We all have changes we'd like to make in our lives or goals that we'd like to achieve. The problem is that oftentimes we lack focus and get off track. Or maybe our goals seem overwhelming or out of reach. Use these FOUR keys to help you get started and GO FOR YOUR GOALS!
Setting specific, achievable goals is the key to personal success. Research shows that the most successful people regularly set goals for themselves. Do you?
Here are FOUR essential elements to keep in mind as you evaluate your goals and implement your plan for personal success:
Break it down. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenge ahead of you, break your goals down into smaller bite-sized achievements that you can celebrate along the way. For example, if you're working on eating more nutritiously, start by adding at least one serving of a healthy fruit or vegetable every day and switching out one protein source for a healthier alternative one time per day instead of going for an entire diet makeover Focus on small, SUSTAINABLE changes that you can make part of your lifestyle.
Be flexible. Review your action plan often. Look for ways to cope with challenges. If your action plan isn’t working for you, revise it. Get creative with your solutions. For example, let's say you're not getting enough sleep so you decide to start going to bed by 10pm instead of 1am. You try this for a week and discover that you simply cannot do it. Instead of giving up on getting more sleep, adjust your plan by incorporating a nap into your day, or by moving your bedtime up just 15 minutes a week until you achieve your perfect bedtime for your lifestyle.
Focus on behaviors. Instead of focusing just on the final outcome of your goal, focus on the BEHAVIORS that you'll need to change in order to get there. For instance, instead of setting a weight loss goal with pounds, focus instead on your ACTIONS, such as what you eat and how active you are. If your goal is to write a book, get better grades, or get that promotion at work, focus on your daily behaviors such as writing for a set period of time every day, getting to the library to study every day without distractions, or getting to work on time and going the extra distance on every project. Set goals that are specific and measurable DAILY behaviors that will result in the long-term RESULT you're looking for.
Focus on PROGRESS, not perfection. When you break your goals down into manageable pieces, allow yourself to adapt along the way, and focus on your daily habits and behaviors, you'll be making consistent progress towards your goals. Don't get down on yourself if you don't hit every target or if you have an "off day." When you let guilt in, then you're more likely to get discouraged or to quit trying altogether. Focus instead on progressing towards your goal some way some how every day. And CELEBRATE every success!
When you set realistic goals and break them down into manageable pieces, you're taking steps that will make your goal achievement more enjoyable because you are minimizing your failures and maximizing your success. And that feels good, boosts your confidence, and helps you stay focused on the goals that are most important to you. To add more enjoyment, set a weekly behavior goal for yourself with a specific REWARD that is enjoyable and healthy for you. Maybe you get to go on an adventure, make a special purchase, or spend time doing something you love - like gaming or reading a good book or binging your favorite new series. Acknowledge your success and celebrate every step in the right direction! Even if you're just giving yourself a sticker and a literal pat on the back. Tell YOURSELF what a great job you're doing and give yourself credit for your hard work.
Are you trying to get more active and take control of your health?
Find activities and healthy foods that you enjoy.
If it hurts and you're miserable, you might be trying to do too much, too soon. Step back a bit and take it at a comfortable pace.
As you get in better shape, and start making sustainable nutritional changes, those small changes will add up and yield amazing results.
Remember - focus on PROGRESS, not perfection. Small steps to BIG changes and MONSTER SUCCESS!
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