Make the Goals Stick
Here we are again, January of a new year. Fist bumps to everyone! It was a rough one last year, no doubt! Near the end did you start to think about any resolutions or goals for this year? Did you put on a couple of pounds or funds are a tad low? (Hint: we all had a few missteps!) Setting goals to improve is how we flourish…how we learn. We want to offer a few ways we’ve found to help make the goals stick.
Add, don’t subtract!
Much research has been done in this area and the overwhelming consensus is to add good habits instead of subtracting bad ones. There’s a psychological reason that just the thought of something being eliminated, no matter how bad it is for us, is still mentally counted as a “loss”. So, say you want to “lose” weight (the most common of resolutions), how do we approach it without thinking we will also lose some of the food we like to eat?
• Reframe it with better words. You’re not “losing weight”, you’re “getting” thinner/healthier/more fit.
• Add a goal date. By “X” date, I want to be a size ___.
• Add good and healthy food and that will edge out the not-so-healthy eating habits.
• Start small. Walk before you run. Run before you do a race. Doing too much too fast will secure failure.
Be S.M.A.R.T about the Goal
You may have heard this acronym before. It stands for:
S-Specific. “Losing weight” is too general. Pick a number, of course not too big.
M-Measurable. Using a scale or a tape measure to account for progress shows progress.
A-Achievable. Running a marathon in 6 months when climbing stairs right now winds you is not achievable. Shoot for a 5K, maybe, first.
R-Relevant. If you’re doing something because someone else is or wants you to and you’re like “meh”, you won’t be motivated. What do YOU want?
T-Timed. Set a specific date that you think you can do. Remember the “achievable” part here. Make the Goals Stick!!
Break It Down
There’s a saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
Similarly, realizing any worthwhile goal will take time…baby steps. Well, how do you know what each bite will look like? Ah! That’s the right question!
Backward is the New Forwards!
Working backward is the way to finding the doable pieces and making the goals stick! It will also show you if your objective fits with the S.M.A.R.T method or if you are aiming for the stars when the moon will do.
• Pick your target date and start date
• Decide what you can do each day/week/month (reasonably) between now and then
• Divide your commitment into the total time between then and now
Clear as mud, huh? We’ll keep with the “losing weight” theme, but you can also apply this to saving money, reading books, fitness levels, and so forth. Say you want to lose 30 pounds by this time next year. It seems like a lot, but if you do some research (and maybe consult your doctor), you may find that it is totally doable.
Next, what can you commit to? A pound a week? What else do you need to do to get there? Dietary adjustments? Will you exercise? Outdoors/home/gym? What’s the time commitment on that?
Then…what’s your reward at the end? Make it BIG! What will make you work to get that prize? The caveat here is that it must be what YOU want. Not to prove yourself to another person. This is no Bueno. Make the Goals Stick!!
Ok, so now…
• Divide your goal into the number of weeks (we chose 1 year/52 weeks)
1 pound a week is…52 pounds! But that’s more than I want to lose!
See? Easily a bite-sized piece! You can adjust for a faster timeline and it would still be workable, or you can mosey your way to a thinner you in a year! But now you see that 30 pounds can be made very stress-free.
If you need some extra time carved out so you can make the goals stick, we’d like to help you! Wouldn’t have your house cleaned be THE BOMB? Check us out!
Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/@timmossholder