June 4, 2018

It’s officially June—which means 2018 is already halfway over. For me, it's hard to figure out where the time has gone. And specifically: How has all this time has passed, yet most of my New Year’s Resolutions are still completely unfinished?

It’s sobering when you realize you haven’t accomplished what you set out to do. Feelings of guilt, shame, and regret can creep in when you think about your resolutions. Maybe you aimed for more financial stability, to mend some relationships, or to score that dream job or internship.

You told yourself: This time, I’m gonna crush it. Nothing will get in the way.

But then, life happened.

The rush from that first day of 2018 dissipated.

The rush of life set in.

You try to tell yourself you're doing your best—but still, it's easy to blame yourself for not completing that big January goal.

Here’s the first truth in all of this: You don’t have to crush it every single day.

"Crushing it" is a narrative that’s seemingly helpful, but it can be harmful if you try to be a constant high achiever. I know—I struggle with it too.

I weighed 285 lbs in 2016 and was diagnosed with prediabetes and prehypertension. I was told that I needed to make immediate changes for my life. It was scary and challenging, but I dropped 30 lbs that year.

In 2017, my weight began to fluctuate. Old habits crept in. I began binge eating again and skipping days in the gym. I had a nutritionist and a primary care physician, but I just couldn’t stay on track with my goals.

January 1, 2018, was a day of promises and wishes. I told myself that this would be the year that I’d meet all those resolutions I’d failed at previously. I told myself that I’d reach my goal weight, have a steady workout routine, and finally finish the first season of my podcast.

What actually happened: I stuck with the workout routine, but everything else was moved to the back burner. Life happened. It always will.

But in the process, I learned that I need to stop pushing myself to “crush” every single goal at once—and to accept when I come up short.

There’s power, not weakness, in accepting where you are right now—accepting what progress you’ve made and where you’ve stalled.

There’s power, not weakness, in accepting where you are right now—accepting what progress you’ve made and where you’ve stalled.

As William Berry, M.S., explains in Psychology Today, acceptance—not shame—can propel us forwards:

“Acceptance doesn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, mean passive resignation. Quite the opposite. It takes a huge amount of fortitude and motivation to accept what is— especially when you don’t like it—and then work wisely and effectively as best you possibly can with the circumstances you find yourself in and with the resources at your disposal, both inner and outer, to mitigate, heal, redirect, and change what can be changed.”

If you’re feeling defeated right now, or feeling like you’re not crushing it, I encourage you to try these few things—I know they've helped me:

1. Challenge Yourself to Practice Acceptance

Instead of harping on how far behind you are in that bullet journal or savings goal, try asking yourself: “How can I accept how things are right now for better or for worse?” or “How can I accept that I haven’t met some of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year?”

Give yourself space to accept the reality of the situation—what you have done, what's still left to do—without judgement.

2. Stand Up to Your Inner Bully

We all have this record of negative self-talk on repeat at times. Instead of letting it play on loop in your head, try writing down those hurtful messages you’re telling yourself. Just getting them onto paper can sometimes slow down the negative thought cycle.

3. Set Up Your Redirect

This is your secret weapon: Take those negative messages you’ve said to yourself and write down a kinder message you could say.

For example, if your self-talk is saying, “Ugh, I hate the way I look right now. I’m never going to meet this goal.” Your redirect could be, “I get to make healthy decisions for myself every day, and I’ve made progress—which is what matters most.”

4. Revisit Those Resolutions

Are your goals realistic and attainable?

Sometimes we aim a little too high because we feel that’s required of us. But the best thing we can do is set doable goals.

Take time to edit your goals and make them work for you. I personally like using SMART goals as a guide. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

However you build your goal, leave space for self-compassion. If you don't stick to your schedule precisely, that's OK. You don’t have to crush it 24/7 to be loved, accepted, or amazing.

You don’t have to crush it 24/7 to be loved, accepted, or amazing.

It’s important that we remember to be gentle to the person we spend the most time with: ourselves. And to know that progress comes from accepting and embracing where we are right now.


Read next: The Best Goals Start With 'Why'