Connect with us



6 Mistakes That Can Keep You From Achieving Your Wellness Goals



6 Mistakes That Can Keep You From Achieving Your Wellness Goals

Editor’s Note: UPDATED as of October 10, 2016 for relevance and accuracy.


You have some exciting new goals, and you’re ready to take action! Just look at you—all motivated and inspired to make self-healthy change! Nothing’s getting in the way of your wellness goals!

Such unabashed enthusiasm is great. Lots of people start off feeling exactly the same.

Take Sarah, for instance. She’s totally gung-ho about doing her 30-minute strength training routine five times per week. She gets off to an impressive start! Monday she does the whole workout before leaving for the office. Same with Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday she actually does an extra set of squats.

Then the following Monday rolls around and Sarah has to be at work early for a monthly team meeting. So she skips the exercise routine and vows to do it when she gets home. Except on her evening commute she gets stuck in a horrendous traffic jam. By the time Sarah finally makes it through her door, she is too fried to lift a can of soup let alone a twelve-pound free weight.

Tuesday she oversleeps and only manages to get in 10 minutes of exercise. By Wednesday, Sarah’s initial eagerness has totally waned and is replaced by such a nagging sense of guilt she is considering altogether abandoning her goal of getting in shape.

This is a common predicament. When things get hectic, it’s easy to use stress as an excuse NOT to exercise, eat better, or keep up with the healthy new habit you finally started working on.

The real reason why wellness goals get derailed isn’t because we oversleep, get stuck in traffic, or have busy schedules.

It’s because we fail to stay motivated.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s a list of six common mistakes that can kill motivation—and how to avoid them:


1) Aiming too high in your wellness goals.

When we decide we are ready to make change, we can sometimes get a little ahead of ourselves and aim too big — like Sarah did. When we fail to live up to our lofty standards it can definitely take the wind out of our motivational sails.

Instead start small. Your goals should help you grow and stretch while still being attainable.

Think of yourself as a startup. You need some time to ramp up and develop your stamina before you can go big. If you’ve never swam a day in your life outside of the shallow end, it’s not wise to throw on your Speedo and head right out on a six-mile deep water swim with your triathlon-training brother-in-law.

If by some miracle you don’t drown, your body and ego will both be sore the next day. It makes more sense to start off by getting your feet wet. Then increase your exertion and ramp up the distance as you gain strength and stamina.

Likewise, if you’ve never eaten a vegetable that didn’t come from a can, don’t set a goal of drinking a green smoothie for breakfast and eating a kale salad for lunch every day. Start by including one small serving of fresh veggies in your daily diet and make that a consistent habit.

2) Having unrealistic expectations.

Transformation doesn’t happen overnight and NOT without a lot of effort. As much as you want to see instantaneous results, it doesn’t work that way.
Instead, to keep your motivation stoked and your expectations in line, set some early wellness goals that are almost guaranteed.

In the business world this is referred to as “low hanging fruit,” and it essentially means going for the quick win first. It’s good to set some initial “gimme” goals that are easily within your grasp — goals you barely need to stretch to reach.

Then manage your own expectations well. If your goal is to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight and you want to actually keep the extra weight off, you should expect it to take some time. If your goal is to overhaul your eating lifestyle for the long-term, it’s going to take a while to learn how to shop, meal plan, and cook accordingly. Set yourself up for success by not being overly aggressive with your expectations while still pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone.

3. Not knowing your “why?”

People are often clear about what they want. For instance, you might want to lose weight, or improve your cholesterol levels, or curb your sugar addiction. But people typically forget to really understand why they want what they want. If you would like to lose weight, is it because you want to look better at the beach? Or is it because you want to be able to get down on the floor and play with your kids?

Instead of focusing solely on what you want, understand your why. Knowing your true motivation can help you stay focused on the end game.

Ask yourself “Why do I want to make this change?” It’s not enough to say “I want to lose weight” or “I want to feel energized.” You need to know why you want to lose weight or have more energy. The “why” is going to help shape your vision and keep you motivated to accomplish your goals.


4. Spreading yourself too thin.

When it comes to getting healthy, time tends to be the most common limiting factor that can keep you from reaching your wellness goals. There are only so many hours in a day. If you take on too much or sap all of your energy, it’s going to greatly lessen the odds of you staying motivated.

Instead take steps to free up some of your time and preserve your energy.

Try outsourcing some of your responsibilities. Nobody is capable of doing everything well. And no business is either. That’s why they routinely outsource activities such as accounting, manufacturing, and customer support to entities that can do the job better and more efficiently. Just like every business has limited resources, so do people.

Redistributing some of your work will free up your time and allow you to dedicate a few hours per week toward maintaining your health. Delegate the stuff you hate doing or are terrible at doing, and focus on what you do best. Today you can even outsource healthy meal prep to services like Blue Apron or Peach Dish.

