I got up and went to yoga this morning and then came home and walked 5 miles. On my walk, my husband and I were talking about how hard it is for people to dig themselves out of the holes that they either put themselves in or were born into. The more hopeless a situation appears to be, the harder it is to climb out. I think that there are a few steps that need to happen.
The first thing that has to happen is the person has to BELIEVE it can and will get better. They have to BELIEVE that the steps that they take will come together toward a marked improvement on their life. The problem is that the more deeply embedded in the hole they are, the more potential there is for things to collapse on them when they are trying to climb out. The belief in a better way will fuel them to stay the course.
Not only must they believe it can get better but they must BUILD THEIR RESOLVE. It's important to build resolve because it is the fuel behind your energy. When one moves forward toward a goal and reaches a roadblock, or worse, a setback, one needs a force of energy to move ahead again. Discouragement is deadly when one is reaching for a goal. They must be strong and singleminded and not let people or situations stop them. Move forward, march on. To do this they must spend time and energy building their resolve. You can do this through education or inspiration but it must come from inside your your spirit. Any external resolve is too easy to lose.
The third thing I think is important is to GATHER SUPPORT. Gather your friends and loved ones to support you on the goal. By support, I don't mean policing you. You should be able to police yourself for that is the only way you are going to feel good about accomplishing your goals. I don't really even mean having an accountability partner. In my experience, using a friend as an accountability partner often ends in resentment. It's better to find a stranger as an accountability partner and let it grow into a friendship than the other way around. When I say gather support, I mean tell your friends what your are doing so that they don't inadvertently sabotage your efforts in their uninformed state. Let them be your rah rah team. Take their hands of support, don't try to be brave and do it alone. We all need each other.
Finally to climb out of a hole at any time, you must CELEBRATE THE SMALL STEPS along the way. If you have to lose 100 pounds, celebrate every 10 as a landmark. If you are looking for a promotion, celebrate the kudos you are getting from your employees. If you are seeking greater health or movement, celebrate the breakthroughs however small. If you are wanting to start jogging from a sedentary lifestyles, celebrate your first walk around the block and then keep it up. Whatever it is, be proud of the little that you do and you will be able to build on it. Before you know, you will be that much closer to who you would like to be or what you would like to do.
It's so important that you don't let yourself get discouraged and sabotage your efforts. Just keep plugging away at it. Remember "slow and steady wins the race".
It's never too late to go for your goals. You are never so deep that you can't climb out. Whatever it is that you are working on. Keep it up. Start today. Plug away at it and don't give up. It's not over till it's over!