We’ve all been there. New Year, New Me. Trying yet another year to stick to your goals, to lose weight, to earn more money, etc. In recent years, I feel like the topics of productivity and success have had a tremendous influence on my life and it seems like nowadays there is more content produced on self-development and growth than ever before.
Regardless, changing myself for the better has become no easier. So, I had to dive deeper and uncover some untraditional reasons for why I am finding it challenging and, in the process, share some insights.
1. Constantly developing and growing
We’ve all heard of different theories when it comes to how many days or months it takes to build a habit from the ground up. Some say 21 days, some say 3 months, what I can say for sure is that building habits for me is not an easy job and it takes time.
One of the reasons why some of my habits failed to stick last year is because they lost their importance and relevance. Living as a millennial at a time when speed and quality in development are essential for achieving success, setting up goals for a whole year ahead is tricky.
Some of my goals lost their relevance because of new opportunities that arose in my life, others were unsuccessful because of new setbacks that were out of my control, and some I crossed out because I had a complete shift in my mindset and vision.
A goal that today seems desirable, might lose its charm by next month. That’s why I only schedule a few yearly goals, but I focus more on setting S.M.A.R.T. goals each quarter or so, so that if my mind changes, I can be agile enough in my planning to make a 180-degree turn.
Growing and constantly developing can be hard and unpredictable but as long as you have a rough idea of where you want to go, it’s doable.
2. Setting a goal just because it is trending
I think I’ve fallen prey at least once to setting a goal just because I was influenced by my friends, my environment or the content I consume. Looking back, I realize that setting a goal like this was daunting, because not only did I risk being disappointed about not achieving it when I changed my environment, but also, I risked becoming someone I did not want to be.
In 2019, I had a goal to start journaling daily so that I can have a better overview of my mental state and growth. I planned to use it to write about my day, put my thoughts in order and plan for the future.
However, because my social circle comprises equally motivated and ambitious people striving for success, I fell prey to trying to establish a habit everyone else had.
In reality, I only did it because of peer pressure and I soon realized that journaling every single day was not only annoying but also did not really aid me in visualizing my mental state or my growth through time.
So, I ended up dropping this goal and learning my lesson.
3. Entertaining negative influences from people in your past
Negative people and influences have been loyal companions in my life for as long as I can remember.
Starting from school, where I was put down constantly because of my ambition, good grades and genuine thirst for knowledge, going all the way to nowadays where my (sometimes unhealthy) fixation on self-development and growth has led some people to believe that I see myself as more than them or I “look down on them”. Which is simply not true, and because of that reason, it can be hard to overcome such criticism.
On several occasions in my life, I have started to doubt my own ability to acquire a new skill or change my life for the better because those negative people would try and put me down again as they did in the past.
But with a bit of work on my own self-esteem and with help from people who love me and see me for who I really am, I was able to remove this negativity from my life and make the haters irrelevant again.
In conclusion, growth and change can be challenging and, on my path, I have both encountered internal and external setbacks.
My mum always used to say that change is the only constant. I never used to believe her, but now, for me, that is the only truth.