When goals are not achieved or we aren’t making the progress we hope for we often find ourselves in a shame and self-abuse cycle. It’s natural to feel disappointed but many of us cling to the misguided belief that if we punish ourselves enough we’ll be able to force ourselves to get back on track. This simply isn’t true. And I’m sure that if you think about what has happened in the past you’ll find that more often than not all that self-punishment takes you further from your goals not toward them. So, let’s talk about what to do instead.
When Goals Are Not Achieved
When goals are not achieved we can look at it in one of 2 ways. We can consider it a personal failing or we can consider it an opportunity for growth. When we do the first we often end up spiraling and not only losing all the progress we’ve made but also find ourselves behind where we were to begin. This happens with both our mindset and our measurable results. But when we take the second approach we are able to make adjustments that set us up for long term success not only with this goal but with all future goals as well. And that’s where my 3 part proprietary Small Step Method comes in.
Part 1: Change Your Mindset
Rather than beating yourself up and wondering what’s wrong with you, why not give yourself the benefit of the doubt (and a little grace). Treat yourself as you would your child or a close friend when they miss it. Get curious and ask yourself what happened. What threw you off course? What do you need to get back on course or stay there in the future? How can you better support yourself?
Recognize that you are doing your very best (even when you’re struggling to do anything at all). If your best isn’t working it’s not because you’re a screw up, it’s because you need something different. You need to apply that effort toward something that’s working instead. Or you need support.
Part 2: Change Your Actions
Once you’ve gotten clarity make a new plan to accomplish your goals. Be grateful for the opportunity to learn but conscientious of how difficult change is… and this will be a change!
You may need to change your goal plan or your timeline if you have one. You may need to work on building some skills that will set you up for success. Or you may need to spend some time creating a supportive and helpful community. Sometimes the things that prevent us from achieving our goals are real life challenges that need to be addressed at the beginning of our journey. And if they are unrelated they may have gone unnoticed until now. For example, organizing your kitchen is likely part of your health journey and asking for help with household tasks or childcare is as well. Be sure that you are set up well for success!
And here’s the BIG secret! SLOW DOWN! When you take action regarding your goals make sure that it is intentional and deliberate. Be sure that you are taking small steps so you can create consistency and momentum in your life. Goals aren’t really a one and done thing. They not only need to be accomplished but also maintained. That means incorporating your goals into your real life and the only way to do that is through small steps.
Change Your Results
When goals are not achieved in our timeline or quickly enough it can be easy to become disheartened. This can be avoided by zooming in the picture a bit. When you create milestones and focus on celebrating your progress you give yourself the time you need to really master your goals. By changing the results you’re looking for you can create momentum (an endless source of motivation) and make your goals part of your lifestyle rather than an extra to-do. Over time these results (this progress) will add up to our BIG picture result. And not only that but it will be easy to maintain and you’ll have created the mindset and habits necessary to achieve other goals as well.
Small Steps = Progress / Mini Wins = Growth = Goal Crushing!
Not only will you change your results from day to day but you’ll also change them year to year. One of the best ways to become more mindful of your daily results and celebrate your journey is to keep an accomplishment journal. (Grab your free daily journal page here).