Monday, December 14, 2009

Making Improvements that Last

As 2009 comes to a close, you may be thinking of New Year's Resolutions for 2010. Perhaps you want to start exercising more and get in shape. Maybe you want to go back to college and/or get a better job. Even better, maybe your goal is to become financially independent so you don't have to get a job.

The truth is, most people don't stick with their New Year's Resolutions. Many of us join a gym in January, but by March are paying for memberships that we don't use.

Here are the main reasons why people fail to acheive a goal:

1. Taking on too much, too soon.

If you've been a couch potato for a long time, you are not going to become a competitive bodybuilder in a month. If you exercise too hard, you are going to sore for several days and not want to repeat that experience.

Perhaps you are a really busy person and can't seem to find the time to achieve what you want. If that's the case, first see what you can eliminate from your schedule. If you stop or reduce the time you spend watching TV, or playing online games.

If you are new to an exercise, start slowly. If you are sore for more than two days, you did more than what your body is used to. If this happens to you, lighten your workout accordingly, the next week. Gradually increase your weight/amount of time exercising to allow your body to adjust.

2. Not progressing fast enough.

There are many blogs that are abandoned because the authors of them don't see thousands of daily visitors to their blogs in the first few months. So they quit.

The same thing happens when people exercise, they see only minimal improvement in the first couple of months. So they quit.

Set REASONABLE goals that you have a very good chance of making. If you fall short, make the necessary adjustments and try again.

3. Lack of support.

If your goal is to stop smoking, hanging around other smokers all the time is going make your goal much more difficult to achieve. If your goal is to be wealthy, hanging around other people who are poor isn't going to help you.

I am not saying you should abandon your friends. What I am saying is this: Find people who have completed the goals you are wanting to achieve. Make friends with them. That way, you have a positive environment to reinforce what you are trying to achieve. Once you reach a goal, then help someone else achieve what you've accomplished.

Before you take off on an airplane, they always tell you to put on your own mask before helping someone else put on theirs. There's a reason for that.

4. Setting a date in the future to start a new habit, instead of starting NOW.

The future hasn't been written yet, and the past is already recorded. The only time you have control over is the present. I have written two articles that will give you ideas on what you can do TODAY to improve your future. Here they are:

How to Reach Your Goals by Making Improvements Today

Changes you can make now for a better new year

These articles should give you some ideas on what you can do immediately to start your path to becoming a better you.

Later this week, I am going to share some of my future goals with you, and what I am doing to make those goals a reality.

I wish you success on your journey!

John Griggs

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