Most likely you've re-made the same fitness and health goals, a number of times. Does every year of new Year Resolutions look the same? Are the same desires and hopes popping up in your fresh exercise books where you tell yourself that this time it will be different?
Well you're not alone. I have a number of goals and hopes and plans which I've fallen back on my bum and mentally beat myself up about again and again with thoughts such as 'typical me, here I am again' and 'can I ever actually do this, why do I even bother!?'
I'm now at a point where I'm learning to go easier on myself. Going easier on myself, is funnily enough the solution to meeting my goals after all. Here are my tips to finally meeting your goals, including health and fitness goals, even if you've not sustained the attempt previously;
1) Take it easier and slow the pace
I've often seen myself as an 'all or nothing' kind of person. If I'm going to do something it needs to be done in a big showy way, no messing around, no grey areas. But.. this doesn't get big results, in fact this gets zero results. In a personal example, I've wanted to get back into my regular Yoga practice, so I created a schedule putting 30 minutes of Yoga in each morning. Every day, this feels symmetrical and I can be that kind of person who says 'I practice yoga every day'. The fact is I won't practice every day. Now, I instead schedule in a practice for twice a week. This works for me as It is no longer a chore, and I've therefore maintained this practice for the longest streak yet and I'm seeing great results. Sometimes less is more.
2) Let others do the hard work for you
Im Vegan, if you didn't know (of course you know). I'm really keen to get plenty of fresh veg into my diet every day, but sometimes the fridge isn't topped up and whatever is in there is really uninspiring. To keep to this goal I have veg delivered to me via a veg box delivery service each week. This is automated and the money comes out of my bank each week and the box lands on my doorstep each week. I hate waste and so I will definitely eat the veg, and I ensure that I get the big box! What can you systemise to ensure that the hard work is done for you? I have a couple of clients who get a delivery which comes with a step by step cooking method and all the recipe ingredients neatly packed, making cooking easier and less time consuming. These meals are pretty healthy and are a fair price. Actions like these help prevent you from reaching for the Vegan cheese and crackers and instead eat a more balanced meal. Like the veg box I order and the recipe boxes my clients order, the variety delivered keeps it fresh and interesting. The hard work can be done for you in any part of your life, in the areas that need a little extra support.
3) Accept You Will Never Have Perfection
If we steer away from our goals a little, it's OK. Draw a line under it and move on. No harm done. Come back to it as soon as you're ready too. Change your perspective to see these mini gaps from your goal as a healthy break to get some perspective. Likelihood is you'll see how useful the action is in your life and you'll be glad to come back. Same as if you're feeling unwell or your mental health is suffering or if your energy is going through a low patch - give yourself permission to put your goal routine on the back burner, for a while, til you get any support you need or feel ready again after a period out.
4) Maybe You Don't Care That Much For Your Goal After-all
If you have no interest in coming back to your goal again then consider adapting your goal, or binning your goal altogether. This January 2022 I invested in a water-paints set. I painted two lovely paintings, I surprised myself at how good my paintings were - though my brother saw my painting at my parents house and asked which one of my 6 nieces painted it.. anyway to cut a long story short, I'm over painting. It was fun whilst it lasted but no, I'm not sure if I'll ever paint again. the easel and paint set will find themselves in a charity shop very soon. The truth is, I didn't care for painting that much, I was simply curious, and I enjoyed it, but that was as far as it went.
Life is to be enjoyed and healthy goals help us to enjoy life. If a goal is causing us too much stress them it may be worth re-looking at how we are chasing this goal and bringing in some support systems. It may be the case that we are having difficulty sustaining the goal, because it was never really particularly meaningful and important to us in the first place.