How often have you created a goal for yourself, and then made it into something that you resent and feel guilty about not doing?
We all do this at times, especially around the start of a new year.
We start off with a goal and make it into something else to do, to beat ourselves up with and manage to squeeze all the fun out of it, until eventually it is just another chore!
Why do we do that?
I don’t have the answer, but I do know I have often done this.
A common victim of mine is exercise (although I think exercise has got a bad name from a lot of people, not just me!J)
I actually really enjoy exercise, when I do it (particularly running), but I have often made this into a ball and chain around my neck. It’s crazy really. Why don’t we either do whatever it is and enjoy it, or not do it and enjoy not doing it, rather than this mental torture and guilt we put ourselves through!
I guarantee you, if you sat down with any group of people, and asked them about exercise, there would definitely be some of what I am talking about in there!
One of the things I have learnt is to be honest with myself about my goals. I used to make goals that I really had no intention of doing…but they sounded good!
Or, maybe make some goals that I did have some intention of doing, but really enjoyed spending more time talking about them and doing an elaborate plan! (Hands up who’s done this too!).
The other common scenario, I have found is going from one extreme to another….no exercise …. to a plan to run 10 miles!
So just be honest with where you are at and what you would like to achieve…realistically.
We Are All Different
We all have different ways of getting motivated or achieving our goals. I know I am very enthusiastic at the beginning of a new project, but often find I get bored, or want a new stimulus as I get into it.
I have found for example with running, entering a race helps me keep focused and carry on towards achieving the goal, even at the times when I don’t feel like it. Some people find a bit of healthy competition with a friend helps achieve their goals, whereas others need to let people know what they are doing, to have someone to be accountable too. Find out how you work best.
Start Off Small
I’m not saying not to make your goals big, because there is value in that too, but for example if you haven’t exercised for a year, just doing something, is a great start. Getting started and doing a few small actions, is better than huge plans that scare you off before you have even begun!
And Finally…Have Fun!
Life’s too short to be doing things we don’t want to do. If you’re not enjoying a goal you have set yourself, find out, why not? Have you squeezed all the joy out of it? Have a look… if you find you have, stop and re-evaluate why you wanted to do it in the first place.
Don’t make the fun things in your life, into more chores.
If it’s still not fun, bin it!
Take it off the list and replace it with something that is fun!