Have you ever set a goal for yourself that turned into a burden?
Something that made you sad, grumpy, or even embarrassed about, because things weren’t going as well as you had planned?
If you have, I encourage you to reframe your mindset, restate your goal and girl – give yourself some GRACE.
Reframe your mindset
We can all choose our own reactions to things. I’m a big believer in that. Especially things that we have some control over, like a personal goal. So if you have ever began a huge goal and then life got in the way, pick yourself up and dust off.
There is something to be learned in trying and not succeeding. Look for the lesson. Be thankful for what it taught you. Look around you. Reflect on at all that you have and with what you have been blessed.
Ask yourself, “Is this goal still something I want?” Not because people think you should do it, or you feel like you should do it. Does it light you up when you think about it or get you somewhere you want to be? Does it work on an area that is (1) important to you and (2) in an area where improvement or advancement is needed?
If so, proceed. If not, then it’s okay to let it go. Truly.
Restate your goal
Once you’ve determined that your goal is important, needed and makes you happy, restate it. First, make sure you’re not trying to change too much at once. Small changes made over time are better than drastic ones.
Second, restate it in a way that doesn’t set you up for failure. For example, if I say “I’m going to eat a wholesome breakfast everyday this month.” That’s a small enough change, but everyday? What happens if I miss it on Day 9 ? … Well, then I’ve already missed my mark. Ugh. Well, it was a good attempt. I’ll pat myself on the back, say “I tried” and will give it another go next month.
Have you been there?
Now, what if I had said instead, “I’m going to eat a wholesome breakfast 25 times this month.” What happens on Day 9 if I miss it? … Well, nothing really. My goal is still doable. I’m still on track. I just have to make sure to keep going. And I will! Self high five!
If keeping track of days isn’t your thing, find a small reward to give yourself that works for you. For example, if you’re a visual person print out a blank picture or a grid (or pick up one of those adult coloring books that have become popular) and keep it somewhere in your kitchen, on display. Each day you stay on track with your goal, color in a shape or square. Not only will this be a daily visual reminder, at the end of the month you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful picture or a fully colored grid.
Alternatively, if you’re the type who gets satisfaction by crossing something off a list, create a sheet with 25 objects and cross one off each time you have a success.
Bonus Tip: Accountability can do amazing stuff. If you’re the type of person who is motivated by accountability, find a partner to check-in with daily or weekly. That is gold. Support each other wherever you’re at. Encourage each other. You don’t have to be close geographically. A quick text or message will do.
Give yourself some grace
Restating our goals as described above provides us room for grace in our lives. Grace to miss a day when our bodies need rest. Grace to take care of a sick child instead of working out. Grace to enjoy a Sunday breakfast out with family instead of just a protein shake that day.
See, setting up your goals to allow for grace means setting yourself up for success.
These are things that might have derailed us before and caused us to say “I’ll just never be a person who is consistent with [fill in the blank].” or “My life is just too [crazy/busy/spontaneous] to stick to something.”
Or even worse “I can’t.”
Yes, you can.
Do you have a goal that you need to restate? What type of tracking system would motivate you the most?