We are now deep into month two of the New Year. Think about the goals you made last month. Are you still pursuing them? Have they gotten stale? Even if you are still actively working toward your goals, you have probably had days of drudgery, procrastination, or doubt.
Most goals lose momentum after less than one month. Why is that? It is because habits are required to consistently do anything over an extended period of time. Experts say that it takes 30-90 days to form a habit. Remember that your body is lazy and so is your brain. It will always take the path of least resistance and is not happy with change.
If you have old habits that have been holding you back from the success that you desire, it is probably these habits that are the most persistent in keeping you from continually seeking your goals. Your body is fighting you, looking to return to its old routine. Your brain is fighting you, repeating the urges of your body and coming up with any excuse not to do that thing which you decided on. And you probably have emotions of defeat and failure from your past that your brain is conjuring up to convince you to quit. If this is happening to you, that is okay. You are normal.
How do you overcome the laziness of the human body? Engage with the power of the human spirit. If your body wants to quit, push it a little harder. If your brain is filling you with excuses, write them down and then write down the reasons to keep going. For every excuse, write at least 2 reasons to continue and then destroy your excuses.
Sounds too easy to be true? It might be. The emotion part is what most people struggle with. Emotions are powerful. The body can be overpowered, the brain can be manipulated, but emotions are primal. They create the basis of what we refer to as instinct. The good news is that they can be controlled and managed.
Remember Peter Pan? How did he fly? By thinking happy thoughts. What was it that made you choose the goal you did? How would achieving your goal make you happy? What will you do when you accomplish your goal? How will the completion of your goal change your life? Spend time in the happy and you can fly.
Sometimes, during those moments of discouragement the “happy” seems elusive. Logic might tell you to fight it. Don’t. Go through it. Experience it. Learn from it. Disappointment is nothing but a learning opportunity. What could you have done better and will do better next time? What attitudes did you enter into that disappointing experience that created the negative outcome? Take the time to stop and write down “I feel <discouraged, angry, sad, frustrated> because…” and spend time exploring that emotion. You may find that the negative emotion did not start with that one experience. And then overcome it.
How do I overcome negative emotions? I play inspirational, battle music. I puff up my chest. And I tell myself that I am capable and that these emotions will not bother me anymore. And then I tear up that negative mess that I had just dumped onto paper and (whenever possible) I burn it. I tell my mind and my psyche that these thoughts are no longer going to hold me down.
So, if you find yourself falling short of the execution that you laid out for the New Year and your goals are feeling more like dreams that possibilities, remember these simple rules:
1 – When your body wants to quit, push a little harder
2 – Fill your mind with thoughts of why you wanted to accomplish your goal in the first place
3 – Manage your emotions. Don’t fight them. Learn from them
How far will you go to get what you want? Reignite the passion. Happiness is just a thought away.
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By Brett Rich