You can also lessen the daily burden by learning how to defend your time. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Say yes to the opportunities that are in line with your vision. But say “no thanks” to the draining tasks, projects, and drama that people can deal with themselves or that aren’t in line with your priorities and goals.


5. Focusing on the negative.

Too often we look at what we are doing wrong, instead of what we are doing right. It’s no surprise, then, that many of us find it challenging to stay engaged in our goals when we rarely provide ourselves with praise.

Instead, remember to celebrate each small success. If something isn’t going well, by all means address it. But don’t beat yourself up.

Also, remember to state your goals in the positive. Phrasing your wellness goals allows you to focus on the productive changes you want to make rather than on the negative behaviors you are seeking to change. For example: instead of saying “I don’t want to be a permanent fixture on my couch anymore” you can say “I will add 30 minutes of movement to my day starting December 1.”


6. Going at your wellness goals alone.

Trying to make healthy changes without a support network is never a good idea. Eventually you will lose willpower. And if you don’t have someone rooting you on and keeping you motivated, it’s a lot easier to give up.

Instead find an accountability partner. Having someone who can hold you accountable to your goals is a great source of motivation.

Whether you choose a friend, a family member, or a co-worker, select someone who supports the change you are making. Communicate your action steps and time frame, and encourage them to follow up with you on your progress. Better still—commit to make healthy changes together. It’s easy to smack the snooze button silly when it’s just you, but if you know a friend is waiting at the track for you at 6 a.m. on a Monday, you’re much more likely to show up and run those laps.


Lastly, don’t forget the fun factor. With so many possibilities out there, there’s no reason every action you take can’t be enjoyable when it comes to wellness. The more enjoyable you make it, the higher your motivation will be. If you notice your enthusiasm for your wellness goals waning, try mixing it up a bit with some healthy new food options or a totally new fitness routine.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Can You Receive A Compliment Without It Getting To Your Head?



a compliment (1)

Receiving compliments gracefully isn’t as easy as it should be for some people. How about you: are YOU ready for someone to give you a pat on the back? To be pushed to doing more? To have someone give you a supporting hand? To be picked up when you fall down?

Sure, we may think that’s what we want. But is it what we need to develop, to grow, and to get better?

If someone complimented you on every little improvement you made while learning a new skill, would you not start to feel a bit marginalized? That perhaps they didn’t really think you could do it? What about when you do something that seems pretty easy and everyone made it into a big deal?


Receiving Compliments When You Are Not Ready For It

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments

Developing new skills is never free of trouble. We all know the level of foundation that must be built to get from being a novice, before reaching greatness. In the learning process, we all know when we are in that frustrating stage of not being quite as good – but we know what we have to do to get there.

It’s in these moments that receiving compliments on your every action could minimize your efforts. That’s because if they truly knew you, people would be holding out for when you make that big, defining leap. 

As we overcome hurdles in our learning and development, friends, family members, and colleagues will know when the time is right to provide encouragement. They know that when that moment comes, those words will have the right amount of impact on you.

Think back to when you were growing up, playing some elaborate game. Perhaps you spent hours creating this game: building a fort, putting together things that the rest of your characters in the play could use. You pushed through despite the trials and problems.

It would have served absolutely no purpose for someone to congratulate you on every step (and misstep) along the way.  You would have lost your flow as you worked through the problem, constantly being interrupted – all while you were still trying to figure it out and understand where you needed to go.

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments


When Receiving Compliments Makes You Content with Present Achievements

You might never have finished if someone patted you on the back early in that moment, content in the knowledge that you “thought up” the idea and that was enough. If everyone was saying you did great simply for thinking up something new, would it have compelled you to stop?

Maybe. Perhaps you would have stopped with that compliment.

As a parent, you learn when to encourage your children. Usually, it’s not when they show up, and not when they do what kids around them are able to do as well. It’s when they push themselves to do more. When they pick themselves up and still lose, when they try something new for the first time, fall over and fail, not sure if they should do it again.

Those are the moments when kids should be receiving compliments – NOT when they have done the same thing over and over again, or when they didn’t try their best but won anyways.

Kids know this. They can feel it when people give false compliments or encouragement because they did something they’ve always done. But when it is something meaningful, something they have worked hard for, they know the encouragement will be there to help them.

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments

The reason you might not be receiving compliments or encouragement when you want to is because you haven’t earned them or don’t deserve them yet.

Maybe your coaches, leaders, parents, or other people who support you know you are not ready for it. Perhaps they need to see you making that next big leap in your growth and development.

Those compliments might not come today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. But look at those around you – the great people you have chosen to surround yourself with – and you’ll see that they are waiting to give you that push. They are waiting for you to make it happen.

Continue Reading


3 Ways to Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart




when your dreams are falling apart (1)

I truly believe that dreams must extend beyond wishes of self-improvement; that its goal should be to contribute to the world around you.

