It’s a well-known fact that gyms snag swarms of new members every January. Leveraging new year’s resolutions and the drive for weight-loss at the turn of the year, new members hit the treadmills…at least for a few weeks. The pipe dreams of dieting and shedding the pounds get deferred in the busyness of life. What starts off as three days a week in the gym drops to two…and one…and none.
There’s a trend I’ve found in human nature…we give up when we get behind.
Maybe it’s perfectionism or discouragement or unrealistic expectations. The old two steps forward, one step backward gets in our heads. We get so discouraged by the one step of regression that we fail to realize in the end we are still one step further ahead than when we started. I notice this in myself. My goal is to work out three times a week, and if I miss a day, I’m more likely to not go at all than to go once or twice.
I think this is why most of us have a love-hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. We like to dream about forward progress but when we fail to reach our resolutions, we are less motivated to make them the following year.
Should we stop dreaming, making goals, or reaching resolutions? No, we just need to change our strategy to make our goals reality.
Big dreams don’t become reality without small action steps.
Instead of expecting ourselves to accomplish Big Hairy Audacious Goals from the starting line, we’ve got to begin with small, incremental steps. For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds, make it your goal to lose one pound a week. It may take you an entire year to reach your goal but you won’t just be 50 pounds lighter at the end of it, you will form a whole new lifestyle in the process. Consistency, hard work, healthy food choices, and working out add up over time. You may even accomplish your goal without realizing it because you are so focused on small steps of progress that you don’t realize the momentum they create.
What if this year we dreamed big dreams and strived for huge goals, but we did so realistically? What would it look like to smash our goals like a boss? Here are three ways:
Good intentions just lead to frustration, but working a plan creates momentum. If I don’t choose when I’m going to work out, it’s not going to happen. I have to choose a realistic time, put it on my calendar, and make it non-negotiable. How about you? What will it take to plan small realistic action steps to reach your goals?
To persevere means to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success. What if we could have this kind of tenacity when it comes to our goals? No matter what, we believe in them so strongly, so deeply, so decisively that we will stop at nothing to achieve them. Reminds me of Walt Disney who was turned down 302 times before he got financing for creating Disneyland. Even after 300 rejections, Walt didn’t give up and his perseverance paid off…in 2016, Disney parks and resorts generated an astounding 17 billion dollars!
One of my favorite movies is Cinderella Man, the moving true story of the underdog boxer, Jimmy Braddock, who fought through the Great Depression to provide for his family. A key character in the movie is Jimmy’s cornerman, Joe Gould, who believes Jimmy can become a championship boxer.
My favorite scene in the movie is when Jimmy is down in a fight and during a break, Joe gets right in his face and yells, “You’ve got to beat this guy from the inside out, from the inside out!” (Watch this scene) Although the boxer is beyond exhaustion, Joe stirs a passion deep within Braddock and he remembers what he’s fighting for…his wife and kids. Gathering the last reserves in his tank, Jimmy throws his fists with all his might and beats his opponent.
I don’t think Jimmy would have won this fight without his cornerman. Joe saw something in him that he didn’t see in himself, and he called it out.
A cornerman propels us into our potential.
Do you have a cornerman? If not, it’s time to get one. As a life coach, it’s my passion to be the cornerman. If you need one, get in touch with me. I can remind you what you’re fighting for.