Reaching your Goals
It’s almost officially summer, and you may be wondering how you are going to look good in a bikini or manage eating well with so many temptations! It’s easy to say “I want to go to the gym more” or “I want to lose some weight,” but to make lasting change it’s important to set one or two SMART Goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound).
To help you succeed, here's a list of a few things to consider:
What do you truly want? It's essential to understand why you want something and assessing whether you are doing it for you, for someone else, or for immediate gratification. If you aren't doing this for you and there’s no visible result, you probably won’t stick with it. If you aren’t fully invested in the outcome and excited to reach you goal, it’s unlikely you will maintain it.
Be honest with yourself. What is attainable and realistic for you?
Create a specific plan. Once you’ve chosen what you want to work on, answer the following questions to help you achieve each goal.
What do I truly want?
What is a goal that can help me achieve that?
How many times a week will I dedicate to this goal?
How long am I going to do this new behavior each time?
What can I do to make this new behavior easier to do? (You could set reminders on your phone, pair up with a friend or family member, etc)
What are the barriers to achieving this goal?
What day will I check in each week to monitor how this goal has worked or not? For example, a good goal may be: “I want to get fitter, so I will exercise 5 mornings per week for 10 minutes. It’s simple, attainable and fun because it’s only 10 minutes! To make this behavior easy, I will put my yoga mat in the corner of my room, get a good workout video, and make an awesome playlist with my favorite upbeat music in case I don't like the video. And if I don’t wake up early enough, I am going to reschedule the workout for my lunch break or before bed. I will check in every Sunday to see how I did and make adjustments if it didn't work for me." In this case, this person is anticipating barriers, being really specific about how it will happen, and being realistic by only expecting to do 10 minutes.
Maintain a good support system. Surround yourself with people who are inspiring to you and make you feel motivated. You will be much more likely to stay on track with your goal. Join meetup groups if you want to make new friends with similar interests. If you are around people as passionate as you are, it will propel you forward to achieve not only short term goals, but also long term goals.
Reframe negative perceptions of yourself. What have you been telling yourself your whole life? If you have been telling yourself you will always be “big boned” or aren’t talented enough - whatever it may be - that is what you are incorporating into your belief system. Dwelling on these thoughts of inadequacy or self loathing will make it really tough to support positive change. Try to let go of what you think is impossible and reframe your focus to dreaming about what IS possible and thanking yourself for everything you HAVE done!
Self love. You are way too hard on yourself! Accept and forgive yourself for who you are, and know that even if you have a lot to work on, you are always improving and are doing amazing things right now. As much as it is important to dream big and believe in yourself to make changes, it is just as important to love yourself and any flaws. Imagine what it would feel like if suddenly you had that extra pressure gone!
Don’t give up so easily! Maybe you won’t make your first goal happen, but you can always modify it to make it a little easier to attain. That way, you won’t be so disappointed if you didn’t do it, and easily get back on the horse again without judgment or anger. That's why weekly check-ins are so important- it gives you the chance to re-evaluate your goals and understand why a goal didn't work for you so that you can determine how to make it easier for the week ahead.
Patience. It takes time and a lot of motivation to change behaviors and habits. But if you truly want it and push for it, you CAN do it! It may feel hard at first, but it is in your control! Making a plan will help you get there and being kind to yourself in the process goes a long way. Don’t forget that you do have the power to make changes in your life!
Keep up the vision you have for your future. Visualize and focus on what you love to do and what you want for the future rather than what you don’t want. You can even write a list of everything you want in life. It doesn’t have to be a cheesy vision board, but once you identify for yourself everything yo