The heart is a fickle thing. Imagine how many amazing things wouldn’t have been accomplished if great minds simply stopped when they “didn’t feel like it”.

It’s human nature. I’m sure that during the course of over 300 bank rejections, Walt Disney had days when he felt like giving up. But he didn’t. He kept going. Why? It was because his dream went far beyond himself.

Here’s how YOU can keep going – even if it feels like your dreams are falling apart.


3 Ways to Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

1.) Remember The “Why”

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

Often times, I find that dreams extend far beyond the simple purpose of making one happy. For example, being a songwriter in and of itself does not make me feel happy and fulfilled. Imagine if my life’s work was to write songs that no one would ever hear. That doesn’t elicit any feelings of happiness or fulfillment (at least to me).

Seeing and hearing the healing effects that come from the songs I create for others to hear? Now you’re talking. Healing and helping others is the part of my dream that keeps it alive. It gives me purpose in this world that goes far beyond myself and my skills.

I’m reminded of the character Ebenezer Scrooge from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. Scrooge’s goal in life was to have money – and lots of it. He set aside love and relationships for that dream. The result of this life goal was a lonely, cold, bitter old man.

I won’t ruin the whole story for the very few of you that may not have heard it. In the end, Scrooge discovered that what brought him fulfillment and happiness were community and generosity.

So what is the “why” to your dream? How is your dream going to affect those around you? Get beyond yourself. As many have said, YOU are your biggest obstacle to success.


2.) Take Off The Rose-Colored Glasses

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

You know what I’m talking about. The “I’m going to make it big” and “I’m going to famous/rich/etc.” I hate to take a pointy realistic needle to your big ideas, but I’m doing it out of love. Here it is:

Your dream isn’t going to look exactly how you pictured it.

Take a minute to take that one in. Still here? Yes. Alive? Yes. Not Bleeding? No? Hurt a bit?

It’s OK. I know. I’ve been there. Dreams are vulnerable. We spend countless hours imagining what it would be like and how we will get there. But the truth is, in my experience, they have never turned out exactly how I have imagined. Why? We live in a world of people and circumstances that we can’t control.

Here is where the “why” comes in. The beautiful thing is that your works are a direct result of your heart’s intention…and what you put out into the world never comes back void. Here’s an example:

As a singer-songwriter, the common idea of making it big for my line of work is to have a hit song or perform in front of a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden (I’m more inclined towards Red Rock Amphitheatre, but you get the picture).

Let’s say that I work and strive tirelessly to do everything I need to do to reach that goal. I release a song, I tour around the US, develop a large following, get on the radio, etc. Along the way, I hear stories of how this song has impacted the people who have heard it. Stories describing how it brought healing, encouragement, and hope.

To go further, what if I never even make it that far? What if circumstances happen and I can’t tour? What if everything “falls apart”? What if I end up playing at open mics for the rest of my life? What if it doesn’t happen in the next year? Two years?

Does that change the fact that my song helped heal and open the heart of a broken and depressed Vietnam Vet? Or how it helped encourage an author to keep going and writing? Or how my song started a conversation on how to look past the labels overshadowing soldiers and their families?

It’s all about your perspective of success, my friend. To me, because my “why” and my heart’s intention are to help people, those stories above are my version of success. It’s what keeps me going. If I get to Madison Square Garden (or Red Rocks), well that’s just icing on top of the cake.

Keep going on your dream. Make a plan, and in the words of .38 Special, “Hold on loosely, but don’t let go.” Roll with the punches and understand that even greater things can come when things don’t go according to your plan.


3.) Make Your Dream Your Job

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

No, I don’t mean quit your job and have no income while you work on your dream. That’s an entirely different article (and completely up to you). I’m talking about treating your dream like it is your job.

For example, if you completely failed at a presentation at work, would you just quit and not go the next day? No! You have a livelihood and an expectation to show up. So why quit on your dream at the first sign of failure?

Treat your dream like your job. Make a plan, show up every day, and understand that it may take a while to see any results. I know many songwriters who wrote hundreds of songs before they wrote a hit. However, they never would have reached it if they didn’t take that first step, made a commitment, and wrote 100 songs first.

Dreams don’t just happen. They take work. So go get started!

My best advice under this theme is check out the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. It is by far the best resource I have discovered in my journey of living out my dream.

Here’s the deal. With every goal that I have set and achieved, I never sat at the end and thought to myself, “man, look at what I did”. Believe it or not, I was more overwhelmed with the thoughts of the journey that I had to take to get there – the good and the bad.

I would admire and laugh at the unexpected things that came. I would smile and enjoy the character it built, the person that I became in the process. In the end, the best thing about dreams and goals isn’t their achievement, but the journey that you take to get there.

Never forget that the dream in your heart was put there for a reason. You were made to make an impact on this world.

Enjoy the journey and never, ever give up. Keep going.

Continue Reading