Follow Through 2016


Confession time: I'm a little bit judgmental of people who don't follow through with things. My OCD, type-A personality allows me to be good at setting goals and putting my blinders on until I reach them. When I see the influx of January gym-goers and nutrition plans that fall off after 10 days, I have an internal tendency to roll my eyes and think, weak. Nike's, "just do it," is an easy mantra for me to recite. It's mean and probably stems from far too much competitive energy, I know. I'm working on it. But lately, I've started to think about all the internal promises I make to myself that get broken and go unaccounted for. You see, I'm good at meeting the goals I advertise because they are goals that I know are obtainable. I told a friend of mine I was restarting the Whole30 about a week ago, so there you go; I spoke it into existence and now I have to follow through. Yet, I grew up in a house of healthy eating, so I really don't have to do much to change my normal eating habits besides be a little pickier when I eat out. When it comes to exercise, I own a fitness studio, for crying out loud, so "getting my workout in" is not something that I avoid. These are basic, "New Year's Resolutions" for the majority of Americans: get healthy, eat better. These things are challenges for me, yes (I miss you, wine), but not scary ones.

It's easy to pat ourselves on the back when we accomplish things that are already our strengths; it's a much different ballgame to make a dent in our weaknesses.

You know what's really scary? Advertising the goals and promises that terrify you because you know you may fail. What if, this year, instead of only talking about the things that we know are obtainable, we let someone in on the goals and promises that we may falter on. Yes, we take the risk of being judged for our lack of perfection (by internally judgmental people like me), but we also risk being held accountable, something I, and I'm sure many of you, could use a whole lot more of.

Additionally, assuming that someone didn't complete a goal because they were irresponsible or lazy is unproductive because it doesn't allow any leeway for a change in course. Have you ever started working towards a goal only to realize that your plan is completely flawed? Pivoting is a necessity, and maybe the only way to reach a successful outcome. Far too often, we jump to the conclusion that failure is the same thing as changing your plan. So, let's leave room for change because sometimes our first choice isn't our best choice.

I'm not calling for social media declarations and oversharing galore, but I think it's crucial to tell someone, "This is my goal, please hold me accountable." Find the friends and family that won't judge you when you falter but will tell you that you are worth it to keep trying. Maybe it's time for a shift in your course, but allow someone to help you carve out that new game plan.

The saying goes, "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you," so speak your goals into existence and decide there's no turning back. Be a source of encouragement, rather than shame, for the people you love who are trying to make a change because you also need their support tenfold. Whether you have incredible follow through or none at all, accountability is something our souls crave.

Go find it.