5 Tips To Achieve Your Goals
We're coming up on the new year and that means that many of us are taking a look at that list of resolutions on the table and finally ready to try and get them done. While setting goals is an admirable thing to do, very few people actually achieve those goals. In fact, as little as 8 percent of people actually stick to their new year’s resolutions each year.
Why? Why do so many people have trouble following through with their goals? Well, setting the goals are just half of the battle, tracking the progress is the other half. It’s hard to know where you are in terms of achieving your goals if you don’t know how many steps it will take to get there.
So if you’re ready to start achieving those goals this new year, here are a few tips to keep in mind when tracking your progress to help you out.
Keep Things Small
Remember to take small steps. You’re not going to lose 10 pounds in 1 week. You’re not going to suddenly become a morning person and wake up early to get out and do that morning run. You’ve got to give your body and your mind time to adjust to the new changes you’re making. After all, human beings are creatures of habit and it takes a while for new habits to feel natural.
Section out your goals into small, easier sub-goals. If your ultimate goal is to lose 20 pounds by May, then set smaller goals to help you get there. Set a goal to lose half a pound at the end of every week. If you know you can only lose a certain amount at a time with your current diet and exercise plans, adjust those areas of your life in small ways to get the ball rolling. An example might be eating a half a cup of spinach every day.
By starting off in these smaller areas, you’ll get used to them more quickly and be able to incorporate other steps into the process of achieving your goals.
Work In Intervals
Setting small goals is one step in the process of tracking your progress. All those smaller sub-goals can add up and make you feel overwhelmed. Rather than setting 30 smaller sub-goals to achieve every week, work in increments and alternate between them as you work your way toward the bigger picture goal.
There are many ways you can do this. You can break things up into daily tasks, weekly tasks, and monthly tasks. Each set of tasks, or goals, occupies a certain space. Eating half a cup of spinach a day is a daily task, but working on mental clarity may take longer. If the goal is to achieve mind-body balance through meditation, then maybe set aside a time once a week to spend meditating.
The same principle applies to other areas of your life. If the goal is to improve muscle mass, do a monthly weigh in to determine what your muscle mass gain was for that month. It’s still part of your overall goal to be healthier, but it works on a timetable that’s better suited to your lifestyle and schedule.
Write Down Your Thoughts: Good and Bad
Any goal worth achieving is going to stir up some conflicting emotions. You may be very excited to start this new path, at first, but as time goes on you may start to feel unmotivated. You may find yourself slipping off the track and not gaining as much progress as you’d like. That can make you feel disappointed, have self-diminishing thoughts, and start thinking about your goals in a negative light.
It’s important to reflect on how your progress, and your goals make you feel. What are the attitudes you have towards your goals as you keep working toward them? Write down the good thoughts and the bad thoughts. Try to find a way to mitigate those bad feelings by focusing on what has gone well for you, and how you can apply those same positive feelings to the goals you feel less certain about.
Writing it all out can help you visualize where you’re at, not just in terms of achieving your goals, but also where you’re at mentally. It will help you find balance in your life as you progress to the next stage.
Do A Weekly Affirmation
Sometimes negative thoughts can get the better of us and when they do, falling off the goal-achieving track isn’t far behind. When we feel overwhelmed by our goals, we can often turn to place the blame on our capability. The “I can’t” statements are one of the more dangerous negative thoughts to have. Saying, “I can’t do this,” or “I can’t do that,” is precisely where your goals stop.
So instead of jumping immediately to the “I can’t” statement when looking at your progress or lack of progress, do an affirmation instead. In this case, an affirmation is a positive statement that accurately reflects where you’re at in relation to where you want to be and helps you determine how you’re going to get there.
For example, if your immediate thought is “I can’t lose enough weight because I’m too lazy,” replace that thought with an affirmation. “I’m having trouble losing weight because I feel really tired, but I can replace a high-intensity with a moderate one and still be on track with my weight loss goals because that’s more manageable for me.” Doesn’t that sentence just make you feel better already?
Look For Help
When the going gets rough and you feel like you’ve reached a plateau with your goals, then maybe it’s time to look for help. There are millions of resources out there for you to use to help you get over the last hurdle. Ask for help from your friends, from your family, from online support groups, from your personal trainer (if you have one). Don’t be afraid to get some outside help.
Sometimes that problem we reach when we’re just about to reach our goals is a lack of knowledge, support, or tools in order to get something done. That’s okay! No person is completely equipped to deal with every single one of their goals at once. You have to cultivate those things in order to achieve them and the best way to do that is to seek outside help.
If you’re having trouble putting on that last bit of muscle after you’ve been weight lifting for months, maybe the problem is with your protein intake? How can you determine that? You can download an app and read a few articles on proper protein intake for your level of weight lifting. There are so many tools available to you that can help you reach your goals, you just have to be willing enough to accept the help.
You’ve Got This!
No matter what you’re goals are for the new year or for the rest of your life, you can achieve them! It may not seem easy at first, but anything worthwhile takes time and effort. You are capable! Just remember these 5 tips to help you keep track of your progress and you’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel!