4 Easy Steps to Achieving Your Goals
Turn your dreams into reality in 4 easy steps
If you're like many people, you started the year out with grand plans to finally make "it" happen. "It" being lose weight, exercise more, organize all the things, meditate, quit smoking, do less, do more, get good habits, break bad habits, etc, etc, etc... There's something magical about the turning of the calendar to make us want to make changes. But, as we all know, time passes, the magic fades, and all our good intentions fall by the wayside. And yet, there are those people who finish what they start. They somehow manage to keep the magic alive. The good news? You don't actually have to be a magician to make this happen for yourself. With proper planning and the tips below you too can be one of the people who finally succeed at reaching their goals.
- Specific - I want to lose weight is not specific enough to get you where you want to go. Change that to I want to lose 20 pounds. I want to get fit becomes I want to run a 5K or I want to be able to walk up the stairs without getting winded.
- Measurable - This involves numbers and is trackable. I want to lose 20lbs, or drop 5% body fat, or run a 5K, or lower my cholesterol by X points.
- Attainable - I want to lose 20lbs in 3 months is possible. I want to lose 20lbs in 2 weeks is not only unlikely but dangerous.
- Realistic - I want to finish my first 5K is totally realistic. I want to WIN my first 5K is admirable but setting yourself up for failure.
- Timely - Again, this involves numbers. Pick a time frame. It will help you break your goal into pieces. Someday doesn't cut it but Lose 5 pounds by the end of May does. It may help to work backward from a future date (like a wedding, reunion or vacation) to figure out how your goal can be broken down.
This is going to completely subjective based on what you want to achieve. You may need help. Maybe you decide to join Weight Watchers, take a healthy cooking class, hire a personal trainer, join a gym, or find a Couch to 5K program on the internet. A couple of things to keep in mind:
- Break your goal into small steps - immediate, short term, and long term - and determine what you're going to do at each point.
- Visualize and verbalize you goal - write it down or tell someone about it. Create a Pinterest board with tips, tricks, motivational saying and images. Tell a supportive friend or family member your goal and action plan (lay some ground rules as to how much they should either compliment or cajole you or this strategy can backfire. There's a fine line between being motivational and being critical.)
- Plan for pitfalls - know what may have derailed you in the past. Think back to the last time you may have tried to work toward this goal (or another similar situation.) What stopped you? Time? Money? Lack of support? Loss of willpower? Try to come up with strategies that will help you break through that particular problem this time.
- Reward yourself - Self-bribery is sometimes the only thing that will keep a person going - just remember not to do it with something that is against your goal (no cupcakes for a 5 pound weight loss for instance.) A massage, a new outfit, a new book - whatever you find semi-indulgent is good.
Now, grab a piece of paper, shut off your electronics (except for this post of course), and take some time to answer these four questions for yourself. Make a plan. Work on it. Reevaluate it. No one is motivated to do something every day. But as long as you know what you are working toward, and how, you'll be successful.
Note: If you are interested in learning more about goal setting, I am available to speak to groups on this topic. My contact info: rvcamy at gmail dot com