Written by Kari @ Living Strong Health & Wellness, Contributing Writer
It’s that time of year when people all over the world are bringing out their goal sheets and making their New Year’s Resolutions. I love this attitude and drive that so many of us jump into, but unfortunately, for the majority of people, the excitement isn’t long-lived. This leads to unsuccessful resolutions, goals going unchecked and tons of frustration, which ultimately leads to people who just give up on having goals altogether.
All of that is going to change today, because I am going to show you how to not only set goals for yourself, but how you can actually successfully check these goals off as “COMPLETED”!
Setting goals and actually accomplishing them can be very simple, yet we make it so hard and set ourselves up for failure. I am going to teach you how to once again gain control over your life, your goals and your future. I have created a sample goal plan below that will give you a template for planning all your goals – no matter how big or small! I believe that successful goal planning involves three simple principals: Write it down. Break it down. Get it done.
Let’s look at these a little closer.
Write it Down
Keeping your goal in front of your eyes is a major key to success (Habakuk 2:2). The more you see it, the more the image on the inside of you regarding the goal will change. *If you are doing more than one goal, stick to 10 or less. Once you check all those off – begin adding more. It will be less stressful and you’ll accomplish more!
Break it Down
This is called reverse engineering. Sounds high-tech, but it’s so simple. In laymen’s terms, it means – break it down into smaller goals. Doing this makes that BIG goal look not so daunting. Now you’ll have mini-goals that are much easier to accomplish and offer less reason to quit. Instead of one 6 month goal, you’ll break it down into tasks for months, weeks and days – all of which lead you to that one 6 month goal.
Get it Done
You’ll never complete a goal if you don’t take action. You must be a doer and you must be determined. Create practical deadlines and stick to them. Do something everyday that will move you closer to your goal. Be specific – don’t be general or vague. Keep your goals in front of you daily and so something EVERYDAY that moves you closer to completing your goal. Use props, photos, quotes – anything to remind you every time your eyes fall on it.
Never let setbacks keep you from moving forward. If you missed a day of action or you made a mistake – don’t ever think, “Well, I should just stop – this will never work.” No! Keep moving forward. Okay, so you slipped and haven’t been consistent with your goals. What will quitting accomplish? Nothing. Time is going to pass anyway – so why not make it count for something? Jump back into the game and keep moving forward.
Why do all of this?
To be successful and to get your goals accomplished. Why even take time to make goals, think about them, then quit a week into it out of frustration and lack of motivation? I’m all for success and making things happen. Use the sample goal below to help you draft out your goals for 2014 and make a quality decision that you WILL complete each and every one. I am going to use a common goal for so many people – weight loss- but these steps work for ANY goal. Maybe you want to spend more time with your kids, exercise more, organize the basement, have more date nights with your spouse – this process works for any goal! If you find you are meeting those mini-goals faster than you expected, all you need to do is revise the remaining timeline. It’s simple. You’re in control. If you find you’re falling behind, see where you can kick it up a notch. Whatever you do – don’t give up. Ever.
SAMPLE GOAL PLANNING
WRITE IT DOWN
Goal: Lose 35 pounds
Deadline: July 1st, before our family vacation
BREAK IT DOWN
January: lose 8 pounds
February: lose 7 pounds
March: lose 6 pounds
April: lose 6 pounds
May: lose 5 pounds
June: lose 3 pounds
GET IT DONE:
January: eliminate grains for 3 weeks; completely eliminate soda and energy drinks; walk 30 minutes daily 6 days a week: drink 64 ounces of water a day; create a monthly eating plan; take measurements, get weight and before photos to document
February: continue eating plan; eliminate all refined sugar; walk 60 minutes daily 6 days a week; drink 64 ounces of water a day
March: eliminate all caffeine, including caffeinated coffee and tea for entire month, walk 60 minutes daily 6 days a week; drink 64 ounces of water a day
April: eat real and whole foods, eliminate soda, energy drinks, dessert coffees; walk 30 minutes daily 5 days a week; do 15 minutes of resistance/strength training two times a week; drink 64 ounces of water a day
May: continue eating plan; walk 30 minutes daily 5 days a week; do 15 minutes of resistance/strength training three times a week; do 30 minutes of pilates/yoga two times a week; drink 64 ounces of water a day
June: continue eating plan; walk 30 minutes daily 5 days a week; do 15 minutes of resistance/strength training three times a week; do 30 minutes of pilates/yoga three times a week; drink 64 ounces of water a day
*due to space I will not be breaking these down further, but with your goals, break them down smaller to tasks for the weeks and days as well, the more you get specific about your goal, the more likely you are to do it.
Looking back at the reverse engineering for the goal “LOSE 35 POUNDS BY JULY 1ST” you see how easy it becomes. Getting up everyday facing a 35 pound weight loss can seem overwhelming. Getting up everyday working at losing 2 pounds a week or 8 pounds in 4 weeks seems much more doable and practical. It also won’t put a road block in your mind like 35 pounds can.
Once you lose the first 8 pounds – your motivation will be running high. You do have to make sure you have a plan, though. You can want to lose 35 pounds, but if you don’t plan on changing your eating habits or you don’t want to include physical exercise – your goal is going to remain untouched. Nothing ever gets accomplished by sitting on the sidelines. You must get up and do something – something different then you are doing now.
So, make 2014 a year of completed goals, successful dreams and get yourself in a position to be that person who sets out to reach goals and actually reaches them – then goes beyond. It is possible! Write it down. Break it down. Get it done. Those three simple steps will change your life. Just watch and see!