How many of you can relate to this scenario:
You are pumped for a new year, ready to tackle all of your resolutions and make gains toward the things you want to do or the person you want to become. You’re certain this is the year you’ll get fit, or start that business, or ask for that promotion, or spend more time with your kids.
And yet, with all this energy, focus, and excitement at the beginning of the new year, you realize it’s JUNE, and, like so many of us, you’ve let your resolutions fall by the wayside. If you’re looking to jump back in on any of your goals for 2017, then you might consider this question:
Are you planning to fail?
It sounds so pessimistic to my optimistic self, but it’s actually quite realistic.
We can’t do everything perfectly all the time.
Think back to some great things you’ve achieved in your life. On the journey to achieving these things, how often did you stumble, fall off track, or fail? Probably at least a few times! We do ourselves a disservice if we think we’re going to perfectly achieve every target we set for ourselves. And let me tell you something:
It’s okay to stumble, fall, and flail our way toward our goals. Think of a little baby trying to walk for the first time. It’s never pretty, it’s sometimes comical, and they always fall down. But, every time they fall, they learn a little bit more about balance, they gain a little more strength, and they get a little more grit to keep trying.
It’s the same for us as we try to achieve our goals and resolutions.
Failing is okay.
Failing is okay but quitting because we fail is not.
If we understand it’s likely we’ll experience setbacks on our way to achieving new things, we’ve mastered the first step in keeping our goals and resolutions. The second step is to know what to do when we experience setbacks. This is where we use the concept “planning to fail” discussed by author, Gretchen Rubin, in her book “Better than Before”. Picture the goals you’re hoping to achieve this year. Now, think about some of the barriers or setbacks you may experience during your pursuit of these goals.
What setbacks may come up that are in your control? These may include:
- Lacking motivation (not feeling like it)
- Old habits (“But I always eat dessert”)
- Losing focus or forgetting about the new goals we set
- Forgetting why we want to achieve something
- Not enough time
Now, what setbacks may come up that are outside of your control? You may experience:
- Lacking encouragement for your new goals/resolutions
- Living/working in environments that do not support your goals
- Unforeseen circumstances (sickness, loss of job/money/resources, etc.)
As you begin to process these potential setbacks, you can start to plan ways to overcome them. For instance, “If my car must be in the shop overnight, I can catch a ride to the gym with my neighbor in the morning.”
Having a plan before a setback happens, in other words, planning to fail, gives us a chance to recognize that setbacks are a normal part of the growth process and don’t have to derail us from achieving our goals. In fact, they can serve as a stimulus to foster creativity, to grow deeper in relationships by asking for help, and to stay motivated to keep overcoming obstacles in pursuit of the goals we set for ourselves.
If you’d like some assistance in keeping or restarting your 2017 goals this year, look no further than the Smart Fit Chicks wellness coaches! They’re trained to help you overcome barriers and find success in your health endeavors. Just click on the “Coaching” tab at the top of the screen to find the coaching package that works for you! And cheers to you, the overcomer!
Written By: Brittni Paris, SFC Coach.
Brooke Lark: https://unsplash.com/@brookelark
Julia Caesar: https://unsplash.com/@juliacaesar
Kalen Emsley: https://unsplash.com/@kalenemsley