Have you ever made a resolution to do more exercise? Did you notice at the time you made this resolution how energised and confident you felt? There was no doubt in your mind that you could make it happen. The next day you buy a new pair of running shoes and join the gym to begin working towards being a fitter you. You exercise every day for a couple of weeks and feel great. Then the days get darker and colder. You find you need more energy to jump out of bed early. Slowly your motivation starts to disappear. You begin to tell yourself you just don’t have the discipline to exercise regularly. Your desire to maintain the healthy lifestyle you hoped for so seems far away and you give up.

The old saying ‘where there is a will there is a way’ holds a lot of wisdom. But often we focus more on the will and not on the way. The will is important. Our will helps us connect to a more positive future and provides us with energy to make a change. If everything goes smoothly this might be all we need. However, when it doesn’t go to plan our energy resources quickly run out. This is when we start judging ourselves for not ‘having enough willpower’ or not ‘being disciplined enough’ and we lose our motivation.

This is where the way becomes important too. A way helps us to think ahead so we can direct and redirect our energy. A way ensures we have options that help us to overcome obstacles. If plan A isn’t working, we can move to plan B or Plan C. By doing this it gives us a sense of control that helps us to persist and keep moving towards our goal. When we have a will and a way it helps us to feel positive about ourselves, the world and the future and to view setbacks as challenges. So next time you feel excited about a goal remember that ‘where there is a will – you also need a way’.

The elements of hope that create a ‘will and a way’
A clear specific, measurable and achievable goal that excites you.
Several realistic pathways to create alternative options for achieving your goal.
A plan to overcome the anticipated obstacles for each pathway and keep you motivated when it gets tough.