When you set yourself a goal you want one that is going to make you successful and proud of yourself.
This was the most difficult part of goal setting for me. I really struggled with this one. I would set goals like “I want to lose 100 pounds in 3 months,” or “I want to exercise for 2 hours every day.” These goals sounded great in my head and I was so energized about my new found enthusiasm that I actually believed I could accomplish them.
Does this sound like you? Have you set yourself awesome goals that will get you to your desired weight in no time? I am willing to bet that you have. I am also willing to bet that you have reached a point where you are feeling worn out and ready to give up. I know I did.
Every time I set myself one of these outlandish goals (well, I didn’t think they were so outlandish at the time) I would end up giving up within a week or two. I just felt so exhausted and cringed at the thought of another workout or having to eat another salad.
Here’s the thing…I learned the proper way to set goals. I went on a hunt for the perfect goal setting technique. Yes, I found a ton of them out there but none of them really seemed to fit me. So, what did I do? I took all the things that felt right from each strategy and I combined them. I threw the SMART goal setting technique out the window, along with several others. One of the main reasons I got rid of the SMART technique is that part of it included setting a goal for yourself that you can accomplish. I did every time and I failed. In my head I thought I could accomplish any goal like the ones listed above so I left it as it was. This is what got me every time.
I came to realize that goals had to be set up in a way that I could feel successful along the way, not just at the end. I began creating goals for myself that actually worked. I am so ecstatic about finding a way to set successful goals that I am going to share my strategy with you. I want you to be successful and share the success with your friends.
These are the steps I used to lose 120 pounds and still use, today, when I set a goal for myself in any part of my life.
1. SMALL Parts
When you have a large goal it can become overwhelming and you can get discouraged. Instead, take that large goal and break it down. Put your focus on one small goal that you can accomplish each day for the next couple of weeks (i.e. 8 cups of water a day or read one health article a day). By doing this you build a habit, creating confidence in yourself which in turn makes you even more successful.
Keep in mind that all the excitement that your success creates will cause you to want to focus on more than one goal at a time. Stop! and remain focused on only one goal at a time. After about two weeks you can add one more goal as the first one has now become a habit so you can now do it without too much thought.
Take some time to write down your goals.
Make a list of all the goals you want to accomplish. Break the large goals into smaller goals. Then, pick the one you are going to work on and write a schedule out for yourself. (I.e. 1 cup of water with each meal, 3 cups of water before lunch, 1 cup of water before bed, etc.)
Take a few minutes to write your start date on the calendar, then mark two weeks from now to help keep you on a timeline. It is important to have a time line because that urgency will keep you focused.
Also, take a few minutes each day to jot down whether or not you accomplished your goal for the day. How it made you feel and what you can do better tomorrow. No matter what you accomplished today, you can always reflect on your day to help you feel more successful.
3. Be SPECIFIC
The most common goals include words like “some” or “more.” Try avoiding these words by using “X number” or “X days” instead. Including a specific amount allows you to see whether or not you are actually accomplishing the goal you have set for yourself in a way that is going to make you successful in the end.
4. Allow FLEXIBILITY
Consistency and persistence is vital to your success. However, life does happen causing you the need to throw out your plans for the day. This is completely okay! Adaptation is what life is all about, so you need a “backup plan.” Things such as drinking 8 cups of water a day can be thrown off course by the unexpected. A way you can be prepared for this is by writing out a way you can either compensate for or maximize your goals.
An example: if your goal is drinking 8 cups of water a day, then beside your goal write – if miss a cup or two make it up the next day or drink an extra cup each day following until the extras are drank.
Another example: if your goal is to exercise 30 minutes a day, then beside your goal write – if miss a few minutes make up the next day or if miss the whole workout add five minutes each of the following days or switch next rest day with the missed day and make the missed day into your rest day. (The latter is my favorite because it keeps me from feeling overwhelmed when I do miss a day of working out.)
Give yourself rewards for reaching even the smallest goal. Create rewards that fit the task. Rewards can include anything: purchasing a new book, a bubble bath, a spa day, a lunch with friends, a day off, a special gift for yourself. Giving yourself a reward will help make you feel good about yourself and see what a success you really are. 🙂
Find someone or a group of someones who will support you and your efforts. I know from firsthand experience that you may not always get the support you need at home, so look outside your home if needed. There are always friends or groups who will become your friends. If you are having a hard time finding the perfect support system, contact me and I will help you with strategies to finding the perfect support system for you.
Having support is more than having someone to push you along, it is about having someone who will keep you accountable, motivated, and focused on your success!
Start using these steps today for any goal you have to find your own success. Share below what successes you have already seen or will be seeing soon.