Weird title, I know, but we really do sabotage ourselves by repeatedly engaging in self-defeating behaviours.
As I’m writing this, I’m eating my second piece of fudge in ten minutes, whilst beating myself up
about the fact that last winter’s pants feel a little too snug this winter!
I’m pretty sure none of you ever have this problem!
Fact is that we start out with wonderful goals
, all geared towards self-improvement, then crash and burn spectacularly when we don’t achieve these lofty ideals.
I’ve come to appreciate that this pattern of failure is the result of a number of factors
• The goals are too large and undefined.
We need to be specific.
• We often set these goals when we are at breaking point.
For example, on January the 1st after gorging on Christmas delicacies for the preceding few weeks! As a result, they’re usually poorly thought out and doomed to failure.
• The goals themselves sound good, but aren’t actually emotionally appealing
• We don’t understand how specific we need to be
when it comes to planning – pacing ourselves is essential if we’re going stay the distance. Remember, we need to eat the elephant one bite a time.
• They aren’t achievable
– something along the lines of, ‘I’m going to break the life-long habit of being a couch potato and be fit enough to run the Comrades in 6 months’, is quite obviously ludicrous.
• We don’t work out how we’re going to monitor our progress.
Lack of monitoring means we don’t realise when we’re falling behind.
• Measuring our progress is intrinsic to keeping ourselves on the time line we’ve created.
This is the only way we can assess if the goal is actually achievable or if we need to re-visit our original plan.
• We don’t know the difference between short, medium and long term goals
• We don’t build any short term rewards.
These are integral to maintaining our motivation.
• We set goals just because everyone else is doing it
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and Management courses address how to plan for and achieve both personal and professional goals
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