by Maria Kwiatkowska
Isn’t there something special about the energy of each new year? In these first weeks, it seems like every person is making new year’s resolutions, setting ambitious goals, and introducing healthy habits in their daily routines as if between December 30th and January 1st, their life took a 180° turn. It is understandable. A new year is an excellent opportunity to start over or shake things up a bit. It feels like a breath of fresh air, a new beginning, and a good moment to leave bad habits in the past. Sometimes all we need to get us started is a clean slate. However, that’s not enough to keep us going. Sooner or later, most people give up on their resolutions come February 1st. Then, once the new year arrives, everybody repeats this cycle again, trying to achieve a different result which, if I remember correctly, is the definition of insanity.
Have you ever wondered…
Why do you tend to quit since you crave change? (I mean, don’t we all…)
What are the most common roadblocks to success?
How to overcome them?
Read on to find answers to these questions and tangible tools to use to achieve your goals.
Maintaining new routines, sticking with your goals, facing hardships, and rising to the challenge is not easy in the slightest bit. Most of the time, it’s an uphill battle. Actually, let me be more precise here: most of the time, it’s the uphill battle of our own making. It is us who create these overly complicated conditions and unconsciously self-sabotage our dreams.
What kind of mistakes do you keep on making?
How to recognize them?
For starters, let’s discuss the 3 most common roadblocks to success:
One of the most fundamental skills anyone could benefit from is the art of setting realistic goals. Trust me on this one. We all dream. We all have hopes and desires regarding our futures. But help me understand this: if we’re so eager to achieve so many things, why aren’t we equally eager to look at our plans with a grain of salt?
We want to eat healthier, work out systematically, read a specific amount of books, learn a new language, pick up a hobby, and so on. Still, we don’t even take the time to write down these goals, not to mention breaking them down, scheduling them, and following through with the plan. Honestly, leaving so much to luck leaves us failing. Without a solid system on which we can build our new life, we lose enthusiasm, motivation, and with it, our willingness to keep pushing forward. And then, we give up before we give our dream a decent chance at becoming a reality.
Aside from not planning it out, the core of this issue is not getting your priorities straight. And yes, that would help. The culture we live in glorifies productivity, selling us an illusion that we can do 5 things simultaneously without breaking a sweat, when in fact, multitasking doesn’t work. At all. Splitting your attention between resolutions and goals means not dedicating yourself to any of those endeavors in 100%.
Worst case scenario: we fail hard, feel exhausted and disappointed.
Best case scenario? We end up with very mediocre results, which will only further discourage us in the long term. Jumping hot-headed into action and grasping at straws, struggling to keep up with all these new responsibilities on top of already existing tasks doesn’t seem so worth it now, is it?
Among the most common roadblocks to success, there’s perfectionism that not only works to our disadvantage, but also can be straight up harmful. While it might seem like wanting to be perfect can only help us achieve our goals, it’s actually such a villain in disguise.
People who struggle with perfectionism are highly critical and judgmental in regards to themselves. They tend to struggle with low self-esteem and overwhelming shame of their imperfections. It’s an “either-or” kind of world they live in. Either you do something perfectly, or you don’t do it at all. Setting up the bar so unrealistically high can only lead to failure or the constant feeling of not being good enough.
Here’s the hard pill to swallow: life is not perfect.
It never was and never will be.
Neither will you.
And that’s totally okay.
As long as you cannot accept and embrace that reality with a dose of self-compassion, you will be trapped in the “should’s and must’s” of your mind. Perfectionism has the ability to effectively stop us from trying new things, taking risks, being authentic and vulnerable. It also paralyzes us in terms of productivity, making space for anxiety and procrastination to creep in and hold us in its tight grip.
Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best.
Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame.
It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.– Brene Brown
Finally, the not-so-obvious roadblock to success is actually a matter of words and attitude we exude when setting up our goals.
Can you tell me the difference between resolutions and intentions?
Resolutions are often a reflection of social expectations, external pressures, and unrealistic standards. They’re filled with “I should pick up this sport” or “I must go on a diet”. They sound and feel like a chore. At the end of the day, most of our new year’s resolutions are not authentic to who we are or what we believe in.
On the other hand, there are intentions. Now, that’s what comes from us internally. We tend to think of qualities we want to embody, people we want to surround ourselves with, the energy we’d like to attract. Intentions push us away from being result-oriented and pull us towards appreciating the process and the journey itself. They take off the pressure and make space for contentment. Suddenly, we don’t have to achieve XYZ, but we want to – we strive to grow as human beings.
Now that the usual traps we fall into are laid out for everyone to see let’s get to the part where we discuss how to avoid or overcome such traps.
Carve out some peaceful, uninterrupted time to sit down, clear your mind and reflect on your dreams. Take a moment to remember who you are at your core. Think about your mission, core values, and goals in life.
Why do you want to achieve these new goals?
What is it about your desires that makes them worthwhile for you?
Are you trying to fulfill someone else’s expectations of you, or is it truly your idea?
When you’re ready, brainstorm all your different ideas of endeavors you’d like to embark on. Note them all down.
Do not pay any attention to the inner critic. Just let your imagination go wild.
Once you’re done, go through your list and cross off all the ideas that are:
It’s time to get real here: If you’re a single mom or a student who works 2 jobs, the resource that is limited you the most is probably time & energy. Remember not to stretch yourself too thin. Know your limits and respect them instead of pushing yourself too hard.
Go through the list again. Take time to re-evaluate the positions that you decided to leave. Then, put them in order from the most to the least important one to you currently. Once again, be realistic. It will only do you good.
Take a look at the number 1 priority from your list and break it down into action steps! Setting action steps propels you toward working on achieving your goal every single day. Here’s a whole blog post on how to set action steps and achieve your goals.
With the awareness of most common roadblocks to success and these simple tricks, you can do it all. Throughout the whole year, we share such tips and systems for achieving your dreams in our FB community group, so be sure to join us there for the additional motivation boost!
Sure, the setting up process takes a bit of time and effort, but in the long run, having a system to rely on helps you achieve your goals and work towards them like a well-oiled machine.
I invite you all to set an intention to embody total main character energy in 2022. Make your dreams happen!
Design your reality and play an active part in achieving it!
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