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Approach-Oriented Goals

Posted by Coach Hawk on

It should go without saying that unrealistic resolutions are fated to fail. And it is unrealistic to think that you can immediately overcome a habit you have spent years establishing.


For example, if you’ve spent years smoking, or eating junk, or not exercising, it’s a fairytale to think it’s going to be easy to reverse those habits as if they never happened to begin with- and the ‘all-or-nothing mindset’ doesn’t help much either.


Approach-oriented goals (e.g. a goal of doing something new) tend to be more successful than avoidance-oriented goals (e.g. trying to stop doing something), and having some support helps people stick with their goals, while having a ton of support may actually not improve outcomes relative to no support.


Also, I know people tend to get pessimistic about New Years Resolutions, but the success rate at one year in this study (PMID: 33296385) was about 50% (success operationally defined as people reporting that they were at least, "by and large, sticking to [their] New Year’s resolutions"). Successful New Years Resolutions really aren't THAT uncommon of a thing.


It will be difficult to adhere to any lifestyle change, but you can’t think in terms of success or failure. That’s a black and white mentality that more often than not sets you up for disappointment. This can compromise your sense of self worth which can backfire and lead to even worse behavior.


Instead have a structured game plan, set short and long term goals, and look for signs of progress to keep you on track realizing that success is NEVER linear.


Be kind to yourself, and realize that you’re always one meal, or workout, away from getting right back on track.


You feel me? ❤️

- Coach Hawk



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