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In the third part of our 'achieving your goals' series, lifestyle coach Effie Parnell-Hopkinson explains how to take ownership and responsibility for goals in order to stay on track.
By now you have already made your New Years resolutions and if you’ve stuck to them then congratulations! Or maybe you just haven’t stuck them 100%, or maybe you’ve just fallen off the wagon entirely and this is absolutely fine! I have given suggestions and tips on how to re-evaluate your goals and get back on track if this is the case. However, if you have lost your way and you’re tired of starting again… and again, then I am here to help you find ways to flip your perspective, take ownership and responsibility of your decisions and how to stop making excuses for yourself because excuses don’t get you anywhere.
This may sound very overwhelming but trust me, it is a great mindset to develop for not only your health and fitness goals but for other aspects of your life, including business and relationships.
You may be in this situation as your initial investment in your health and fitness has given you no tangible return. YET! If you are consistent and patient with your methods and learn to love the journey itself, you will undoubtedly reap the benefits in the future. This is the key; if you fall in love with the process of moving towards your goals without being fixated on achieving only the end result, the seemingly mundane tasks of exercising and eating a healthy diet will actually become the things that gives you energy, rather than drains you of it.
This is where it is important to take ownership and responsibility for your actions. Think about it, blame always feels better than guilt and this simply comes down to the chemical reactions that occur in the human brain. It is vital we move away from the comfort found in constantly blaming our lack of action due to external factors; skipping the gym because you are tired, too busy or not knowing which workout you’re doing. Instead, we must look in the mirror and point the finger at ourselves.
By adopting this way of thinking you are no longer playing the role of the victim, you can no longer blame your actions (or lack of) on external factors and now you are in control. Instead of accepting everything is your fault and then lying in a bath of blame and guilt, you must ask yourself questions like, “How am I in control right now? What could I have done differently to get the result I wanted?”. In doing this, you are no longer giving in to failure, but you are automatically developing a plan to overcome the obstacle by taking ownership and responsibility.
Going back to our example of skipping the gym because you were too tired. By applying a sense of discipline and ownership, you can start to find things you can do differently and develop a plan to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
For example, hold yourself accountable for going to bed earlier the night before, making sure you are getting enough good quality sleep by switching off electronic devices 30 minutes before bed. Using the other example of not having enough time, you could lay your workout clothes out ready for when you get home from work or even better, pack your bag with your workout clothes the night before work so you can take them with you and head straight to the gym!
Don’t get me wrong, this concept of ownership and responsibility is a tough pill to swallow and if you are struggling, I would highly recommend going back to why you started your health journey in the first place. Why did you steer your New Year resolutions towards improving your health and fitness? What was it that prompted you to change?
Now to bring everything I have spoken about today back this one fundamental question; what is your why? The why is the purpose, cause or belief that drives every single one of us and your why is the one constant that will guide you toward fulfilment in your health, work and life. Once you establish this, you will have clarity on how to move closer to achieving your health and fitness goals, whilst taking full ownership and responsibility for your actions.