Sustain the Gain – Evaluating your Goals

What a year! Looking back on 2016, it might be tempting to feel like we missed the mark. Good or bad, I think it’s safe to say 2016 didn’t turn out like any of us were expecting!

Perhaps it was your best year ever… if you have some solid gains to sustain, that’s awesome! Hope you keep the drive alive in 2017!

But maybe 2016 was a year that left promise unfulfilled, dreams unrealized or goals unattained. It’s easy to beat yourself up if you set some ambitious goals and didn’t see them come to light. Goal-setting and resolutions can be a double-edged sword. They can give us something to shoot for, but if we miss the mark, we feel disappointed.

The reality is that most of us hold ourselves to a pretty high standard when it comes to setting our New Year’s resolutions, or evaluating our goals against someone else’s progress. But WHY do we do that to ourselves? I’ve heard it said (and I try to repeat to myself on a regular basis) that you can’t hold your inner world up against someone else’s best projection of themselves. Think about that next time you are on social media…

I chose an image of running stairs for this post. In order to reach the top, you need a place to put your foot. A level surface to plant on and push forward from. If the stairs were in a constant incline, they would be very difficult to climb. Plateaus exist for a reason. We need to think of our progress as a stairway to success!

We all want a quick fix, but there’s a dark side to instant results and overnight success. If we reach a goal too soon, we may not have the right habits, strength or behaviours to sustain it. Muscle we build during the climb is the muscle that will allow us to hold the fort when we get to our goal. Muscle we need to sustain the gain.

The other side of that coin is that usually the results of our decisions today take some time to show up. We aren’t going to say no the leftover Christmas chocolate today and lose 10 pounds tomorrow!

To get where you want to go, you need to set realistic expectations.

I always advise my clients to set a short term goal, AND a long term goal. Just be sure that the short term goal is on the same path as the long term goal. For example, if the long term goal is to lose 100 pounds, first set a goal to lose 10. In other words, dream big – then set something not so big to shoot for.

2017 is coming – and we want to set ourselves up for success! Watching the end results of others is generally not the best way to do that. Set something you can attain, but don’t be afraid to dream big. Big dreams come to pass with the execution of the small decisions. You stairway to success can begin today!

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