How to stick to your goals

Back in the day, I regularly enjoyed setting positive goals to eat more healthy, shift some newly acquired ladies lumps, get stronger, learn to meditate and feel all zen.

But then, one or two weeks into my new transformative regime, I would lose interest and forget about all the promises that I had made to myself.

Stuck in a never-ending cycle of yoyo diets and fitness fads, every time I quit, I would lose a little more belief in myself and berate myself as lazy with no willpower!  It's so sad how we choose to torture ourselves. 

So let's take a deeper look into why we do this to ourselves and how we can achieve our goals for the long term, without the mental abuse!

Why do we set ourselves up just to feel bad?  

The thought of having and being in your perfect body is super enticing and gives you a big hit of dopamine just thinking about it.

Unfortunately, no matter how many manifestation books you have read, just thinking about it is not quite enough to make a significant change within yourself.

So what's happening here? Why is it so easy to give up?  

Our brain and body central mo keep us alive with minimum effort and energy expenditure as possible.  Also known as “automaticity” an automatic behaviour.

That's amazing right?  Yes, but that means learning new skills and changing routines that require a significant amount of effort.   

Remember how hard it was learning to drive? Then like magic, driving became second nature with hardly any thought involved.

Every time we try and fail with the same goals, the cycle of yoyoing becomes a heavily concreted pathway into the brain, a super fast highway for familiar action.  Neuroscientists call this “long-term potentiation.”

The brain loves a familiar routine. It's easy and requires less effort to perform tasks operating on autopilot.

It's nothing to do with you and me being useless!  

Great news, we are not lazy because It's just our brain being super-efficient. The brain is plastic, also known as •neuroplasticity and can be remoulded to learn new skills and habits.  So, we can dig up this path and make a new one, a path that serves us better.

Now let's think for a moment about willpower.

Rebuilding neural pathways takes a lot of repetition and willpower not to resort back to those old habits.

Real physical change for the long term may take a year or so. That's a lot of willpower and a lot of effort.

Willpower is not enough.

Your desire and motivation must outweigh the tough times up ahead.  

You could inadvertently set yourself up to fail because your goal is too vague, or it's not the real problem you need to solve first. (Don't sweat, I have a free goal setting worksheet to help with this!)

There is no point in sweating hard to fit into those skinnies again. If you continue to look in the mirror and loathe what you see, why would your body reward you with good health and vitality if you can't admire yourself?  

The true goal, in this case, would be to reboot the way you see yourself, restructure and throw out the years of collective negative self-talk and baggage.

Combine your physical training with a mindset upgrade.

Upgrading your mindset could be a better long-term solution to achieving those body-mind health goals.  

If you love your body with a positive growth mindset, you will want to take care of it better naturally.

Goals should be the inspiration for a long-term lifestyle upgrade, not just the endpoint.  

Establish the right goals from the start and dig deep into why this is important to achieve. I like to begin any fitness coaching this way, finding a clear vision, true motivation and planning strategies.


It's not our fault we get stuck in a yoyo loop, failing our health and fitness goals. It's just our body-mind doing what it's meant to do efficiently.  

But we can change at any age with enough effort and action. To do this, we must find our authentic goals and motivation and embark on a mindset upgrade.

Tell me, what goals do you keep giving up at time and time again?

Be kind to yourself and set yourself up for success.

•The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science - Norman Doidge MD

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