The Journey: How to get back up should you fall trying to achieve your goals

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By Samantha Brazie, Special to The Paper

Happy New Year folks! Most of us have made a New Year’s resolution or two to begin 2020. I talked a little bit about setting goals in my last column. The SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based) method is always a good way to setting goals.

However, even best-laid plans don’t turn out the way we would like. A lot of people (including myself) might not be on the perfect track to achieve those well-meaning goals as precisely as we would like, so this month we’ll explore how to get back up should you fall.

  • Admit you slipped. One of the toughest things to do is admit when we make a mistake. It is much easier to blame circumstances or other people (even in our own mind) than to take responsibility for our choices. Yes you are stressed, yes your time is limited and yes – life sucks sometimes. That doesn’t mean we can’t move forward and try to figure out a way to get around whatever that surrounding issue is.

  • Reflect on what happened. Take some time to give serious thought on the circumstances surrounding the issue. Were you in a situation with a lot of temptations? If so, what can you do to change those surroundings? While there may not be an immediate solution, understanding why this happened will help you to move forward.

  • Learn from it. Once you have admitted what happened and given it some serious thought, figure out a plan of how to continue with your goal. If your family wants you to have a meal with them, but doesn’t want to follow the same way of eating as you are, make a different meal for yourself and eat with them at the same time. You don’t have to have the same food. If you spend too much money on shoes, figure out how you can still get shoes, but limit the frequency so you use the purchase as a reward rather than the norm.

  • Forgive yourself. I believe this is the most important part of the entire process. If you keep beating yourself up over it, you may not have the willpower to get back on the wagon and be successful. Understand you are a human being and all of us slip up from time to time.

  • Be patient with yourself. It’s possible you will fall again. If your ‘why’ is genuinely important to you, you will figure this out regardless of your goal. You may need to break your goal down into smaller chunks if it is too overwhelming. If you need to, do it. It’s better to take longer to reach your goal than to feel helpless.

At the end of the day, we should all continue to work for something. Before you reach your goal, start working on the next one so you have something to look forward to. Short and long range goals are always important to stay focused.

As Bill Copeland said, “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” Score, friends!

See you next month.

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