Set 1-3 Goals
Prior to the new year, it’s common to become reflective about how the past 12 months went. People begin to take into account the things that they’ve endured, failures, mistakes, and things that they realized they need to change. Though you may think you can successfully kill seven goals in 365 days, you will eventually not make any progress, because it’s hard to focus on so many things at once. Write all of your goals down and choose the most important.
Choose goals that you’re sure you are prepared to tackle. For example, if your goal is to lose weight but you have a heavy work schedule, you probably can’t make it to the gym every day. Determine a workout schedule that you can commit to and plan ahead to make time for the gym or a fitness class. When you set realistic goals, it becomes harder to let them fall to the wayside because you begin to make them a daily habit.
Make an Action Plan
After you write all of your goals down, make a plan to help you get them done. Making a plan creates a framework that will make your goals more attainable and keeps them at the forefront of your mind. Be intentional about the steps that you plan to take to achieve your goals. Don’t make an action plan and keep it tucked in your notebook – make as many copies as you need, and put them where you will see them daily.
Do it Now
There is no such thing as “the perfect time” when making and committing to a goal. Start as soon as possible to prevent yourself from prolonging the process. Yes, you’re trying to lose weight and you may not have a gym membership, but you can choose to make better food choices and find workouts that you can do at home. The longer you wait, the more paralyzing the thought of change becomes.
Be Gentle, Yet Accountable
There may be times when you fall short or simply fail. Do not beat yourself up about it, but think about what you could’ve done better. After you find the problem, get back up and try it again. When you face the obstacles that are on the road to making change, you will be more prepared and resilient to keep at it. Many people struggle with being gentle with themselves because they are striving for perfection; however, mistakes are a part of the process. If you find you’re being hard on yourself, look at how far you’ve already come, and congratulate yourself on taking the initiative to go after what you want. After doing so, refer to your action plan and revise it if necessary, or find a way to make up where you made the mistake.
Every once in a while, reward yourself for your progress. Whether it’s big or small, positive reinforcement goes a long way. Celebrate your wins every time you tackle a part of your goal. It will give you something to look forward to and give you more motivation to keep going.
Yes, sticking to a goal for 365 days can be hard. But if you take it one day at a time for 21 days, it becomes a habit, and in 90 days it will become a lifestyle. And before you know it, you will be one step closer to being your best self.