Wednesday Musings: The Number One Reason Why People Fail to Accomplish Their Goals

So here we are, two full weeks into the new year. Those who set some new physical goals are still feeling pretty good, riding the waves of good endorphins, butt kicking workouts, and encouragement of family and friends. Life is good! Perhaps you’ve had a few tugs at your will power already, maybe even a slip or two. But overall you still feel like you are powering through to your goals!

But it’s not going to last.

I see the warning signs. The tiny, seemingly innocent questions that show a huge chink in your armor. It’s in the way you phrase your questions, how you share your insecurities, and even how you boast of your victories. The number one weakness I see in so many people from the jump is still creeping around, guiding their every decision and setting you up for failure. See the problem is where most people think they are being DISCIPLINED when in reality they are being RESTRICTIVE.

It’s a problem of mindset

I was listening to a podcast by Mind Pump Media (Episode #944 for those interested) when they tackled the question, what is the line between restriction and discipline? It was interesting to hear them talk about it and for all it’s rambling and banter, it kind of helped me shape a good way to contextualize it for myself. In our health journey we are presented with many decisions every day. Most of the time each decision has a choice that takes you closer to your goals and one that moves you slightly further away. And for the most part I’ve seen people making choices that take them closer to their goals, which is amazing! The problem comes with the second part. See within each choice is a different narrative that completely decides our long term success. Are you making that choice because you want to? Because it is taking you to your goal? Or are you doing it because you feel like it’s what you HAVE to do? Or because you can’t do the other choice? The podcast had a great analogy “Are you faithful to your spouse because you love your spouse? Or are you just faithful because you can’t cheat?”

Which sounds like a mindset that is setting you up for long term success? Which one will carry you to new goals and help you live a fulfilled existence and leave you feeling empowered by your choices? And which sets you up for a life of misery, being at the whim of what must be done? Don’t think about it too hard, there is an obvious answer.

Here’s the truth though, I can’t really help you with this. I can’t give you a breathing technique or a mantra or anything like that. I can only make you aware. It’s up to you to be cognizant of your thoughts and your motivations as you go through your day making decisions. The more you are able to shift your focus from a life of restriction to a life of empowered choices, the easier these choices will become and the greater your success will be. And the more you start to see the fruits of your labor the more reinforced this mindset will become and the more in control of your life you will become. I rarely speak in absolutes but in this case I feel comfortable in saying this shift in mindset is truly the most important part of living a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life.