Most of our lives, we’re taught to look ahead – to focus on the goal, the end game. You need to make a plan and stick to it, keep your eyes front and march on. For the most part, this is a pretty good way to get stuff done and stay focused, and I think it works for the short term.
But, what about those long-term goals? What about your 5-year plan? Did you ever have one of those and about a year into it you’re thinking to yourself, “Man, I’ve got such a long way to go, there’s no way I can keep this up. What was I thinking making goals that big – it’s probably not worth it. I mean, I’m doing pretty good now with where I’m at, I don’t really need to aim THAT high.”
Sound familiar? It happens every day to all of us. Ever have even a one-year goal? “This year I’m going to get healthy. In 12 months I’m going to be eating right, drop these extra 30 pounds, and work out consistently.” According to The Statistic Research Institute, if you lasted more than a week of meeting your goal, you’re on par with 75% of the regular population. If you stuck to it for two weeks, the percentage drops to 71%, and after a month the success rate drops to 64%. This means that after only ONE MONTH, 36% of us quit. That’s a frightening statistic.
And it’s not like these goals are weak and unimportant – most of us are into some form of self-improvement, whether it be getting healthy, making more money, or forming and keeping better relationships. This is life-altering stuff here! And over a full one-third of us can’t even last a month! That’s crazy talk.
So, what do we do?
We look backwards. I know, I know – it goes against the grain. Your brain will scream at you, and your friends will think you’re crazy, but check this out. Let’s say you’re on a 12-month mission to get healthy, so the first week of your commitment you cut out the ice cream, you go to the gym 3 times, and take the dog for a walk instead of watching TV. Sounds pretty good, right? Week two goes just as well, except on Friday night you went out with friends and totally pigged out at dinner, and had the chocolate lava cake…with ice cream.
“That’s it, this will never work, I might as well quit now. Two weeks deep and I already fall off the wagon – there’s no way I can hold out for another 50 weeks. Good thing I didn’t get rid of my fat pants.” Heard this one before? Okay, so instead of looking at the 50 weeks to go and the 1 “mistake” you made, look BACKWARDS at the past 2 weeks! Look what you did! You got your butt off the couch and went to the gym, a place you haven’t been since the treadmill was invented. You stopped eating ice cream for almost 2 weeks! You even took Rover for walks and skipped out on watching the Bachelor! When’s the last time you did ANY of these things, hmmm?!
So what if you slipped – we all do. I guarantee even Cam Newton pigs out on mac n’ cheese and hotdogs once in awhile. It’s okay. Just look back on what you’ve accomplished. Focus on what you HAVE done instead of how much more you have to do. Looking backwards, and remembering what you DID accomplish, will create a positive attitude. That attitude will help you create better habits, and those habits will become your new behavior. Soon you won’t even think twice about going to the gym – it’s just what you do. Ice cream? Only on special occasions, and you won’t beat yourself up over it. And Rover? He’s the leanest, meanest little shih tzu at the dog park!
If you need help on your journey, “like” our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheSpecificChiropractic/ and keep up with tons of helpful tips. Or, if you really need some personalized help, please feel free to e-mail me directly at email@example.com. Just put “backwards” in the title so I know which e-mails to open first 🙂
Rock on my fellow goal setters! Keep looking backwards, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!
– Dr. Shane Smith