We all set ourselves health goals at some point in our lives. Many of us get stuck in a cycle of setting health goals, failing to reach them, punishing or reprimanding ourselves then, after a while, starting all over again. Most of the time we never really learn from our failed attempts and we repeat the same mistakes all over again.
During my 25 years as a therapist I’ve helped many clients who were struggling to achieve their health goals. Using this experience I’ve come up with 5 likely reasons why you might be struggling with yours.
You’re chasing the wrong goal
It’s important to really think about the goals you set for yourself. If it isn’t something you really want you’re setting yourself up for failure from the start. Many of my clients come in with one goal and leave with another. We work together to uncover the results they are really looking for.
For example, “I want to lose weight” is a common and worthwhile goal but why do you want to lose weight? Are you looking for increased confidence? Do you want to be more active or enjoy more time with your children? Do you want to start a new relationship?
If we focus on the end benefit we remain more motivated as we keep in mind the reasons why we are making these changes. It also helps us to develop a proper action plan – what else can we do to boost ourselves and reach this end goal? What other rewards might we use? For example, we might want to lose a stone before Christmas but also how about a new haircut, a new hobby, meeting new people, leaning a new skill, new clothes, improving communication? All of these things would help with an end goal of improved confidence and would provide extra motivation along the way.
You fail to properly plan
Without a proper plan that says what you’ll do and by when it’s hard to maintain or measure progress. What are you going to do to achieve your goal? Plan out the steps and progress markers. What help might you need? Is there anything else you can do to increase the likelihood of success?
During Life Coaching sessions I help clients address these questions. We set up specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timed (S.M.A.R.T) goals which give them real motivation to get started.
You start well but struggle to maintain motivation
We all struggle with motivation every now and then. Regular Life Coaching or support sessions are one way to maintain motivation and the regular check-ins are a real boost. If you’re going it alone you’ll need to ensure you take responsibility for your progress.
Use a visible chart or visual cue to monitor your progress and remind yourself why you’re doing this. Don’t be tempted into a victim mentality, “it’s not fair”, or “it’s too hard” – you set the goal and the plan. If you need to revaluate or rejig that’s fine but don’t give up!
You sabotage yourself
The fear of failure is within us all and we often find it hard to admit we’re worried about failing. Instead we might self-sabotage and blame other things – a bar of chocolate from a friend perhaps, or turning back to cigarettes because of a stressful event or social occasion.
Put plans in place to deal with all possible hurdles you’ll face and if you need to seek extra help then do. Problems like anxiety, depression, lack of self-confidence and stress can all come into play in difficult events or times of change. Don’t let them be an excuse to revert to old habits – you need to find a new way to deal with them.
You never really change your mindset
If we repeat a new behaviour often enough we find it becomes a habit so we will likely continue with it as part of our daily routine. However, if we fail to address the subconscious desires that led us to encounter the problem in the first place, it can be easy for us to slip back into our old ways.
Why did you overeat in the first place? Do you still see food as a comfort that has to be resisted? Do you still see smoking as a pleasure that you’ve had to give up? Is exercise still a chore?
Hypnotherapy tackles the subconscious part of our mind that drives our behaviour. Working on this makes long term change much easier. Imagine how much simpler it would be to not want to eat the cake in the first place instead of having to fight every day to resist. It’s often our own mind that becomes our own worst enemy, but with a little work it can be our greatest asset.
Further Help with Reaching Health Goals
If you’d like to discuss any of the issues mentioned in more detail or book a free consultation, please do get in touch.