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The biggest culprit of goals we make that we can never keep, or at least never seem to keep, is new years resolutions. You make a plan at the beginning of the year to work out every day, eat healthy all year, and learn tons of new things and by the second week of the year you are wondering if you’ll ever actually do what you planned on again. It’s hard to create a new lifestyle and stick to it. It’s hard to learn to set goals and follow through. Especially when you plan to start it one day out of the blue, and just keep it that way.
I know that one of the hardest things for me is keeping up an exercise regiment. I like exercising and staying in shape, but it is REALLY hard to keep it as a regular part of my schedule. Another difficulty I have is keeping up my French. I have vowed to learn French since marrying my French husband, and we are now two years into our marriage and I know very, very little french.
It is hard to remember that by small and simple things great things come to pass. That is essentially the idea we put into practice here. A lot of times something seems unattainable because it is such a big project or large feat. What is the saying? “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” That’s what we’re doing, taking bites.
Luckily there are some things that I’ve been able to make into a habit and lifestyle, and I’d like to share my tricks with you. Before you read on, consider downloading our free “Life Plan” that helps you map out your goals. So how do you learn to set goals?
Seriously. A few days before the first day of every month you need to sit down (preferably with a planner) and decide what your goals are for the month and write your goals in every day with a little box next to it to checkmark. Generally I like to start with an overall goal, for example, complete a 30 day workout challenge. Then I break down the challenge into bite size pieces that need to be accomplished every day. I make sure that I have a water tracker so I know how much water I’m consuming. I make sure all of my meals are planned for at least the next week.
It can be a really great idea to hold these meetings with your family so that you can set family goals as well. You can also help you children set goals for themselves and get into the habit of reviewing their progress.
Learn to set goals one baby step at a time. It can be really hard to jump right into something with no warning. If you haven’t been working out for months or years and then push yourself to do an hour a day immediately then you can get really sore and really overwhelmed really fast. The same thing would apply if you were to attempt to change all aspects of your diet in one day. You would get headaches as your body was cleansing, and you would be frustrated trying to figure out all of your meals. It could also be a huge cost for groceries and materials up front depending on how in-depth the new diet was.
This is why we start with baby steps. Start by working out once a day for 15-30 minutes. The next week you can plan 30-45 minutes. The next week you can up the difficulty of your workout, and so on and so forth. You can apply this to your meals. You start by simply planning out healthy dinner meals for a week or two. Then you add in healthy breakfasts. Eventually you pull out any unhealthy snacks, and the list can go on until you are in a happy place.
The trick is not becoming healthy immediately, or immediately having a perfect lifestyle, it is creating and sticking to decisions that create habits to last a lifetime. Once you are in the habit it becomes more difficult to go back to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Learn to set goals, and have a list to keep yourself on track. Otherwise things get forgotten, overlooked, and pushed aside for other things that aren’t a priority. For example: it is important to me to finish some blog-related task every day, but if I don’t have something written down then I end up working on 500+ blog-related tasks and finishing nothing. Those are the WORST days because you feel so exhausted and you’ve been working all day, but you feel like you have absolutely nothing to show for it.
The trick to this is to keep your goals and to-do list reasonable. Don’t give yourself twelve 1-hour projects to finish in one day, and then expect to keep up on all of your plans. The best bet is to underestimate how much you can actually finish in a day, and then during your extra time you can work on “tomorrow’s” goals. This way if you have an exceptionally busy day, or an emergency comes up, you have already finished all of your goals. If you have extra time then you can start on the following week’s goals and then reevaluate what needs to be done that next week.
Sometimes we organize and put together our plans only to never finish them. We stare at the list all day and decide to have a lazy day, three days in a row, and not finish anything. It does no good to be idle, and in the end we will feel more unaccomplished because we didn’t finish what we could have.
So when you look at your list, you pick an object and say, “1, 2, 3, Go!” And that is it. You go, do, finish, and rejoice. There is no other choice, but to finish the activity you’ve decided to start.
Attaining our goals, resolutions, and dreams is completely possible if we just take it one baby step at a time. If you go through each of these steps to obtain your goals I promise that you will have an easier time being productive and making your dreams come true.
What are some tricks that help you stay on top of your goals?
A Goodnotes Digital Planner to get you started on your 2022 journey.
[…] with your goals for the year. If you are looking for ways to organize your goals, refer to this blog post and this podcast […]