If you are like most people, there's a chance that you either set a new goal for yourself or are still considering putting one in place. It is not uncommon that your resolution may focus around your health or career. However, by end of March, many individuals fall short of reaching their goals and simply give up altogether. Here are five things to consider when evaluating your goals:
1. You lack passion when it comes to your goal, and this idea wasn't really your own. This doesn't mean that you need to create an innovative idea. However, if you don't support it 150 percent, then chances are you will not be committed to the discipline that is required to follow through on it. For example, if you joined a gym because your spouse did and you are just giving "lip service" to working out in the morning, then there's a strong likelihood that instead of walking on the treadmill you are pushing the snooze button on your alarm clock. Instead, carefully analyze your desire to implement a lifestyle change and then be honest about your reasons for doing it.
2. You didn't follow your gut. This is somewhat related to reason number one, yet slightly different. This means that somewhere along the process of either setting your goal or in working towards it, something occurred which nudged you to reconsider what you were doing. Instead of following this "gut" feeling or even looking at it deeper, you ignored it. Looking back, you realize that your intuition was correct and had you followed it, your outcome may differ. The road you took to meet your goal may have been more difficult because you didn't follow your gut. Sometimes the decisions we make mid-course are often the most critical. Following our intuition is generally something that comes from within, and often difficult to explain to others.
3. You didn't practice self-compassion. Very rarely do we achieve our goals exactly as we planned. Often unforeseen things occur which aren't factored into our original equation. It is important to be gentle with ourselves when this occurs. Beating yourself up rarely helps you accomplish anything, and sending yourself on a guilt trip is even worse. Learning from our missteps is just as valuable as reaching the goal itself. Part of self-compassion can involve asking for help. There is no weakness in checking in with others who have traveled the same or similar path and asking for their guidance. Their insight may offer significant light for you, and sometimes minor adjustments help you achieve the same outcome.
4. Your only goal is to earn money. There is no denying that we live in a society in which having currency is an important part of daily living, but it is not the only critical exchange. Relationships first and things second is the most rewarding way to conduct business. Last year while I was in Nairobi, I visited a woman who lived on less than a dollar a day and had no running water in her one room home. She was by far more content than some of the wealthiest individuals I've had the opportunity to get to know. This is not an endorsement for economic poverty, but this woman knew that people over things mattered. When you live your life completely focused on what you can gain from others, you are experiencing an emotional poverty. The loneliness is intense and isolating, something most fail to consider.
5. You think success should be instant. Our lifestyle today is focused on instant gratification. With various technology devices and social media updates, we think that positive results should just appear. Doing things right often requires a great amount of effort and yes, work. This isn't something that you can subcontract. You actually have to complete the work yourself. For example, long distance runners know that you can't wake up, and run a marathon without putting in the work first. This means that you are running in uncomfortable conditions, pain, and this requires discipline.
It is never too late to set a new goal for yourself and adjust those you previously set. Be honest with yourself when examining the reason for setting your resolution. Your passion for it is not something that can be purchased, so be clear in your intent.
Kristin A. Meekhof has an upcoming book, for widows of all ages, which is due to be released in November. You can follow her at https://www.facebook.com/KristinMeekhof.