Two Questions To Ask Yourself If You’re Having Trouble Reaching Your Goals

You can find anything on YouTube these days.

Dinosaur brides.

The Office bloopers. (I loveee a good blooper reel.)

Wimpy goats.

Sara Hopkins. (Love her.)

A list of hilarious gifs. (Okay, not on YouTube, BUT STILL.)

I’ve also been into psychology YouTube videos lately (great segue I know), and one topic in particular stuck with me: social psychology. This video got me thinking about how social influence can relate to fitness and goal-setting. (You have to click the little menu bar in the top left corner and find video #38 to see the one I’m talking about! I do recommend watching to fully understand the rest of this post.)

Key points:

-When someone in power tells us to do something, we generally listen, even if it goes against what we believe to be the right thing. Sometimes it’s a good thing, like when your running coach tells you to focus on recovery when all you really want to do is go bang out a track workout because you think it will make you stronger. Other times it’s a bad thing, like when your physical therapist tells you you’re not built to be a runner (<—true story. Stopped seeing her immediately.).

The example in this video (believing you’re shocking someone but doing it anyway based on what the person in charge tells you) is extreme, but what about when someone you respect and admire tells you you can’t do something? Sometimes even loved ones spew negativity at us without realizing how detrimental it can be.

“How are you going to find the time to train for a marathon!”

“You’re not a runner! You hate running!”

“You ate an entire size large bucket of popcorn at the movies last night. There’s no way you can run that 5K.” (<—-Does it still count as finishing it if you leave 10 kernels in the bottom? Asking for a friend.)

carrie bradshaw couldn't help but wonder

I couldn’t help but wonder…

Why is it that some people go on to do it anyway, and others give up? I’ve been asking myself this question for years, and this video put it into a little better perspective for me. Here are two questions to ask yourself when you’re having trouble accomplishing a goal:

1. Do you have any role models of defiance? If you don’t see anyone else overcoming obstacles and going through challenges, you’re less likely to defy the “rules” yourself. When it comes to accomplishing each of your goals, who’s your role model? It could be a friend or a compete stranger, someone who wrote a book on the topic, or someone who posts videos blogs on YouTube.

ironman lake placid bike

I always thought Ironman triathletes were tall, muscular men. I never considered participating in one until a coworker who I felt was similar to me finished one.

2. Who do you surround yourself with on a daily basis? Our attitudes “grow stronger when we talk to others who share them”. This can be a bad thing if we ignore other opinions and don’t respect others’ perspectives, but when it comes to reaching goals, it can be a great thing. Do the people you spend your time with support and encourage you and your individuality? Do you feel like you have to adjust your behavior to fit in with the group?

social psyschology and goal setting

To sum up:

What we learn from those around us shapes our behavior and attitudes. Surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to do. People who are positive, encouraging, and who challenge you to be better. Maybe the people you love most aren’t into what you’re into – and that’s okay. You as an individual can choose to join a group, read blogs, or even watch YouTube videos from people who are out there doing it.

Instead of thinking “what if…”

What if I can’t finish…

What if I embarrass myself…

What if I get injured…

…Think, “what if I DON’T?” What will life be like?”

joey tribbiani friends quotes

Focus on improving your quality of life and use that to propel yourself forward.

I am not a psychologist – I’m trying to make sense of what I’m learning. If you ARE one (way to go, you!) and notice any errors please let me know.

I’m a writer currently living in New Jersey and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!

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