With the year 2020 finally over we have had plenty of time to reflect, thanks to lockdowns.  Hopefully, many of you have been a little productive with fitness or education or reading new things.  If you have not, you may find yourself in the trap of New Year’s Resolutions.

Data signals that 80 percent of people fail to finish, let alone start their news years resolutions.  It can be from primarily setting unrealistic goals for the new year.  Some plans are useful in all intentions and may start OK, but the early motivation soon wears off, and most lack the discipline to do what it takes to accomplish their goals.

We have all read and heard someone when it comes to physical abilities.  We have all had the bouts with the “I can do that” and then tried and often failed.  I am no physical specimen and tried a chance to get out and play full-contact football again when I was over the age of 40.  Out of shape and not used to the movements, I quickly started coming up with injuries that I had never had before and realized my body did not react the way I remembered.  Why was that?

When we get older, our bodies change with the ages.  Depending on what you have done previously, this can have damaging effects on knees, backs, and muscles.  So even though I dreamed of being a start on this new football team, my dreams were quickly dashed, and reality had set in.  If I had set realistic goals for my performance and took stock in my current physical abilities, I should have started that differently.

Things we can do to change this, not set ourselves up for failure, make smaller realistic goals that build on each other.  If your goal is to run a marathon this coming year, you wouldn’t just sign up for the first one without getting off the couch first. 

Setting small, realistic goals will help build the discipline to continue with the new habit rather than jumping into the deep end on the first try.  Whatever your goal is, look at it realistically and conduct some research first.  Using the marathon analogy, you would first want to start taking walks and then work your way up to jogging.  It is OK to take it easy at first; do not lose sight of your goals.  Taking the steps first to enjoy long walks, then jogging, then running short distances will continue to fuel your determination to work toward the bigger goal of running a marathon.

If I had taken stock in my current physical state when trying to play full-contact football at an older age and slowly started working my body back up to the practices again, I might have had more success in my goal.  Taking stock in my body assessment overall, I have decided to start small.  I have readjusted my goals and set more attainable goals.

Life has a way of changing, and our goals and approaches to them must change as well.  Otherwise, we will always set ourselves up for failure.

Let me know in the comments ways you plan to change this trend for this coming year!

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9 Responses

  1. Great article! You’re right that small goals help you build the discipline that is necessary to accomplish bigger and more difficult goals. Thanks for sharing!

    • Miranda, Thank you for the comment as we strive to answer each one, to build a habit the snowball effect works great with starting with smaller goals and habits to affect bigger changes down the line. Thank you!

    • Krista, I could not agree more. I think that I’d why people inadvertently fail. Trying to start a habit based on a day does not set them up for success! Thank you for the feedback. Good luck to you if you have set new goals for yourself!

  2. “If your goal is to run a marathon this coming year, you wouldn’t just sign up for the first one without getting off the couch first. “ Best analogy I have read hahaha. You hit the nail in the head. This is something that I am trying to work ok. I tend to rush towards my goals but I have noticed that when I start slowly and build endurance, I get in the habit of working and thus reach my goals more efficiently.

    • There are few out there that could do that, but for the rest of us the way you describe is the best. The ultimate thing to think about is what I’d your true end goal? Is it to say you ran a marathon once? Or to live a healthier lifestyle. They both have different dedications levels with very different outcomes. This is the choice everyone must make for themselves. There is no magic pill or quick trip to reach your goal whatever it is, but a continuous journey of steps laying out the path we traveled behind us. The question is do you know where you are headed?

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