Hey, you! How are your New Year’s resolutions going? This is the point where some of us might be starting to lose some steam on working towards the goals that we were all fired up about at the beginning of the month. If that’s you, that’s ok! And you know what? It’s not too late to modify your strategy.
In fact, if you went into this year with an overhaul mindset
, I think you probably should change your strategy.
Goal setting can be tricky and motivation doesn’t come easily to most people. Here is a 7 step process for making your own goal achieving strategy that is right for YOU!
1. Determine a specific goal. Something you really, truly want for yourself.
Example 1: I want to exercise for at least 30 minutes for five days out of the week to relieve my joint pain.
Example 2: I want to lose weight. Specifically, I want to lose 20 pounds to fit into my favorite jeans again and so I can stay healthy for my family.
2. Choose ONE action that you can start doing regularly to begin working towards your goal.
Out of a list of all of the possible actions, this should be the EASIEST thing you can do right now.
Example 1: I don’t have access to a gym and I don’t have 30 minutes right now to spare with my kids and work schedule. I could make time for 15 minutes of exercise before and after work, that would be easier.
Example 2: I could use more vegetables and I definitely eat way too much at dinner. I could start working on my portion sizes. However, I am usually still hungry after I eat what I initially put on my plate. I could eat more vegetables instead of having another helping of the main dish.
3. Decide when, where, and how you are going to do this action.
Example 1: I will go for a 15 minute walk around my neighborhood before work and after work every day I am scheduled.
Example 2: If I am still hungry after my first helping of dinner, I will have another serving of vegetables or fruit instead of the main dish.
4. Determine a date to reevaluate your status with this action.
Example 1: After doing my 15 minute walks around my neighborhood before work and after work every day I am scheduled for 4 weeks I will re-evaluate to see if I can add more intensity or can work on something new.
Example 2: After 3 weeks of practicing having second helpings of vegetables only, I will re-evaluate to see if I can make other modifications or still need to practice the same thing.
5. PRACTICE and keep practicing until you have mastered the action and it doesn't feel like work anymore.
The key here is to never stop doing this task. It can always be something to fall back on. Are there going to be days that you aren’t able to follow your plan? Absolutely! Is it a big deal? Not at all. Life happens. Acknowledge it, and get back on track tomorrow.
6. Level up!
Once the task doesn’t feel challenging anymore, it’s time to build on it or continue with it while taking on a new action.
Example 1: Now that I have built a habit of getting 30 minutes of physical activity in each day that I work, I will start incorporating some strength building activities on Tuesdays and Thursdays over my lunch break in addition to my walks.
Example 2: Now that I have started eating more vegetables with my dinner I am going to start having a serving of vegetables with my lunch as well.
7. Repeat steps 2-6 until you reach your ultimate goal!
It’s no secret. Making sustainable lifestyle changes is not easy, and it’s definitely not quick. However, it is so worth it! Allowing yourself to get a little bit better every day will pay off better in the long run than doing something drastic and unsustainable. Plus, the slow and steady pace is much more enjoyable for you and others around you!