Even with the loftiest of goals, we may find ourselves 'getting off track'. Image courtesy of sammarti at freedigitalphotos.net
We all have goals, aims in life we want to achieve. However, inadvertently, we can ‘get off track’ and our goals may fall by the wayside to some degree. This can also hurt our morale, if we question our motivation, dedication or self-discipline.
The first thing to remember if you have let your goals slip is you are human . You are not a computer or a robot. Things do happen. You may be over-tired, ill, stressed or just have too much on your plate. The reason I mention this is because firstly, if you beat yourself up too much for ‘getting off track’ with respect to attainment of your personal goals, you may become depressed. And you may self-flagellate without due cause - people are not supposed to be perfect. This may make it harder for you to regain focus when you do get back on track to fulfilling your desires.
Also, it is important to examine what caused you to let your goals slip by the wayside.
For example, if you find yourself continually not fulfilling your goals, you may want to ask yourself “Is it really that important to me?” This may seem like a silly question. You may think “Why would I be doing it or desire to do it if it was not a priority for me?” However, as humans, we are also pretty good at doing certain things because of others’ expectations. These may be perceived or real.
You may ultimately even just want to question “Who’s original goal was this?” and “Who am I trying to please – myself or someone else?” If it is a goal that does not influence your personal ambitions to a significant degree, and your relationship with the person who asked you do something for them is important to you, then fine, this goal may not need to be dispensed with.
Also, it may not be a particular person who imposes a goal upon us, or rather, we allow them to, but society. For example, I ‘should’ cook all my meals. I personally hate cooking. I know it’s because I couldn’t be bothered. But the frozen meals I do defrost are healthy. And there are a lot of other things I do that I feel I do put effort into for my health, like exercise. The same with I ‘should’ have a perfectly tidy house. Where did you get that belief? If you like your home this way, don’t abandon your goal. However, if you resent it, and often question why you are doing something, ask yourself, who’s goal is this – really?
Today I slept most of today, and did not end up attaining any of my goals. I pinpointed the reason why I was fatigued. Without going into detail, it was controllable, so when I questioned why, it led me to a conscious decision not to engage in what it was that made me tired and ineffectual in the first place - in the future.
Sometimes, we don’t achieve our goals because they exceed our ability to complete them. That is, our expectations of ourselves with respect to fulfilling our daily aims are unrealistic. Try prioritising your goals about what is really important to you, at this time in your life, right now. I'd like to lose weight as I am about 5 kilograms over. However, that won't happen overnight. Allowing myself to be human, and aiming for half to one kilo per week is more realistic and sustainable.
Are you not pursuing your goal because you are afraid you might not succeed? This is probably one of the worst reasons not to keep on track with your ambition. I have adopted the famous saying ‘the only failure is not trying’. How will you know?
Are some of your goals a pain, just plain ‘not fun’ but necessary for a bigger ambition to be filled. For example, I am going through a health scare at the moment. I realise I need to keep on track with treatment if I hope to go back to uni to complete my psychology degree.
A lot of people don't think about this possible reason for non-fulfilment of goals - subconsciously people may not believe they deserve to achieve them. They may have such low self-esteem that 'failure' feels more comfortable. You are worth it - everybody is!
Ultimately, if you stay true to yourself your goals will be authentic and since we do what we enjoy we will enjoy what we do and goals won’t become a chore, but a natural unfolding of who we are, and a pleasure.