How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? Perhaps you’ve already achieved them all, which is great! Or maybe not… which is also okay.
We’re now officially in the third month of the year and it’s likely that the initial euphoria and enthusiasm felt at the beginning of the year and the prospect of a ‘fresh start’ is somewhat starting to dim.
I personally don’t set New Year’s Resolutions as I prefer to set myself goals at any stage of the year on a rolling basis, (I don’t really see a difference between 31 December and 1 January) however the initial euphoria and then experiencing the dim in enthusiasm works in the same way.
No matter how determined you are to achieve a goal, there will be a struggle at times with motivation, self-discipline and resilience before getting there. There may even be numerous failed attempts with trying to achieve a goal or a barrier comes in between you achieving a goal within a certain time frame as planned.
For instance, I’d set a goal to donate blood during this year. I’ve donated before and like to do so at least once a year, however my appointment for Monday was unexpectedly cancelled 22 minutes before the appointment. I was pretty disappointed and annoyed to say the least, I was already on my way to the appointment (about 10 minutes away), had been drinking like a camel all day to ensure I was well hydrated and cancelled all other plans for that day to ensure I was available. I headed over to the clinic anyway because I wanted to try my luck and hoped perhaps the text message cancelling the appointment was sent in error, however it was real. The appointment had been cancelled due to ‘previous sessions overrunning’ and ‘there not being enough staff members’. This happened on Monday and to be completely honest this week has just been one of those weeks. You know the kind of week where nothing really seems to go right or to plan!
On Wednesday I had my mock Interviewing & Advising assessment (I’m studying the LPC), and for the first time I received feedback from my tutor that I was on a borderline pass! Terrible news for me to swallow, but luckily it was a mock assessment and I have enough time to practice and improve before the actual assessment.
I won’t go into any other anecdotes from the week as I’m sure you get the idea – this week wasn’t a great one. When we have weeks like this, it can be easy for our goals to seem too overwhelming and for progress to seem impossible. However, I was happy that this week I felt more determined and fuelled up, the uncomfortableness of the week’s events gave me tunnel vision of what I wanted to ensure I achieve and what I wanted to avoid from happening. I suppose a fear factor kicked in – which is good because fear motivates me personally, more so than than other factors – read more about the Six Types of Motivation Here. Knowing which factors specifically motivate you is a helpful tool, motivation isn’t a one-size fits all and using what others rely on for motivation may not work for you, for example motivational videos don’t really do much for me.
This week allowed me to realise that goals shouldn’t be rigid and there should be a degree of flexibility for factors outside of our control, like 22 minutes notice cancellations! I’ve since rebooked my appointment and not lost focus on what really matters, which is supporting the people who need the blood donations. I’ve also revisited other goals I’ve set and revised them slightly to accommodate for any unplanned incidents, in terms of my interviewing and advising assessment which takes place later this month I’ve dedicated more time to practising and perfecting my technique.
With us being in March we’re still only in the first quarter of the year, and there’s a lot that can happen with goals in the space of 9 months! Perhaps you’ve not had the best start to the year, but will have an amazing end to the year. Alternatively you could have a wonderful part to the year, but struggle more as the end of the year approaches (this happened to me last year). Whichever way it happens, plan for the unexpected, be somewhat flexible with expectations and try to stay resilient through the tougher times!
My good friend Vimbai is hosting a vision-board party on Saturday 23rd March 2pm-6pm in London. It’ll be a great opportunity to collate goals onto paper and have something tangible to refer to during the more difficult times – secure tickets before they run out here!
NB: I’m definitely not a motivation guru and cringe at the over-the-top personas on social media that pretend everything is ‘perfect’ and we should all be on our A game at all times – it’s just not realistic or true and I’ve realised being on my A game the majority of the time, but B game at other times is okay.