It happens every year. We make goals. We set our sights high in making the changes we want and need in our lives. Most of the time, these new goals are set around the new year and most of them have to do with our health and well-being — losing 15 pounds, eating healthier, getting more active, reading more books, etc. But how do we prevent the fizzling out of our new goals?
Read on for these great tips on setting goals and STICKING with them!
1. WRITE IT DOWN!
Sure, we have a lot of goals kept in our minds, but studies show you are MORE likely to have success when you write your goal down, can visually SEE IT, and revisit it often. Keep a goal journal either on paper or electronically that you can reexamine frequently. Update your progress daily, weekly, or monthly. Post your goals somewhere you will see them every day — on the bathroom mirror, refrigerator, or in your car. Set reminders at key times to prompt you of your goal. You can even tell Alexa or Siri to remind you. This way it BECOMES ROUTINE.
2. MAKE IT SIMPLE AND SPECIFIC!
Make sure to start small! Yes, it’s great to reach for the sky in your goals, but you can’t climb Mount Everest in a day. I always had the goal to run a full marathon. It took me almost 15 years of FAILING to finally reach that goal. I would start training and end up quitting 2 weeks later EVERY TIME. I finally realized what I needed to do was WORK UP to that big goal. I signed up for a 5k and started running 30 second increments and built up to that 5k. After 3 months of running and finishing a 5k, I realized I could keep going. I signed up for a 10 k, then a half marathon, then, A FULL YEAR LATER, I finally finished my full marathon.
POINT IS: make your goal SIMPLE and SPECIFIC and WORK UP as you revisit the goal.
- If you struggle with eating vegetables, add 1/2 cup of vegetables to every meal for 1 week — eventually working up to eating the suggested daily amount (1-3 cups per day)
- If you battle with staying active, go for a walk 3 days a week — and in time working up to 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week as recommended for adults
3. CREATE ACCOUNTABILITY
It’s one thing to make a goal, but it’s another if we have ACCOUNTABILITY – someone who takes an interest or that we have to answer to. People have a HIGHER rate of success with their goals when they can create accountability and responsibility. Creating accountability for yourself WILL help you keep your health goals. There are many ways to do this.
Easiest would be to ask a good friend to join you in your goal. Maybe you can think of someone who struggles with the same thing. You can help them just as much as they can help you! You could even join or create a group of others who can help you. This is easy to do with technology, social media, and different apps out there. Be the one to start the challenge and check in each day. If that’s not for you, considered hiring a health coach or personal trainer to check in with you on your goals. BUILD IN this accountability, it makes ALL the difference.
4. START WHERE YOU ARE!
Just start where you are and with what you have right now. Most people wait until New Year’s to change, then it fizzles out after a few weeks and they’re done. Then there’s the Monday mentality. Diet starts on Monday! I’ll be good starting Monday! Don’t wait until Monday! Use tools to help you and DO IT NOW!!!
You don’t need a gym membership to work out. You don’t need expensive running shoes to run. You don’t need to be RICH to eat healthy. These are EXCUSES and they are holding you back. Start with what you have and you’ll find there are many resources and things you can change WITHOUT all that extra fluff. Start where YOU are!
5. KEEP GOING NO MATTER WHAT!
Don’t quit because you missed a day, week, or month. Life happens, and IT’S OKAY!! Don’t let it get you down. This is the importance of building the goal into your routine, setting reminders, and creating accountability. Some think that because they missed a day, it’s all over, then one day becomes two, and two becomes a week, until you spiral back into those thoughts of needing to change old habits. That’s okay! Stay positive, get yourself back up, and get back at it! Show yourself you CAN change!
These tips are what help me in achieving my goals. I know you can do it! Happy goal setting and here’s to making the changes we need to live our best lives!