You have set your goal, charted your path, and started along on your life-changing journey. But what happens when your resolve starts to crumble? How do you deal with setbacks and sometimes how do you move on when you feel like you’ve made minimal progress?
Here are three R’s to keep you on track.
R number 1 is for Review. We are often told to keep our eyes focused on our goal and not to look back, but this is a time when looking back can be positively beneficial. However, this is not the kind of looking back that draws your emotions to things you don’t like to remember. This is looking back at what you have accomplished, since you started working towards your goal.
A few years ago, when I realized that I could no longer rely on my body’s natural physical condition to keep me slim and I noticed the effects of aging that made me short of breath and when my clothes didn’t fit as well; I set a goal to get fit, become a regular gym goer, and be able to run 5 miles without dying prematurely.
I went to work with great enthusiasm and worked very hard for the first few weeks. Then I started to find it more difficult to motivate myself to hit the road in the mornings and would find excuses not to go to the gym.
But then a conversation with a friend prompted me to remember what I had accomplished so far. I realized that not only could I run almost two miles without needing an ambulance, but I had also increased my weights twice in the gym and my resting pulse rate had dropped by 5 beats per minute. I began to appreciate that my efforts were paying off.
R number 2 is for Rejoice. In addition to reviewing it, it is important to congratulate yourself for a job well done. As George Adams once said, “We’re all hungry for applause.” And it is just as valid, even if you have to applaud yourself.
Suddenly, after my review, I felt much better about what I had accomplished with my own efforts. I could see what benefits had already increased and was eager to move on.
I ceremoniously crossed off the goal steps on my progress chart, smiled in the mirror, and that night with friends, I felt perfectly justified in indulging in a little bragging. It felt good.
R number 3 is for Reward. Finally, as part of your goal plan, it’s a great idea to incorporate certain more important milestones that will trigger a reward.
After hitting the 2.5 mile mark and a certain level of weights and reps in the gym, I had told myself that I would buy a rowing machine for home, so that when winter came and I couldn’t go outside run so often, I could still maintain the regimen.
Well I got there and it was a great feeling when I went to the store and ordered my machine. Sure, I could have afforded to buy one when I started, but this way, I really felt like I earned it and it made me appreciate it even more.
So whatever goal you’ve set for yourself, don’t forget to follow through with these three motivational R’s. Review, Rejoice and Reward.