Happy Mindful Monday! Beginning this third week of January exploring goals, it’s usually about now when goals and resolutions fade like an accidentally bleached sock. Multiple reasons (& excuses) are to blame for why this occurs. Those reasons, while essential to identify, are not as important as how to get back on track.
A runner is inadvertently bumped and falls hard while making the first turn of a race. Spectators gasp, hoping he can continue. The runner steadies himself, pushes off the track and begins to run again. With even greater conviction, he slowly gains ground. He passes one runner, then another as blood trickles down his leg. Pain and determination are etched all over his face. He turns the final corner and sees the finish line. Digging deep, he pushes through and finishes strong! Joyful cheers erupt from the crowd for the runner who overcame adversity to finish well.
Could you see him, were you secretly cheering for him? This little example of visualization is a great example of how to motivate ourselves as well. If you could picture the race described above, you can picture yourself accomplishing goals, too.
Visualization is not only a memory technique but also a motivational technique. Famous athletes use visualization to help with their performance. Sport psychologists encourage this technique because it reinforces positive behavior and progress toward overall achievement.
If you have slipped up on some of your goals lately, you are not alone. We all mess up sometimes. I have. While taking steps towards my goals, I know I can improve. My progress is incremental, which can be discouraging. Nonetheless, what we do after slip ups is crucial. As we teach our children, “mistakes happen; it’s what we learn from them that’s important”.
Setbacks along a goal path should be a learning experience. What led us to stray from continued progress? Was it lack of organization, interruptions, excuses, a less than ideal attitude or shift in priorities? Identify the issue(s) and learn how to not get bumped off track again.
Working on goals, we need to allow for off moments or days. Things happen, plans change and we make mistakes. That’s life. But just because life happens doesn’t mean we should give up or lose hope on well thought-out goals. Determine to push on, stay positive and learn from the past to improve the future.
Let’s get up, dust ourselves off and keep running on the path towards our goals!