky ‘analysis paralysis’. This happens when you do not launch into a goal in fear that you need to know everything about said goal before starting.
3. Accepting accountability
Few people ever like to hear this one, let alone accept it. YOU got yourself to this point, no one else. YOU are the only one that can get you out of this, no one else.
It doesn’t matter if your husband buys every Little Debbie snack cake on the market or cooks unhealthy dinners every evening. It doesn’t matter if your mom fed you a horrid diet your entire childhood. It doesn’t matter if your doctor won’t prescribe you weight loss medication, or if the closest gym is two hours away, or if your dog ate your homework.
Excuses will ruin your shot at success, if you let them.
So there are Little Debbies in the cupboard, grab a banana off the counter instead. So the gym is two hours away, work out at home. So the dog ate your homework, guess you’ll put it out of his reach next time.
You do what you need to do to reach the goal that you want to obtain, regardless. This is your life, no one else’s. Your responsibility, no one else’s.
4. Too many goals
Goals are a funny thing; Too few and you go nowhere, too many and you go nowhere.
When you make a goal, you need to put nearly all of your “background thought” into it, consistently and constantly. At least until you are on your feet and running. A weight loss goal cannot be your focus from 5 am to 6 am and then forgotten about until the next morning. It needs to be there all day, consistently and constantly. There when they offer donuts in the break room. There when you stop at the gas station for a drink on the way home. There when you’re cooking dinner. There when you’re lounging in the evening. There at snack time. There at bedtime.
Because of this, it is next to impossible to be successful if you have too many goals running in the back of your mind at once. There just will not be enough focus to go around.
5. True commitment
Your goals HAVE to align with your core beliefs; Otherwise, you will fail.
Core beliefs are those things that are so deeply rooted within you that nothing can change them. They are the rock of the foundation you have built your life on.
For the sake of explanation, let’s say that I am married and deeply believe that you should not divorce (unless absolutely necessary) and you should not cheat in any circumstances. Now, let’s imagine that I made a goal to sleep with 100 men by the time I turn 40. How successful do you really think I will be with this goal when it goes completely against my core beliefs?
Another sound example, let’s imagine that I made a goal (or a promise and I sincerely apologize, especially to Rolerrol) that I would publish a blog post by 6 am on Wednesday morning. But my core belief is that I have a God-given responsibility to my family above all. Let’s say that this week God really “gave” with the piling of responsibility and that 6 am deadline slipped lower and lower on the priority list.
This is a natural result of core beliefs. Your core beliefs will trump your goals.
Say you make a goal of losing 100 pounds by next December because you want to be skinny, beautiful, and fit into that sexy black dress. Your core belief is that looks are not important and that it is what you are on the inside that truly counts. Opposing your own core beliefs will wage a war within your subconscious that will naturally affect your success.
What has been stopping you from getting that boulder to roll out of your path? What is keeping you from getting started? What little changes can you make that will make your goals fall seamlessly in line with your daily life?
Share your answers in the comments below! Then, click on that subscribe button and come on back next week for a peek into the true story of calories in verse calories out, and why this “science” might not be working for you.