February has come and gone, and it’s often around this time of the year that I start to realise I’m failing at many of the resolutions I set myself in January. I try to set a bunch of goals that will take me out of my comfort zone each year.
- I will go to the gym four times a week
- I will eat healthier
- I will attend church weekly
- I want to get a promotion
- I’ll spend more time with my family
And the list goes on…
Goals and discipline
Whatever your goals for 2017, they’ll probably require some discipline. Change isn’t comfortable, and usually if we’re going to achieve different results, we need to change some of our behaviours to get there.
Recently I embarked on a healthy eating programme called ‘The Whole 30.’ It’s a healthy eating plan for 30 days that involves cutting out all processed foods, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and even seemingly ‘healthy’ foods like brown rice, and quinoa. The idea is to give your body a complete reboot, and then slowly reintroduce foods, to see how they affect your health.
I’m generally a pretty healthy person, and I like the idea of anything related to food and nutrition, so when my sister told me that she and my mum were starting the program, I jumped on board without a second thought. The only catch—they were starting the program in two days!
With little time to prepare, and no recipe or instruction book to follow—I scrambled to buy as many fruit and vegetables as I could find, and started the program with gusto!
But, a few days into the programme, colleagues at work would ask, ‘so why are you eating plain chicken and potato?’ and I would tell them that I was doing a 30 day program because my sister and mum had convinced me to do it.
They’d give me funny looks to suggest that it wasn’t a very strong reason to put myself through such a drastic health kick, and a few days into the program I started asking myself why exactly I was doing it!
By day 11, I was fatigued, and struggling to find a reason to continue the program. I don’t have any allergies, health conditions, I’m not overweight, so why was I trying to endure such strict eating for 30 days?
I needed to read the book, but without a proper understanding of the research and concept behind the program, I couldn’t stick to it long enough to follow through.
This got me thinking about life, and the number of times I’ve given up on something because I didn’t really know why I was doing it.
I think that if we are to really achieve change, or growth in our lives, we need to really know the motive for doing it. That way when the going gets tough (which it inevitably will!) we can remind ourselves WHY, and press on.
My encouragement to you today is that if you are trying to carve out a new habit, before rushing into it—spend some time and thought considering your motivations, and how you will feel if you achieve what you set out to do. I think this can make the world of difference to our ability to follow through on our goals.
Teagan spends her 9 to 5 as a Social Media Producer in Sydney. After 5, she can be found running, drinking coffee, shopping, on the beach, or cooking up a storm. She studied Psychology at University, and plans to ‘one day’ complete her Masters and work as a shrink, but in the meantime, she is navigating her way through this thing called life and trying to stop and smell the roses along the way.
Teagan Russell’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/teagan-russell.html