I posted the following article last year at this time and I dare say it bears repeating. I made some updates to the original, but the message is still the same. Do not let another year go by where you don’t achieve your goals and be all that you can be! So read on, then take the bull by the horns and make 2016 YOUR year!
The door on 2015 is closing tomorrow night and a brand new shiny hope-filled door called 2016 awaits you. Once again you face another opportunity to set goals, make “resolutions” and attempt to achieve them. Unfortunately every year many people fail at those goals within the first three months (for one reason or another), and then resign themselves to trying once more in the next new year. Well this is the year that cycle can stop for you. It’s easier than you think – here are three tips to help you achieve your goals whether they be getting in better shape (fat loss), career enhancement, or better relationships.
WORK IN INCREMENTS.
Having a big picture goal is important (losing a % of fat or scale weight, finishing courses that will enhance your career, etc.) but success is easier to achieve if you work in increments – 10 lbs. at a time, one class per quarter. Set a realistic time line for achieving each increment, make sure you have someone keeping an eye on your progress (holds you accountable), and use your phone or calendar so schedule daily time increments where you work on said goals.
Seeing and feeling the completion of each increment and it’s furtherance of you toward your goals keeps your motivation fresh. Also, by making sure that each day you attend to those goals (daily workout, time spent on homework) it sets you into a routine that will soon be hard to ditch.
FIND A FRIEND.
All goals in life that are worth pursuing are worth sharing. Support systems are the key to success in everything in life. As long as your goals are realistic and attainable, and cause no harm to those around you – everyone will be in your court and gladly help you. – you just have to ask! Buddy up with a friend to share weekly updates on your nutrition and exercise achievements AND set backs. Put together a group of people who are seeking to enhance their careers and have a weekly “mastermind” meeting where you help each other think outside the box and network. Schedule a weekly “catch up hour” where you and your significant other, child, or friend talk, share and reconnect.
TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK IS OK.
Set backs are NOT failures. Life for most of us is a series of a few steps forward combined with one or two steps back. If you give up every time you have a set back, your life will stay stagnant and unmoving. Embrace the set backs, learn from them, and make sure the next set back is something different. In my experience, failures cut a path to success if you allow yourself to learn from them.
So take a deep breath and open the door to 2015 with the knowledge that you can achieve ANYTHING you want if you simplify and stay focused. I’m here, as always, to offer my support, guidance and expertise. Happy healthy new year to you all!
Every year thousands of us make New Year’s resolutions that 99% of us break or don’t complete. Most prevalent are goals to lose weight and get in shape. But just like the chronic cigarette smoker who knows that smoking is bad but can’t stop because they’re addicted, losing weight and getting into shape needs more motivation than just your brain saying (along with everyone around you) that you need to do this to be healthy.
When you’re in the thick of it (no pun intended) the last thing you want to do is stop doing something that seemingly makes you feel better (i.e., smoking, eating that pint of ice cream, drinking that bottle of wine). Even though you know that these choices are not in your body’s best interest, your brain is used to these comforts to deal with life’s stresses. This is why we fail at new years resolutions. They’re made because it’s traditional to make them not because we have complete conviction behind the need to change. So, while the concept of a resolution is good – setting goals and starting them on a pivotal date – there is clearly not enough motivation placed on these goals to sustain our focus, and motivation is key!
So how then do you get and sustain true motivation? That, my friends, comes from within, when you are truly ready to acknowledge how unhappy you feel in the physical condition you’re in. It’s not about needing to get healthier for someone else; it’s not about wanting to feel sexier or more attractive; it’s not about wearing a different clothing size. It’s about YOU wanting to be different. YOU wanting to end the depression that follows you around because you feel unattractive or don’t have the energy to keep up with your kids or friends.
If whatever is to be gained by you changing is important enough to you, nothing will stop you.
Once you want the change for reasons so strong that nothing can deter you, then it instantly becomes a goal you can achieve. You don’t need a date on the calendar to get you started. You don’t need an extreme diet. You don’t even need a personal trainer (did I just say that?!). All you need to keep your desire for change always in the forefront of your brain. What do you stand to gain by this change? How badly do you want it?
Don’t focus on what you’ll lose, it’s too easy to say “well I don’t have that now anyway.” Focus instead on what you’ll gain. Gaining something is actually a stronger motivator than losing something. Take gambling for instance, we bet on what will win, not what will lose. Focus on what you’ll win, and then remind yourself that any progress towards this goal leaves you in a better place than if you’d done nothing. This wonderful quote by Winston Churchill sums it all up:
SUCCESS IS NOT FINAL. FAILURE IS NOT FATAL. IT’S THE COURAGE TO CONTINUE THAT COUNTS
So enjoy the holidays and your New Year’s celebration, but skip the resolutions. Instead contemplate what you want to gain and how badly you want it, then go get it! (And of course, if you DO want a trainer, or a tailor-made workout routine created by a professional trainer, give me shout. I’m here to cheer you on and help you stay focused!)