If you are like most people I know, every year about this time you begin to notice that all those New Year´s resolutions you made about 4 weeks ago are starting to fade and wither. Most of these resolutions were the same ones you made last year and the year before. Every year, after a few weeks, you start finding reasons and excuses to make exceptions and to fall off the wagon.
When you stop to think about it, we habitually break our promises to ourselves. Numerous studies have been done to help us understand why this happens and there are some very smart people who have come up with 100s of tricks to help us achieve our goals.I think there are two primary reasons we quit working on our goals. The first is the erroneous belief that it must look a certain way by a certain time, otherwise, we think it´s not working or not worth it. We think that if we go on this diet and start working out every day, then within a matter of just a few days we will be seeing results and that the process will be getting easier. When we don´t see the instantaneous results we want, our brain helps us make the decision to quit by rationalizing that this is just not worth it.
Unfortunately, the root of most, if not all of our problems is the need for instant gratification and when we don´t see instantaneous results, we tend to get discouraged and quit. When you stop to think about it, the world is not designed to give us instantaneous feedback – either good or bad. You don´t get lung cancer after just one puff. You don´t gain 30 pounds after eating just one donut, or even one donut a day for 3 weeks. You don´t get into financial hock to the tune of $50,000 of credit card debt in a month. You don´t create a lousy relationship in just a week so it is irrational to believe that you will unwind these problems in a matter of a few days. The results in your life so far, both the good results and the ones you would like to see changed (the ones you made your New Year´s resolutions about), happened as a result of continuous, daily actions. You did not go out and create the problems you now have overnight. And, you will not solve these problems over night, either.
Ordinary things, consistently done, produce extraordinary results!
Remember, Cause and Effect? Whenever the cause is missing, so is the effect. So, whatever it is you want in your life, check to see if the Cause is in place to produce the desired Effect. If it is, then it is just a matter of time and consistent, daily activity until you see the Effects in your life. Remember, Cause and Effect are not closely linked by time.
The second big reason people struggle with achieving their goals is we all tend to fall in love with the Effect and not the Cause. Everyone I know would love to be rich and skinny and in a wonderful relationship. Those are all Effects – and they are easy to fall in love with. The secret is to fall in love with the Cause. I don´t know one successful person who gets up in the morning and does what they hate. Rather, every successful person I know is doing what they love. They may not have started out loving it, and maybe every single little thing about what they´re doing is not their most favorite thing in the world, but big picture, they love what they´re doing.
Successful people tend to fall in love with pleasing results, while unsuccessful people tend to fall in love with pleasing methods. If you don´t fall in love with the Cause, you will wake up every morning dreading doing the things that will result in the Effects you desire, and I don´t know anyone who can sustain themselves doing what they hate for more than a couple of weeks. If you do decide to fall in love with the Causes that will produce the Effects you want, you will achieve your goals much faster because we all perform better when we enjoy what we´re doing.
Re-look at your goals and resolutions from the viewpoint of Cause and Effect. Are you slowing down because you are not seeing instantaneous results? Are you waking up in the morning dreading doing the things that will produce the results you want? If so, ask yourself these questions:
I love what General MacArthur said: “Age wrinkles your skin. Quitting wrinkles your soul!”
A commitment you make to yourself should be no less sacred than a commitment you make to others!
You are in control of your destiny! Live the life you dream!
I am so proud of you and your commitment to excellence and SPECTACULAR!
Keith J. Cunningham