Written by Nyomi Graef
What stops us from making vital life changes? Ones that can boost our health, happiness and success. Common reasons include not setting any goals (or setting bad ones), fear, and having low standards. How can we power through these and other obstacles to make important life changes? Check out the ideas below, in part one of a series of blog posts on this topic.
If we accept low standards for ourselves and our lives, then why would we change? We won’t! Improving our health, eating habits, living standards, relationships, and so on, means increasing our standards. It’s like saying, “Enough is enough! I won’t settle for this quality anymore! I want better quality, so I will raise my standards, and I am prepared to do whatever is needed (within reason) to achieve it.”
Fear can immobilise us. It can stifle even the greatest achievers, and it’s one of our biggest goal killers.
What are some common fears? Failure, the unknown, going broke, pain, stress, and friends and family criticising or rejecting us, to name just some.
Let’s take fear of failure, as an example. Failure is a normal part of life. Not all plans and goals turn out as good as we hoped. Disappointing, yes, but it is often up to us whether we get completely crushed or not by failure. Get up and try again. Re-group/re-plan/re-organise...
Rise above failure to rise to the top. Most of the greatest achievers in the world failed at achieving at least one goal in their lives before they became very successful. In fact, many persisted through lots of failed attempts for years. Arnold Schwarzenegger has fantastic ideas about persisting through failure. Listen to his views about this topic on YouTube. He is a great example of rising above failure to become extremely successful.
Another common fear is “fear of the unknown”. This makes us stay in our “comfort zone” instead of making changes. The comfort zone might not even feel comfortable, but it is familiar. Lots of people stay with what is familiar to them rather than risk delving into the unknown (future), even though making changes could mean living a better life.
Life is full of risk. We all know that some risks are worth taking, and some aren’t. Make wise and constructive lifestyle changes − take that risk.
Be bold! Conquer fear to make the changes we must make to live the lives that we desire. Read books and articles about overcoming fear. See a specialist trained in treating your particular fear. Learn from people who have succeeded at conquering their fears to make the same life changes that you want to make. If we really want to change, then with the right resources, mindset and so on, we can.
Fitzhugh Dodson said the often quoted saying: “Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” So true.
We might have fun going nowhere in particular, but, then again, we might feel stressed or upset, but we still aren’t going anywhere with a clear purpose. What a waste!
In order to succeed, we must set goals. We must know what we want to achieve.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Robbins and many other motivational speakers promote the value of goal setting. Listen to these success gurus. Their YouTube videos/podcasts are a good start.
We might set goals, but are they appropriate? Goals that are unrealistic, irrelevant, too vague, too difficult, and so on, are a waste of time.
The SMART technique is a common way to set goals. Many people like it and use it for goal setting. SMART stands for:
Every goal needs at least one plan. Benjamin Franklin apparently said the well-known saying: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Wise. So plan to win. How? As a start, why not use relevant elements of SMART goal setting (above) to create your plans? Also, have good reasons for your plans, as well as the right skills, knowledge, support, strategies and resources.
To make changes it’s vital to:
Use the above ideas that connect with you to help you overcome some common barriers to change. Read my second blog post on this topic, coming soon.