“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.”
Simone de Beauvoir
Most people will tell you that they have at least one wish or desire to change something about their life. This doesn’t seem strange as most of us have at least one, sometimes more than one, area of our lives we would like to improve. We might want to improve our finances, always a big one; our health and fitness, our spirituality, or our relationships with partners, family and friends. There are plenty of ways we can always improve ourselves and our lives.
What may be strange is the number of people who don’t make any real effort to bring the desired change about. Someone might say they want a new job, but continue to stay with the same employer, usually complaining about how they are stuck in a rut or are not appreciated for the work they do.
Someone else might say they really want to lose excess weight, but then continues to make the wrong food choices, sit on the couch all evening, and never take any exercise beyond walking from the couch to the fridge and then back to the couch. The number one reason for not attaining a certain goal is often put down to lack of motivation.
There are some people who would say this is a lack of effort as opposed to a lack of motivation. Let’s take a look at some reasons why some people don’t put the effort into making the lifestyle changes they say they want. If you have been meaning to make any kind of change, but have been putting it off for any reason, then what follows may be just what you need to kick-start the transformation you want.
1. Not having a clear or strong enough reason to change.
In order to make any type of change in your life you need to have a good reason to do so. Having a goal is wonderful but the reason you have to reach that goal is probably more important. If you want to change your job then you need to have a reason for doing so. These reasons could include wanting more money, to move to a new location, or to have more career opportunities.
2. Setting too large a goal.
Weight loss is a perfect example here. If you need to lose 70 pounds don’t focus on this amount. Instead, if you set smaller goals of 7 pounds per month you will find that you can stay on track better. If you meet this goal faster than one month, great, just keep going! If you are struggling or lose a little less don’t give up; just refocus, and set your next monthly goal at 5 pounds instead of 7. It may take you slightly longer to lose the 70 pounds, but, so what! You will get there in the end and that is all that really matters.
3. Not measuring their progress.
Having a vision of what you want is a great way to stay motivated but it is important to be able to measure how well you are doing. This is why many people recommend keeping track of your goals. This can be done in a variety of ways depending on the goal. If it is to lose weight then keep photos and images of your progress. Weigh yourself weekly and track your progress on a simple graph so you can visually see any progress or setbacks. Even if you don’t notice any significant change each day, looking at a graph or photos should show you the progress you are making.
It can also be a good idea to keep a journal of your journey. This way you can see what you are accomplishing and where you might be struggling. You can them make the necessary adjustments to get back on track.
4. Having no support network.
This can be another reason why many people don’t make the effort to change their lives. Getting the support from family and friends can really make a world of difference in you achieving your goals. They can encourage you when you are struggling and celebrate when you accomplish a milestone along your journey.
The very fact that other people know you are attempting a change of some kind can keep you motivated. You may not want to let people down, or let yourself down in front of others. You may want to prove to someone that you can accomplish what you say you will. Whatever the reason, having someone act as your accountability partner; someone who you need to check in with on a regular basis to update them on your progress, can be a massive motivation boost and get you through the tough times.
If you can crush these four potential barriers, which prevent so many people following through on their dreams, then you will have the drive and commitment to finally make the lifestyle changes you want and deserve.
Recommended: Goals: Knowing What You Want in Life