8 Steps Toward Keeping Your Goals

Did you know that January 17th is officially Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day? 

“If you haven’t accomplished, broken or given up your New Year’s resolutions, today is your chance to get out from under them.  I say, that is no good!  We made these resolutions because we want to change something in our life.  So how about instead, we rethink these resolutions and turn them into goals.  Give them some thought, set the intention and write it out.  And then what?

“Only I can change my life, no one can do it for me.”  ~Carol Burnett

You need to be motivated to make the changes you want to see in your life.  So what is motivation?  The definition of motivation is; The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.  Do you have a real desire to achieve your resolutions/goals?  Good, now let’s figure out how to make them happen.

These steps can help bring your goals to fruition.

1.)  Identify the “Why”

Mental Contrasting is a term coined by motivational psychologist Gabrielle Oettingen.  In other words, get to the “why” of your goal and what the obstacles may be.  For example, let’s say your goal is financial freedom.  The why may be, to travel more, to pay off bills, to be able to give more to charity, etc. As you are listing these you want to visualize them.   The obstacles could be you don’t know how to prioritize, or you need to make more money, get spending under control, etc.  Now visualize these obstacles.  Want clearer instructions, click on this link.

2.) Journal

Do you write out your goals?  Writing out your goals has a big impact on your odds of transforming this goal into reality.  It signals the brain “this is important”.

Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, conducted a study on the art and science of goal setting.  She discovered that those who wrote down their goals on a regular basis are 42% more likely to achieve your goals.  Think of it as your blueprint to success.

3.) Chunk it down – Baby steps

When we set goals we tend to be thinking about the big picture, the end result.  For example, we want to lose weight.  Let’s say we want to lose 30 pounds.  That is a big number, it won’t happen overnight.  So we start this dramatic diet and we last a day, or if you are lucky a few days, and then your brain says “I want real food”.  So we give in and BAM!  We are done.

Instead…..take baby steps.  Eliminate certain bad for you, foods, one at a time, drink more water, create a “cheat day”.  Do the same thing with exercising.  If you haven’t been active start slower, maybe a walk each day or some stretching.

You don’t have to lose 30 lbs all at once, and in fact research has shown that if you take it off quickly and don’t sustain what you are doing to hit your target, you will quickly gain it back, and more often than not, even more.

4.) Create a Dream Board

Dream boards are great visualization tools.  It helps to  clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life.

“Your brain will work tirelessly to achieve the statements you give your subconscious mind. And when those statements are the affirmations and images of your goals, you are destined to achieve them!”  – Jack Canfield

Gather up all your old magazines, this is a great source for photos and words to put on your board.  Words are powerful, so use the ones that stand out to you, for each goal you want to work on this year.  Paste them onto a poster board and place the board where you can see it.  Although, I have heard plenty of stories where people just put the board in a closet and years down the road when cleaning out said closet, they were surprised to see how much had come true.  This happens because you are setting the intention.

5.)  Be Thankful!

Feeling thankful for things that have happened acts as a “mental movie,” explains Mitch Wasden, CEO of Ochsner Medical Center in Baton Rouge, who holds a doctorate in human and organizational learning.  The brain releases dopamine, which, in turn, has a positive effect on mood and emotional well-being.  Dopamine is the brain’s primary reward chemical.

So being thankful helps the brain to feel positive.  Be thankful for anything you did to work towards your goal today.  Even if you had a bad cheat day, but you still managed to drink a single glass of water or took a 5 minute walk, be thankful for those and journal it to bring even more positive energy to your work.

6.) Don’t beat yourself up!

You are aspiring to break, what for many of us, is many years of bad habits.  It doesn’t change overnight.  So what, you had a bad day, you cheated in a major way.  By beating yourself up you are telling your brain negative things.  Did you enjoy yourself?  If not, make note of how you feel, journal that feeling and commit to jumping back in tomorrow with joy!  If you did enjoy yourself,maybe look at what you are doing.  Go back through the above steps, do you need bigger baby steps?  Re-create!

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop” ~Confucius

7.) Learn how

Do some research on the best way to reach your goal.  Read a book (or 2), watch how to videos, google the topic and read articles or blogs.  Information is at our fingertips these days.  For example, maybe you really want to eat healthier, but you don’t really cook.  Go to YouTube and search “how to cook vegetables”.  Or go to Pinterest and search vegetable recipes (they will take you step by step through the recipe).  Or just go to your local bookstore and ask where you would find books on (you name the topic), I promise you will find many.

8.) Hire a Coach

There are many coaches who can assist you in reaching your goals, fitness coaches, life coach, business coach, health coach, nutrition coach, etc. So why hire a coach?  Think about world class athletes.  In addition to practicing many hours, they also have coaches. Coaches help you identify and focus on what’s important, therefore accelerating your success.

Here are the most common reasons why people hire a coach.

  • Help you find direction, and set better goals.
  • Make significant changes and reach your potential.
  • Keep you accountable and focused on what’s important
  • Reach their goals faster.
  • Become more financially successful.
  • Design – and live – your best life.
  • Get ahead professionally.
  • Improve their relationships and family.
  • Reduce stress and tolerations.
  • Increase income or revenue

Now what?

“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it everytime.” ~Zig Ziglar

What are you going to aim for this year?  This month?  This week?  Set some goals, have fun and make your dreams come true.

 

P.S. Is one of your goals to get healthier? Eat better?  I invite you to look at my Coaching programs and see if one might be a fit for you.  Check it out here

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