I couldn’t believe when I heard on the radio that 80% of people will stop working towards their goals for the year and completely give up!! Really, I find that hard to believe that after one month it is over!! Then I realized it is because the goals are probably related to losing weight and stopping smoking. These are the two hardest goals to work on let alone achieve realistically in one month. So, on some level I am not surprised but somewhat saddened by this statistic. We tend to be a society that wants immediate gratification. We feel frustrated when the results are not as quick as we like or that we are feeling better. So, we give up.
The problem as I see it is as that our goals may not be realistic especially if we are making a major lifestyle change and losing weight and quitting smoking is absolutely a lifestyle changer. While we may be ready for it right now the reality of right now can be overwhelming once we are in the process. The reality is food and cigarettes can be a way that we cope with our good or bad feelings sometimes. We are not always aware that when we feel stressed we may smoke a cigarette immediately or a few extra cigarettes. Or we may eat an extra serving of our lunch or dinner or binging on sweets.
All of this theory depends on how much weight you have to lose and how much you smoke a day. The reality is smoking and overeating are considered addictions. It is a compulsion that once you start you can not stop. So, no wonder 80% of people fail at these goals. Making a major lifestyle change takes a tremendous commitment and also an understanding that it is going to be a lifelong process. It is not going to happen overnight it may take a year for you to lose the weight you want or to stop smoking. You will need to develop coping skills to address the issues that will arise when the food and cigarettes are not available for you to use. This can become scary and uncomfortable so you have to be willing to afraid and uncomfortable on some level in order to achieve these goals. Once you get passed the initial discomforts and start to develop some coping strategies you will begin to see that you can become successful.
I believe that we often place unrealistic expectations of ourselves and sometimes do not consider our age and our level of activity and life stressors when we make a decision to get in shape or lose weight or quit smoking. The truth is the older we become the more set we have become in our ways and often the less tolerance and patience we have. This is what becomes problematic and why we need to be realistic in our goal planning. This is why when I have talked about goals there can be other goals to work on that are more personal like wanting to be closer to family and friends or wanting to be a better person. These goals you can work on all year as well as the weight loss and quitting smoking.
Just in case you didn’t know you have ALL YEAR to work on your goals. So, pick yourself back up and say to yourself This is important to ME I need to make these changes in my life in order to be happy and have more balance in my life. So just for today I will make an effort to achieve my goals. If the next few days you fail you still have the following the day and so on and so on. There is plenty of time…. Even if in six months nothing has changed you can still stay Today is the day that I start again on my goal for this year. It is never too late. I am a firm believer that as long as you want it… it will eventually happen!!