Updated: Dec 10, 2021
Despite the image, this is NOT a motivational blog post telling you that all you need to do to reach a goal is simply START. Because I believe that's an oversimplification of what it actually takes to actually attain the goals we set for ourselves. It implies that we're lazy or unmotivated... and after working with many people to help them reach their health and wellness goals, I know that lack of motivation is not the reason most people don't stick with their resolutions or fall short of their personal goals.
For most people I know (myself included - see my Project Backbend post!) the challenge hasn't been in setting or embarking upon a goal... but about actually having the support it takes (be it strategic, knowledge-based, or personal) to get there.
So in this post, I wanted to share with you 4 steps you can take to break down your goals into attainable sections. We'll use a fitness example for these 4 points... but the truth is, the same ideas apply across every goal (vocational, avocational, wellness, relationship, etc.) you may have in mind!
1) Create a Roadmap with a Realistic Timeline
This is the most crucial step to any goalsetting - be honest with yourself about how much time in your schedule you can (and should) devote to working toward your goal. I've heard people declare they want to work out twice a day every day to "lose weight"... but can you see how quickly this can fail when you haven't exercised in 5 years, have a full-time job and a 6-month-old? [PLUS, honestly, weight loss shouldn't be a goal in itself - but don't get me started... that's another topic for another day.]
2) Define the WHY
Why do you want to set the goal you're setting? Not just "because I want to..." but what changes in your life will this goal support? Do you want to incorporate a daily mobility routine to stay mobile enough to keep up with your energetic grandkids? Is your decision to eat less processed food motivated by a desire to cut down or eliminate your high blood pressure medication? Do just want to feel better or more confident in your clothes? When you write down the WHY, and you'll also find it helps you with the next step...
3) Determine Smaller, Attainable Goals within the Larger Goal
So you've set a goal to "eat more vegetables"- but what does that mean? How do you quantify "more"? Why is this a goal for you? [see step 2 above] How do you know you've reached this goal?
When you break this into a specific, time-oriented, measurable goal, for example - try 2 new vegetables of different colors this week - this takes the vague generalized goal into something you can accomplish... and reward yourself (not with food) when you hit it! Make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely).
4) Find a Support System to Help You Achieve Your Goal
This could be anything from finding an online community of people with similar goals, investing in a personal trainer or wellness coach, or even just telling your best friend what your goal is and enlisting their support!
Remember that you're in this for the long game - and even when life throws curve balls at you (and it will), there is ALWAYS time to regroup, recalibrate, and try again! So set yourself up for success - be honest about your starting point AND your desired destination... then pick small goals that will move the needle in the right direction.
As we prep for a New Year of resolutions next month, before that shiny new treadmill becomes clothes storage, our gym memberships languish unused, and your resolve to get outside more or eat more whole foods crumbles, if you've tried everything year after year and feel you need a different approach or a friendly new arm of support, sign up for a free consultation with me. Together we can lay out a roadmap and determine step by step changes that you can make each week.
CONGRATULATIONS! GOAL ATTAINED!