Goals give us a sense of purpose and helps guide us in the direction we want to head towards. It keeps us engaged in the activities we’ve set out for ourselves, and hopefully, lead us towards a more balanced and happy life. However, life is full of obstacles and our best intentions don’t always win. As humans, we are also constantly changing so what we thought worked for us at one point might not work for us after that. These changes are very much part of life and more than okay; we just need to pause sometimes to readjust out goals to accommodate them all.
Life happensThere are many reasons why we may need to change our goals. One of the key reasons is the fact that our priorities in life are rarely static. Any alteration to our lives or schedule no matter small or large – staying late at work, getting a promotion, starting a family - can have a significant impact on whether our goals can be achieved or not. In the context of exercise, the smallest injury can set you back quite a bit in terms of achieving your fitness goals. Instead of getting angry or frustrated at these things you cannot control, see this as an opportunity to reconsider and adjust your goals.
Reality bitesSometimes, it’s not so much changes in your life that affect your goals but your attempts at achieving them in the first place. Even the most experienced person makes mistakes, thinking that they can hit better targets than humanly possible. Struggling in your journey towards achieving your goals shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing; in fact, they can help you learn and improve yourself in other ways. It tells you what your body and mind is capable of, and helps you grow into a better and stronger person. Use this new knowledge and start on Plan B.
Let them go
One of the hardest, but most important aspects of adjusting your goals, is learning to let go of your unachievable goals. It’s tempting to feel like you’ve failed, but what is important is that you acknowledge what doesn’t work. There is no point using your energy, time and mental strength on something that won’t get you the results you want. Learn to allow yourself to chuck them out so that you can find new ways to get yourself as close to the original goal as possible in different ways. This doesn’t mean you’ve given up trying; instead, this is a sign that you’re clever enough to quickly find a solution that fits your life.
Making modificationsAdjusting your goals doesn’t mean just changing what you have been dreaming of. Sometimes, all you need to do is make smaller modifications to make sure that they are more achievable. When it comes to fitness, one of the most significant barriers to success is the timeline you set for yourself. This may be in terms of how frequent you visit the gym, sign up for Zumba classes or how long you are setting yourself to hit that weight or bulk target. A small change like visiting the gym twice a week instead of three times may be all you need to do.
Assess and evaluate
Whether or not your goals are working for now, it never hurts to schedule in time for some evaluation of your progress. You can do this by initially setting smaller goals and assessing it at that point, or include periods for evaluation as part of your larger goals. At these stages, check in to see which elements are you making progress on and which you’re struggling with.
Make new goals
Adjusting your goals doesn’t mean only making small tweaks to the task you’ve set for yourself, or the timeline. Sometimes, after trying it out for a while, you might realise that no matter what you do, you won’t be able to be successfully in completing the task. That’s okay! At this stage, use the knowledge and experience you have to start making new goals. A fresh new start can sometimes be good not just for motivation, but also because it will suit whatever state your life is in at that moment, making them more achievable.