It’s now half-way through the year – how are you getting on with your goals? Have you been tracking process regularly? Have you forgotten all about them?!
Does even thinking about them make you feel anxious or disappointed?
We discussed this very topic on the most recent episode of our podcast, ‘My Pocket Psych’, which you can listen to here:
It’s never too late to make some changes, so forget about guilt and instead consider what might be holding you back:
You didn’t believe in your goal in the first place: look at your goal again – was it actually your idea in the first place? Something that was meaningful to you? Something specific and actionable? If not, it’s not surprising that you didn’t follow through. Pick another, more meaningful goal instead.
You’ve been procrastinating: while you might have a well formed goal, you might have been putting off doing any work on it, for a host of reasons. Be honest with yourself and try to identify what kind of thoughts have been leading you to ‘reschedule’ this important activity. “Future you” will thank you!
You’re focusing on the discomfort associate with the change: when we think about change, we can easily over-estimate the unpleasant aspects of it. Including the hard work, sacrifice, ambiguity and uncertainty about success and concern about your competence. Keep your eyes on the prize, not the incidental discomfort of the journey.
You’re not sure where to start: have another look at your goal and then see if you’ve been specific enough about what you want to achieve. If not, rephrase it. Then look at the specific things you’ll need to do and just work on the very first step. Just make a start.
You experienced some discomfort and gave up: so you had a go, but it wasn’t as easy as you’d hoped, so you stopped trying. Don’t beat yourself up, just try again. Change comes with discomfort and change rarely works right first time. If you’re trying to develop a new habit, stop an old one or simply change a troubling behaviour, you’ll experience discomfort along the way. Have a think about why you stopped – you might have fallen into an ‘all or nothing’ type of thinking trap. You’re not going to get it perfect first time round.
The bottom line here is that it’s never too late to try again. January 1st is such an arbitrary (and unhelpful!) date to start new changes. How about the 11th of July? It’s as good as any day and, most importantly, it’s today!
Make that start.
And if you’re looking for some inspiration, why not check out some relevant episodes of ‘My Pocket Psych‘:
- If you’ve been thinking about getting more organised and productive, check out our podcast episodes 7 to 11. Episode 7 focuses on procrastination.
- If you wanted to work on your wellbeing, check out episodes 13 to 18.
- If you want to reflect on the role of discomfort and how you can keep moving in the right direction, check out our episodes on psychological flexibility: 3, 4 and 5