12 Reasons Why You’ve Given Up (Part 1)

But it’s not too late to reach your goals.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

We are halfway through the new year. So, it’s time to take stock of how far you have come in working towards your goals.

Are you halfway to reaching your goals and celebrating your success? Or have you slacked off or given up on your goals yet?  If so, you are not alone. 

Each year millions of people make resolutions and set goals promising themselves that they will do better and be better this year. However, 25% of people who set goals at the beginning of the new year give up after one week, and 36% give up after one month. Furthermore, by June, more than half of people have completely walked away from their goals. 

Have you given up on yourself yet? There is still time to recommit to making changes this year if you are willing to begin again.

Year after year, researchers study why we don’t complete our goals.  Here are a few of the top contenders:

Your Goals Aren’t Clear

Too often, people set vague goals such as “I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to exercise more, and earn more money.” These are fine aspirations, but they are just the first step in creating goals. When we set vague goals, we limit our ability to take action. Imagine waking up on Monday morning. Your goal is to “exercise more.” You must decide what that means for you today.

Many of us learned SMART goals in school but have not applied this process to our personal goals, so we continue to come up short. Many dismiss this process simply because it’s been around since 1981. This goal-setting format has been around for over 40 years, which lends credibility to the process. If you find that you are struggling to stick to your goals for the year or have nearly given up on them, grab a pen and paper and fine-tune your goals using the SMART format.

You Feel Overwhelmed

People often take on bigger goals than they can honestly manage. For example, losing 25 lbs by the end of the year seems doable. However, when you factor in the additional meal preparation time and increased time at the gym, you have added 5-10 hours per week to your schedule. Losing weight includes many other tasks such as shopping, meal planning, cooking, driving to and from the gym, and then the workout time. Add this to your already full calendar, including work, household chores, time with family and friends, etc. 

You Feel Discouraged

Working to reach a goal does not always go as planned. Slow progress toward health and fitness goals can be incredibly discouraging. For example, a person who aims to lower their cholesterol by 5 points at their next doctor visit starts by taking daily walks and adding oatmeal and apples to their diet to lower their LDL cholesterol. Then, they visit the doctor, and their cholesterol has only gone down by 2 points. Disappointing. 

Sometimes we need to celebrate the small wins along the way to the bigger goal. 

You Are Not Ready to Change

It is easy to get caught up in the “I shoulds” and choose goals that we, or someone who cares for us, believe that we should do. When a person tries to lose weight, quit smoking or drinking, exercise more, etc., when they are not ready, it is a frustrating process, and they often give up quickly.

Watch For Part 2

In part two of 12 Reasons Why You’ve Given Up we will explore more of the barriers that are keeping you from making the changes that you want to see in your life.

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Seeking Health and Happiness One Day at a Time.

Marcy Berg is a writer and therapist living in the Pacific Northwest and exploring thoughts on mental health, wellness, and happiness. She can be found at Growing Through Life and Seeking Greener Pastures.

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