9 Tips for Setting Goals You Actually End Up Accomplishing
Because life is too short to watch your goals fall flat
It's a new month, a new quarter of the year, and it's GO time!
When it comes to goal setting, I used to be the queen of doing it wrong, honestly. I remember vividly, every single December 31st, around midnight, I'd pull out a black-and-white speckled composition notebook where I'd write out a list of New Year's resolutions. Though a new year was rolling around, the goals I wrote were always the same. "Get abs," "get toned," "lose weight," and a few others to do with "getting better hair" (I was in high school, okay?) Changing my body was always the main theme of my goals. Can you relate?
So why did I never achieve these, year after year? Why did I always write the same goals, and then watch as the months ticked by, and nothing changed?
I didn't have a plan.
I didn't attach these goals to any meaningful why or emotional shift.
I didn't share them with anyone, not even my closest friends.
I didn't dig into my daily habits or actions...
In other words, I wrote some words down and hoped they'd magically happen.
I was banking on motivation, and hoping I'd just change, and therefore my body would just change...but without any plan. In other words, I was hoping for magic.
Today, I want to share with you what I finally learned about how to actually accomplish your goals, because really, if there's any area of your life or health you're not totally stoked about, it's time to do something to change it!
And change it you can - but please don't' wait and hope for magic or a miracle. If nothing changes, nothing changes.
1. Stop downplaying your goal as a goal
I hear this so much: "Oh I don't really have a goal...I just want to be healthy and fit!" Dude, that's a goal! I think a big issue is that we tend to downplay things important to us, and certainly in terms of fitness goals, thinking only big, dramatic weight loss goals or radical body transformations "count." Not so, at all. Own your goal first off - stop hiding it or downplaying it. Only once you fully take ownership, can you hope to achieve your goals.
2. Get accountability
This is a biggie. So many studies and tests have demonstrated that accountability is key - having someone or many someones to answer to, check-in with, and share your progress with. It's what I offer all of my 1:1 clients, via daily posts to check in with, weekly audio message check-ins, access to email or message me round the clock, and also biweekly email check-ins. It's the missing piece of the puzzle that I NEVER got from any gym... no one's ever emailed me or called me up to ask how my workouts are going that week or if I'm sticking to my meal plan. if you need this step in your life, you can always apply to join my group - I'd love to have you!
3. Set Up triggers
My FAVE new way to achieve goals, of any kind, is by setting up a trigger. This is basically an event or time that cues you to do something else, that you're wanting to get done. For example, a trigger could be, "every morning when I brew my coffee, I will pull up an online meditation and complete it while my coffee brews." Another could be, "each day at 5 pm when I arrive home, I'll walk to the bedroom and change into workout clothes." Step one to set up a trigger is to identify things in your day that are automatically happening anyway, i.e., brewing coffee, getting home from work. The next step is to attach to those things, the new desired behavior, i.e. meditating or changing into workout clothes. Over time, this new, desired habit will become just as automatic as the behavior that proceeds it. Give it a few weeks to click.
4. Stop Giving "Motivation" Any Credit
I've waxed on this topic extensively, and you can check out my full blog post on it here, but this is easily the #1 pet peeve of mine and the biggest mistake I see people making, and that is, giving too much power to "motivation." Motivation ain't a strategy. It's sometimes a fleeting feeling we feel at the beginning of a new workout routine or when we're setting New Year's resolutions, but it doesn't last. It isn't a long term strategy. If I only worked out on the days I felt "motivated," I'd workout maybe 2 x a week...maybe. If you're saying things like "I just wish I could get the motivation!" or "I wish I had her motivation," stop it! No one is naturally blessed with more motivation than anyone else...the people you see working out daily and eating clean are disciplined, connected to their why, and have habits and triggers built into their day.
5."Eat that frog"
This is a grossly-phrased way of saying, get done early what you're most wanting to put off. For example, if you know you dread your workouts, get it done first thing in the AM. It might suck to wake up earlier than you normally would, but the feeling of getting your workout out of the way will make it way worth it. Once you've "eaten that frog," first thing, you'll be on a "high" of knowing you already crushed the biggest task of your day.
7. Get an Emotional Why
If your why doesn't really stir you up - honestly, make you cry even, it needs to be scrapped. "I'd like to lose 10 lbs, " is a goal, but not your why. Ask yourself, why does that matter? How will I feel? How will life change? What's made you realize you have to lose that 10 lbs now, vs in 3 months? There is no right or wrong why, as long as it connects your goal to a deeper meaning, and hits you hard. Maybe it's really, "I want to lose 10 lbs because it would allow me to feel amazing in my clothes, which matters because I never have, and I will be able to show up as a confident business owner when I love what I see in the mirror each morning getting dressed. Also, I will know I'm the type of person who has follow-through, and that's important to me because doing what I say I'll do is a key value of mine." See the difference?
8. Reward Yourself Along the Way
I'm a big fan of short and long term goals, for example, a 30-day weight loss goal, as well as a bigger, 10 month one. I like to reward myself with things like new workout clothes, manicures, a massage (non-food related treats, basically,) and I suggest you do the same. Having something to look forward to is always a good thing, and it's so important that you recognize your accomplishments, step by step, instead of always looking ahead to the next benchmark.
9. Put your blinders on and get a plan for you
Such a biggie, so I wanted to end with it. Please, use Instagram and FB for inspiration, but it's not your roadmap. It doesn't matter what someone else is doing, or how quickly someone else has lost weight. It's only you vs. you. Stop comparing yourself and basing your workouts/meal plans off of someone else. Their plan is their plan, their journey is theirs...it doesn't affect you. It's easier said than done for sure, but block and unfollow. When you find yourself scrolling/comparing, pause, and without judgement, ask, "Is this serving me and getting me closer to my goals." If you must scroll, set up a trigger of "when I finish my workouts, I'm allowed to scroll IG as I stretch on the floor," for example.
Were these tips helpful?Which of the 9 are you committed to adding to your life, right away? (Like, today!)Let me know in a comment - what big goals are you still chipping away at for 2019, or starting fresh, this month? I'd love to hear!
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