Q A well-meaning friend asked if I had achieved my 2016 weight loss goal, which I haven’t. How can I respond without resentment?
A In a word: mindfully. Setting, working toward, and meeting goals are tremendously personal endeavors. Making resolutions and changing strategies for personal growth are neither easy nor quick, but it’s important to have the necessary support both within and outside ourselves to achieve goals.
Try to realize that your friend’s question comes from a place of support and concern. Maybe your friend wants to help you reach your goal before 2017 rolls around, or to tell you that you look great regardless. Maybe your friend is seeking support for his or her own goal-setting.
Be mindful of the terms of “success” and “failure.” Your personal goal is your own, and you set the terms. For example, your goal was to save $1,000 and you saved $250. You can congratulate yourself on saving something, or you can beat yourself up for not reaching the full amount. You can re-evaluate the goal by asking if the goal was to reach a certain dollar amount or if it was to show that you can save money.
Again, using mindfulness, consider why you chose that goal. Was a health and fitness goal based on a doctor’s recommendation, or something you read in a magazine? Was the goal feasible? Were you saving money for something you no longer really need or want? Take a moment to reevaluate the motivation for each goal and check in with yourself. Is your goal still relevant, doable, and desired?
Go easy on yourself. Celebrate incremental achievements. Take pride in having goals and seeking to improve or accomplish something. It feels good to be inspired and motivated, for however long it lasts.
Finally, reconsider with whom you share your personal goals. Be mindful about your friends, acquaintances, and what you share about yourself. You can always share your goals with the social workers at Will Rogers. We are happy to hear them!
“How to Actually Achieve Your Goals Before the Year Ends” By Susie Moore 8/30/16
available at www.greatist.com
“Goal setting, achievement orientation, and intrinsic motivation: A mediational analysis.” by Elliot, Andrew J.; Harackiewicz, Judith M. in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 66(5), May 1994