‘What’s stopping me?’ – this is a question we have all asked ourselves at least once.. If you have been following us on Instagram you know that our founder Asma is running again this year for her second time at the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London. Her focus, determination and perseverance in training for this race has led us to think more about you can set goals and see them through.
Why is it that sometimes you can’t stick to your goals, whether it is eating well, working out, eating better or running in a marathon? The truth is that you are probably making excuses to let yourself off the hook. Do any of these statements sound familiar? ‘I just don’t have the time’, ‘I have a bad back’, ‘I’m too old’, ‘I’m too tired’, ‘I’m not in good shape’… All these excuses are used to safeguard our pride and egos – they are defence mechanisms created to help free us from responsibility and ownership of the goals we have tried to set. Because when you tell yourself that you are ‘too tired, injured, too old (or whatever else you tell yourself)’ then you don’t have to go to the gym, work too hard, eat well or get up early.
Well we wanted to help you out with your goals and targets, so to get you on the right track we drafted some guidelines that will help get you started and keep the ball rolling:
Be accountable— If you are the only person who knows your goal, it is easier to give up. Sharing your goal with other people creates a supportive dynamic, and then it becomes a matter of pride. You will find yourself working harder on your goal when you know someone will be checking up on your progress.
Practice Discipline— Discipline is what drives our actions when we lack the motivation. When we don’t have the internal push to keep us going forward we must rely on discipline to drive us. Take a look at the successful people you admire and look up to. Self-discipline is the common quality that makes them leaders. Discipline can be challenging and takes mental strength but it is very doable!
Write your goals down and visualise them— Research has shown that people who set goals, and write them down, are more likely to reach their goals, and experience greater feelings of accomplishment. Mental visualisation is a commonly used tool for athletes, but everybody should incorporate it into their daily routine. If you SEE yourself succeeding, your chances of achieving your goals are so much better.
Positive self talk— Switch “I can’t do this” for “I will do this”. Create awareness for the negative words you may be using regularly, and each time you use one, take a moment to think of a more positive word to replace it. You can change your own patterns to help stay motivated and on track through positive self-talk, you just have to be willing to try.
Our final piece of advice: please don’t spend your life wishing you accomplished more. Instead of drifting through a life filled with ‘wouldn’t it be nice if..’ or ‘one day I will..’, try the tips above to set some goals for yourself and then work to reach them.