Everyday I log onto Facebook and see at least one person complaining about how many people there are in the gym this time of year. The status update ends with, "In two months they'll be gone."
New Year's resolutions have such a bad rap that we don't want to call our goals during this time of year resolutions. Whatever you want to call them, sticking with your journey to create change in your life is hard work. The reality is that too many people reading this will give up after a few months.
There are many reasons why we don't follow through with big goals and I don't think it's a mystery. There are some reading this that will face circumstances that are out of their control. There are some who will face situations that are heartbreaking and their only focus will be survival.
There are, however, too many of us who can and should chase big dreams, and accomplish audacious goals this year. Here are five honest reasons why we don't stick with big goals and that we need to conquer to have the best year of our life.
1. It's easier to dream than sacrifice
There was a popular movie with the tagline, "Stop dreaming, start living." We get caught up in the romantic idea of dreams. We get lost in the possibilities, and we can spend days and weeks just dreaming without doing anything to make those dreams a reality.
It's hard work to lose weight, change our work, or move to our dream destination. It's hard work to stay focused through all the ups and downs, and failure that comes when things don't work out as planned.
Making big changes requires sacrifice. You may have to give up time doing something you enjoy, like watching TV. You may have to give up food that tastes so good. You may have to say goodbye to family and friends for the place that's in your heart. We made the move to Maui last year and miss our family like crazy. Sacrifice doesn't have to be forever, just until you hit your goals.
2. We listen to self-limiting beliefs
There are things each of us tells our self that holds us back. We deal with feelings and thoughts from past experiences that keep us from even getting to the place of wanting to make big changes in our life.
We tell our self we're not smart enough, lucky enough, strong enough, good looking enough, or that we don't have what it takes to accept happiness. I call B.S. You are special and unique, and the only one of you in this world. You may not be like someone else you admire, but that doesn't mean you can't do everything you want to do in life. You deserve happiness. You deserve to live the life you want to live.
3. The fear of failure and public reaction
We're afraid to fail, but more than that, we're afraid to look bad. We're terrified of others thinking of us as failures more than actually failing. Failure is a part of life and sometimes we need to fail. Failure shouldn't be a dream ending event. It should be an opportunity to learn and grow. In the end, who cares what people think? Their opinion is not important in the grand scheme of things.
4. A lack of research and not having a plan
If you're going to have success with big goals, you need to have a plan. "Winging it" only works in the movies and the Internet gives us the ability to figure out what our steps should be. Not having a plan will increase your chances of failing and quitting. Not properly researching will have you confused and frustrated.
5. Taking our focus off of why we want to make changes
We get frustrated with how long it takes to see progress and get distracted. During the times when everything inside you screams, "quit," something even deeper instead you should remind you why you're doing this.
Life is short and we only get one life to live. Before you know it, you'll come to the end of your life content or full of regret. It's a harder path, but once you reach your why, it will be worth the journey.
I hope you make it past the first few months of this year. I hope this is the year you make your dream a reality. It's not going to fall in place, and it will take longer than you want it to happen, but you're doing this for a reason.
What big goals are you chasing this year?
This article originally appeared on The Good Men Project.
Photo: Flickr/ Paxson Woelber