Millions of Americans set New Year’s resolutions each year. The New Year feels like a fresh start and gives many people the opportunity to embark on new challenges. However, as I’m sure you know, most people give up well before they accomplish their goals. The excuses that explain why people fail are numerous.
Maybe their plan of action just “didn’t work for them”.
You may feel like a failure and that empty feeling leads you to think that you’re simply not disciplined enough to follow through on your plan of action.
Each day I come across a few naturals that are at their breaking point and nearly ready to give up on natural hair.
Included below are some of the most common reasons (not often discussed) why many naturals struggle during their natural hair journey and often give up.
Reason #1: It’s All or Nothing
You either believe everything that you read about natural hair or you disbelieve everything that you read about natural hair. If you really want to succeed during your journey, it is essential for you to realize that you can’t believe everything that you read online, but you must learn to discern helpful information from someone’s personal experience. Make sure you do your best to verify the accuracy of the information that you’re reading. There is a lot of inaccurate information online about natural hair.
Reason #2: You’re Not Focusing on the Long-Term
Decide ultimately what you want to achieve during your natural hair journey. For example, if your goal is to grow your hair to arm pit length (APL) or bra strap length (BSL) you will need to focus on setting short-term goals that allow you to accomplish your long-term goal.
Separate what’s important to you from all of the potential distractions that may not align with your natural hair goals. You should focus on building self-confidence by achieving your short-term goals.
Set your long-term goals first. Then, move the process forward by consistently updating your goals.
Remember to take time to celebrate accomplishments. Always enjoy the satisfaction of achieving your goals. So, if you don’t already set hair goals, do so, starting immediately. You can truly accelerate the success of your natural hair journey, by simply setting goals and taking actions that help you achieve those goals incrementally.
To really succeed during your natural hair journey you need to set specific goals for your hair that are achievable.
- State each goal as a positive statement – Express your goals in a positive manner. For example, “I want to learn two protective styles”.
- Be precise – Create specific goals with dates and amounts. This will allow you to measure your achievement. By doing this, you will know exactly when you have accomplished your goal. For example, “I want to retain one inch of new growth within the next three months. The deadline for this goal is 12/1/2011”.
- Set priorities – If you have multiple goals, be sure that you set priorities. This prevents you from becoming overwhelmed and allows you to stay focused on what you actually want to accomplish. Using the first two goals listed above as examples, my 1st priority is to learn two protective styles and my 2nd priority is to retain one inch of new growth within the next three months.
- Write goals down – Research shows that if you write a goal down, you’re much more likely to follow through and actually accomplish the goal.
- Keep goals small – Keep your goals small. This way you will consistently see yourself making progress. For example, learning two protective styles is something that you could do fairly quickly and immediately feel like you’ve made significant progress during your natural hair journey.
- Set realistic goals – Be sure to set goals that you can actually achieve. For example, don’t set a goal of wanting your hair to resemble a hair idol. You may do everything exactly right and still not achieve the look that you want. Unrealistic goals can be very defeating if you ultimately don’t reach them.
Reason #3: You’re Letting Naysayers Get the Best of You
Whenever you’re criticized by people, don’t feel dejected. Instead, smile and continue to focus more on your natural hair goals. It really disappoints me that many women, throughout their lives, have been told that their hair is nappy and unmanageable. Keep your head up and don’t get discouraged.
Reason #4: Your Journal is the Single Least-Important Thing to You
Your natural hair journal should be one of the most important assets that you have as a natural. If you don’t have a natural hair journal, stop reading this article right now and create a journal. The more you know about your hair and how it behaves, the higher your chances are for success during your natural hair journey.
Reason #5: You’re Not Improving Your Knowledge
It’s important to become a lifetime learner by continuing the learning process throughout your natural hair journey. Improving your knowledge is an ongoing effort that will ultimately provide incremental improvements overtime or breakthroughs for your journey. For example, understanding how hard water effects natural hair or which “hair foods” help you grow strong healthy natural hair are examples of how you can continue to increase your natural hair knowledge overtime and grow during your journey.