New Year New Me!
We’ve all heard that saying. Especially at the beginning of the year – a time where nothing is impossible. People are ripe with motivation. Dreams from yesteryear are once again picked up from the pile of deferment and dusted off. Hope indeed springs eternal.
Yes, I love this time of year. The fresh dew of belief and possibility that forms during the night of the previous year is refreshing and inspiring. It’s the best of times and the worst of times.
Why the worst of times? Well, because I know that the majority of those dreams and goals will become deferred once again in a few short weeks.
How do I know? That’s what I did for a long time. Each year I’d resolve to do something and within weeks I’d see my resolution in the corner covered in dust and tarnished as I walked by living the life I so desperately wanted to change.
When I really decided to change my life there were 5 things I did that helped me stay on track.
(These are listed in no particular order.)
1. Break big goal into smaller goals
I wanted to lose 100 pounds. That’s a big goal! (and a bit far-fetched if I’m honest with you.) So I created smaller goals of losing 5 lbs and 10 lbs. That did two things – Kept me moving toward my goal and gave me belief that I could reach my goal. I mean, if I could lose 5 pounds, I could lose 100. It was just doing what I already did 20 more times. Make sense?
2. Have an accountability partner
This was a big one for me. I knew me and I know the chances of me not keeping my commitment to myself (that’s what a resolution really is) were high. So what did I do? I told a handful of people what my goal was. These were people who’d encourage me when needed. Get on my case when needed. More importantly they were people I did not want to let down.
3. Have a plan
This is an absolute must. A plan is necessary. I needed to have something that I could follow. I had a nutrition and exercise plan. That gave me a sense of direction and provided a way for me to measure my progress. I repeat. Having a plan is essential to achieving any goal.
4. Make it fun
This seems obvious but for me it wasn’t. I was so focused on my goals that it quickly felt like a job. And that wasn’t a good thing. The reason being, I was more likely to quit. So find a way to make it fun. If you’re like me and your goal is to lose weight but hate going to a gym, exercise outside. Walk your dog, play with your children. If it’s too cold or raining, turn on music at home and dance around. Get on YouTube and find a home workout to do.
5. Reward yourself
This ties back to #1. Setting and reaching the smaller goal along the way is half the battle. Reward yourself for achieving that goal. You deserve it. Celebrate you! You said you were going to do something and you did it! When you set the goal, you should also set the reward. Having that reward gives you extra motivation to keep going. It pushes you when things get a bit hard. The incentive rewards provide is an effective tool. Just make sure the reward matches the goal.
So there are my top 5 tips I used to make sure I did what I said I would do. Feel free to use them. Let this year be the year you accomplish all you said you’d accomplish. Go forth and be great!
(I know these aren’t the only tips. What are some of the things you’re doing to help you reach your goals? )