Resolutions mean results. Sometimes the expected results are not necessarily achieved. Are we being too hard on ourselves? With a little hindsight and clarity, we can see that we have often accomplished much more than we imagine.
Are you a New Year's resolution skeptic? Perhaps you have tried several times, but lost your motivation along the way? Do you find it difficult to stay the course and reach the finish line? It is indeed a challenge. So many factors can hinder our good will and, in the long run, cause our best intentions to fail! We got for it, determined and with our minds riveted on the goal. But when you don't succeed, or not entirely, in reaching your goal, despondency and the feeling of having missed your shot can easily take over. And even if we manage to hit the goal, there is always the risk of slackening off and then falling back down.
However, all is not lost. It is possible to approach the scenario from a different angle and make the experience constructive. Think about it: wouldn't the important thing in the end be to focus on progress rather than on the expected result? The answer is yes, and here's why.
1. MAKING PROGRESS IS ALREADY AN ACCOMPLISHMENT
If you had made resolutions at the beginning of the year, now it's time to take stock. Congratulations if you managed to end the year with the satisfaction of having achieved your goal. If not, don't be disappointed. Don't think you failed and don't be too hard on yourself. Tell yourself that you still made progress along the way. Don't neglect the work you've done. Your efforts deserve to be recognized.
You may have slowed down or backed up, but that shouldn't stop you. On the contrary, enjoy the road you've traveled and continue the journey, concentrating on your progress. It should become your source of satisfaction, much more than the achievement of the goal. If you focus your energy on your development, you have a better chance of reaching your goal than if you focus on the goal and forget to work on your growth process.
2. THE OBJECTIVE ONLY GUIDES THE EFFORTS
When we make resolutions, whether to start the year off on the right foot or for any other occasion, we are driven by a desire for change. It is this aspiration that drives us. The desire then becomes a real will to live a transformation. We visualize our objectives, then we take concrete actions (we set up a system) in order to promote a change that we hope will be lasting. The target to reach is what stimulates and motivates at the beginning. But afterwards, it is with discipline, regularity and perseverance that we gradually acquire one or more new habits.
Don't see your goal as an end, but as a direction. Your goal only guides you, it is the process you follow that moves you forward, transforms you and makes you live your aspirations on an ongoing basis. If your attention is focused on building a system that works and implementing it, chances are that you will eventually achieve your goal.
3. BUILDING A SYSTEM TO SUCCEED DESERVES A REWARD
If you put aside procrastination and invest time and energy in putting in place measures to help you gradually acquire new habits, you increase your chances of success. Creating a system consists of the following basic steps:
make small continuous improvements
Aim for small goals to reduce pressure
start small then gradually increase
create a routine
Accept that life, with all its obligations, unexpected and uncontrollable events, its challenges, can get in the way and change what we envisioned.
Efforts to create a supportive operating environment should not be overlooked when assessing performance. It is an accomplishment in itself. Be grateful to yourself, you have not worked in vain.
4. FOCUSING ON PROGRESS BRINGS SATISFACTION
Achieving a goal obviously brings joy and satisfaction, but this state of happiness can be ephemeral because of the potential risk of relapse. On the other hand, progress, and the small victories that accompany it, are not only gratifying but also motivating. They sustain the momentum with which you begin the process of transformation.
As we move forward, new habits are acquired and these habits eventually become part of the individual's lifestyle or way of functioning. Once the habits become entrenched in ourselves, they become automatisms. We don't think about them anymore. They are integrated for a long period of time, which can last a lifetime. At this stage, we no longer continually chase a goal, we simply live it out of habit. The satisfaction that we derive from progress is lived in the long term.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
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(Ma qualité de vie means My quality of life in French.)
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