Many people really want to improve an aspect of their health, like losing weight, clearing up their skin, reducing troublesome digestive symptoms or sorting out their hormonal issues. And, while they might have some of the knowledge of what to do and their best intentions, they don’t consistently do what they know they should do.
In this blog, I uncover the main reasons why it is that we know exactly what to do but are just not doing it – and, of course, the fixes you can use to get the health (or life) transformations that you want with more flow, ease and consistency.
#1 It was not your idea
Unless you decide that deep down you really want to change an aspect of your health, it’ll be tough to get yourself motivated and sustain momentum.
The fix: Finding YOUR OWN reason that inspires you should be the first step towards your goal. Sit down with a pen and paper and list all the advantages you can think of if you address that specific health concern. Use this list as a reminder to motivate you.
#2 Your goal is unrealistic or too big
Having aspirations is a wonderful thing and we should all strive to better ourselves in one way or another. However, we need to keep our feet on the ground. Overstretching yourself can be the exact opposite of empowering and instead may make you feel like giving up.
The fix: Break your main goal down into ‘baby steps’. Then turn each intermediary step into SMARTER goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound, Exciting, Rewarded). Read more about SMARTER goals here.
#3 You give up too soon
Giving up too soon is one of the most common reasons you might not achieve the goals you have set yourself. Change does not happen overnight. Some things, even the easiest ones, take time and/or practice. Sadly, many of us lose sight of the ultimate goal at the slightest resistance or when success does not materialise at the expected time.
The fix: There are very few people who just decide that they want to do something and then go off and do it. Most of us need some sort of accountability to keep us going, especially if achieving the goal may take some time, and long-term commitment is required. You may want to make a public announcement (e.g. post on social media), tell a friend or find a buddy but a great way to create accountability for yourself is by working with a coach. Your coach will support you week by week and gently hold you accountable for actions so that you achieve what you want and more.
#4 You can’t take setbacks
This reason is related to #3 because it is often due to setbacks that people give up prematurely. If that sounds like you, consider that hardly any goal worth reaching is achieved without any setbacks. Sometimes, we are blinded by the success of others. Remember, you only see the status quo. But how this person got there – the learning curve and the setbacks she reached on the way to success, the effort and persistence that finally led to the desired health outcome –is something you usually know nothing about. If you admire someone else, be aware that they had setbacks, too, but they kept going.
The fix: If you’re only keeping your eyes on the prize, it can blind you to the smaller wins along the way. And yes, there may be setbacks on the way to your goal but sometimes stop to look back and appreciate what you have already achieved. Whatever you do, track your progress as it is often easier to focus on the negatives rather than acknowledge the positives. When you look back at how far you have come, you will get motivated to keep carrying on.
#5 You don’t have the time
We all have the same 24 hours. And whilst you may genuinely not have the time, it would be more appropriate to say, for whatever reason, that changing an aspect of your health that bothers you is not your priority at this moment in time. Time is a funny thing. Although it is indisputable that there are 60 minutes in an hour and that a day consists of 24 hours, how come 20 minutes on the treadmill feel considerably longer than 20 minutes on Netflix? Every goal requires time and commitment.
The fix: We don’t have time, we create time! If you struggle to find the time to realise your goal, ask yourself whether you really want it. Is the answer yes? Then how about tracking your time for just a week or so to find out where it goes? A simple notebook will do, but there are also (free) apps for that, of course. Time tracking can help you identify where you may be wasting time, find areas where you may be able to delegate, highlight areas you devote time to that are not that important, or just show you that you magically find the time to spend 2 hours a day on social media or in front of the telly. No judgement. We all do it!
#6 You lack discipline
There are some goals you feel passionate about. You tackle those with great enthusiasm and drive, so you are literally carried across the finish line. But such goals are the exception rather than the rule. If passion and enthusiasm are missing, a good deal of self-discipline may be required, which you might consider you lack.
The fix: You need to positively reinforce the tremendous changes you are making to encourage yourself to maintain them long term. That means you’ll want to create appropriate ways of making yourself feel better or to celebrate progress. Spend some time identifying some activities that you can build into your daily life that you enjoy and can use as your reward, a de-stressor, a way of taking a break, or just to have 5 minutes of indulgence or peace!
#7 You don’t have a plan
Any goal is reached by taking one step at a time. Even though this may sound obvious, some people find a structured approach hard. A planned approach proves more difficult, the more individual steps are needed to reach the goal. If you lose track of the next necessary steps or measures, your goal is likely to slip from your grasp.
The fix: ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’ (Benjamin Franklin). There is unfortunately no way around it, you need to make a plan. Grab another sheet of paper and draw a table of four columns with the headings Goal (make it SMARTER and include intermediate steps) – Deadline (by when do you want to achieve the goal(s), be realistic!) – How (what needs to happens to achieve the goal(s) – What if… (imagine what could go wrong and what you’ll do then so that you don’t get caught out).
#8 You are doing it alone
Every goal is easier to achieve with support. Perhaps you see it as a form of motivation if you insist on going it alone. Wouldn’t it be great to prove to others or yourself that you can do it? It certainly would, but why struggle? Why not make your life easier by getting support?
The fix: Let’s work together to tackle all aspects of what I’ve been talking about above. I’ll bring the knowledge of what to eat for your goals and support you to create healthy habits that last. I’ll also be your cheerleader if you experience any barriers or setbacks that look like they might stand in the way of you achieving your goals. Book your free health call with me now to get started, move confidently one step closer to your health goal(s) and make this year even better than the last one.