How to Achieve your Goals
Keep at It
Q & A
They say that most people have given up their New Year’s resolution by mid-February. Has that happened to you? Well this is the year that you can change that. This is the year to do it.
It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. ~Albert Einstein
Most of us have goals for self improvement – like I want to lose weight, make more money, buy another home etc. These are promises to ourselves, but we’re only looking to the long term goal in a very general way. For example, if spending more time with the family is the goal, you can see yourself sitting around the fire playing board games with the wife and kids – but in reality you end up staying at home, but you’re doing work on the computer, the kids prefer playing video games and since you’re home, the wife’s taken the opportunity to go shopping. You’re intention was a good one and you even stayed home to prove it, so what happened?
The topic for the month of February is Achieving Your goals.
So why don't we get it the first time??
The biggest obstacle to getting to your goal is the excuses that you give to yourself. Eg. I’m too tired, I’m too busy, I’m not good enough. Whatever excuse you make, if you really want to do something, there are no excuses. You can always find a way to do what you want to do. So this year - no excuses.
Think of Oprah Winfrey here. Apparently when she was a television reporter she was fired because she was “unfit for TV”. What a great excuse to give up and stop trying!! Obviously she took this information as a challenge – just another obstacle to overcome.
We tend to look at the big picture, forgetting that there are many steps that have to be taken to get to your goal. To keep focus, write down your goal as well as the small steps you have to make to get there.. Unless you have a clear picture of how to get to the goal you will never get there. The small steps that lead to the goal keep you in focus.
Always be specific when you clarify your goal. Saying “I want to lose weight” or “I want to be rich.” are too general. The goal of “I want to lose 20 lbs” is specific. Then you must make this even clearer by breaking down that down into realistic steps. Eg. what diet plan, gym 3x per week, how many lbs per week, and be realistic about this and don’t forget to write this down. It’s important. Your notes becomes a constant reminder. Leave the paper in a place where you’re sure to see it.
This is the hard part. There will be plenty of distractions to get you off track. If it’s weight loss you’re after, there will be those parties, restaurants and entertaining. If you’ve been saving money conscientiously each week, an unexpected expense may throw you off. Acknowledge that these are only obstacles. It’s all part of life and not a personal failure. Just get back on the track to get to your goal..
Sometimes you ‘just don’t feel like it.’ This is another hurdle to overcome. The best way to get motivated is to go to that paper where you wrote your steps. Ask yourself what your life would be like when you reached that goal. Visualize it. Feel how happy you are. Wouldn’t it be worth staying with it? Of course it would. OK, now do it.
Keep at It
Others may laugh at your efforts, but ignore them. Perhaps they’re trying to prevent you from disappointment, or think they’re being helpful, but they’re not. Stay focused on your goal and keep at it. Apparently, Henry Ford went bankrupt 5 times before he made it big. Obviously, he didn’t care what anyone said – and I’m sure they talked plenty. Let no one and nothing deter you.
You may be your worst enemy. When you stop believing in yourself, you’ll give up. So, don’t be negative. Be optimistic that this time you’ll make it – Think Henry Ford here. After all those bankruptcies, he had to believe in himself because I’m sure no one else did. So keep at it – believe and persevere.
Yup, you probably guessed it. It stems from childhood. If you’ve suffered, physical, psychological, or sexual abuse you will hold negative beliefs about yourself. If your parents were strict or judgmental, it can also affect your opinion of yourself. But it can also come from your own evaluation of how you ‘should’ be. This is your thinking – you’re comparing yourself with others.
Perfectionists are always judging and comparing – and when they do, they’re the ones who somehow never come out on top. This is very defeating because no one can be perfect. Some of us are better at some things than others, but so what? We’re people, not machines – and people aren’t perfect
Having goals and focusing on realizing them is always a good thing, but we should have stepping-stones for getting to them. If you make too many demands or they are too far from reach, it’s frustrating. This is when we blame ourselves and use harsh criticism. To make changes, you must set realistic goals, acknowledge yourself for reaching a mini-goal and continue to move forward to the next level. Change doesn’t happen because we demand it. It’s a process.
When we criticize ourselves, we actually believe that others feel the same way. Not true. We don’t really know what other people think. But you will continue to carry that skewed perception of yourself.
Harsh criticism of yourself makes you feel worthless. And when you’re worthless, why try? There is no point making changes, because you’re doomed from the start. There’s a feeling of hopelessness – so you simply quit.
Low Self- Esteem
Harsh self-criticism creates a lot of negative energy. You may not want to do things with others, or feel you’re not worthy of being part of the group. What we say to ourselves matters.
Tips on self-improvement
1) Set standards that are within your reach
2) Beware of the negative things you say to yourself.
There are ways to
turn your thoughts around
3) Focus on what you do right – not wrong.
4) Encourage yourself for small improvements
5) Stop comparing yourself with anyone else.
6) Be grateful for what you have – not what you don’t have.
Q & A
My husband and I got married about 4 months ago. We are already having problems. All we do lately is argue. He argues with me about what ever I say and never really listens to me. He is very selfish which makes my life very hard because I also have an autistic child. Do you have any suggestions to make my life any easier and to make our marriage work?
It might be beneficial if you and your husband had a 'date night' once a week to go out for dinner, see a movie etc. See if you can make babysitting arrangements so you can spend some time alone.
This may be enough to take off some pressure, and give you a better quality of life.
Failing this, couple counseling
might be the answer. If you're more comfortable talking to a member of the clergy, pastoral counseling is an alternative to a marriage counselor.
Thanks for allowing me to share your question in the Zine.
More info for a healthy relationship
The best way to get to your goals is to prioritize and set mini -ones. That's the topic for February - Whether it's weight loss, an addiction - whatever the change - we'll be working towards the goal in next month's Zine.
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