It is well known and established that at this time of year many people make a start on new learning, fitness, or wellness regimes and that they hit road blocks and abandon the process. One of the biggest stumbling blocks is really about how we frame success and failure in our heads. This week I want to consider some approaches that may help you to more effectively frame success and failure in your head, so that you can move more steadily and continuously on the path to achieving your goals.
Often times what happens is that when we set a goal, it is a big goal and then when we start the process of moving towards that goal we make the initial steps big steps too. In other words we can have a pattern of biting off more than we can chew in the first instance. We are all familiar with the person who announces that they are going to get fit, join the gym, buy the new clothes and commit to going to the gym every single day. And then they miss a day or two or three due to work commitments, family issues, initial soreness and the process gets abandoned with statements such as “this fitness thing is madness, it can’t be done” etc.
But what is really going on. The evidence suggests that if we make the initial steps too big and we don’t succeed straight off then we create the conditions to believe that we are failing. If on the other hand we make those initial steps small, so that they are easier to achieve then we create the conditions for success and our brains start to believe that we can achieve more. So in other words when you consider your goals, take the time to really consider the size and scope of your initial action steps so that you create the conditions to succeed.
A second major stumbling block is that we can have a tendency to see only one pathway to reach a goal when in reality there are usually a number of strategies that may lead to the same goal. When we take those first action steps they may be the right ones for us at that time or they may not be. So rather than classifying an approach or action as a failure, we might be better served to simply consider it as any approach that is not working for us at this time and then look at what we can learn from the approach and then use that knowledge to seek out an alternative approach rather than abandon the goal.
So this week look at your own first action steps and consider how exactly you are framing your progress in your head. Take the time to create an alternative way to frame what happens so that it serves you to more towards your goal.