Spring resolutions – source of power not frustration

For many of us, spring is a time for goal-setting. However, not everyone succeeds in making their plans a reality. Why is it that setting goals frequently ends in frustration, lower self-esteem, and a sense of failure rather than success and motivation? And what can you do to avoid it?

Anna Daria Nowicka

Set your goals wisely

Spring is a time when everything comes to life again. More sunlight, warmer temperatures, and longer days give us new energy and a stronger sense of purpose. Spring is the ultimate time to spring clean not just our homes. When spring comes, many people decide to transform their lives with positive changes. They want to get rid of an addiction. They want to eat healthier. Play sports, learn foreign languages, improve their personal relationships – the list goes on and on. Gyms and swimming pools are again full of people who decided it’s time to get off the couch and do something about their health. Just like at the beginning of the year, appointments with nutritionists, coaches, trainers or psychotherapists are booked solid. Some of those who have failed to stick to their New Year’s resolutions make another effort to achieve their goals. Yet after a few weeks, the group of those eager to change again becomes smaller and smaller, and plenty of people have a feeling of yet another failure in reaching their goals...

Why does it happen? A lot of us make mistakes right at the very beginning, when we set our goals – we set too many goals and the probability of their achievement is very low, given our circumstances and resources we have at our disposal. For example, a person who has plenty of time and money, and an army of helpers (dieticians, psychologists, personal coaches), will find it easier to lose weight or tone their body than a person who not only cannot afford professional and customised advisory services but is simply exhausted after a day at work or doing household chores.  For such a person, even finding the time to take seemingly small activities, such as going for a walk or cooking a healthy meal rather than eating fast food, will require much more effort and determination. Which makes it even more commendable.

What can you do to improve your chances of reaching your goal? Divide it into smaller steps; ideally, ones that will allow you see the results in shorter time, provided you put in enough effort, of course. Each step in the right direction will help you build a habit of success if you learn how to notice and reward your wins, however insignificant they may seem.