How many times have you set goals with the best intentions, lasted a week or two, then given up? My hand is up! I bet yours is too.
Most of us go about setting goals that are doomed from the beginning. We need action steps to lead to the final destination, otherwise, we get lost along the way.
I recently read "Girl, Stop Apologizing" by Rachel Hollis. I loved this quote: “A goal is a dream with its work boots on!”
I absolutely love this because it’s so true.
A dream is something you want to eventually reach, but a goal is more tangible. The million-dollar question: How can you make goals set up to succeed, instead of being destined to fail?
Here are three action steps to follow when setting a goal that will help you succeed:
1. Establish your motivation
Do you want to lose the blood pressure medication? Be able to walk up a flight of stairs without losing your breath? Finding your motivation is key because you can use it in your weak moments when you want to give up. Keep the motivation behind your goal at the forefront of your mind.
2. Be realistic
Look realistically at your action steps. To go from exercising occasionally to saying you are going to exercise five times a week, for instance, is likely setting yourself up to fail. Instead, set a realistic goal and then maybe exceed it. Doesn’t it feel better to go above and beyond, as opposed to not meeting an expectation?
3. Focus on the process
Setting short term milestones and weekly/daily check-ins help you feel good along the way -- or help you catch yourself if you’re slipping. But when you slip, don't be too hard on yourself: Slipping up is part of the process! Focus your mindset on the PROCESS rather than thinking in an “all or nothing” mentality. Skipping one workout is not great, but not the end of the world either. Skipping a whole week though? That can lead to two weeks, which can lead to giving up. Awareness of waning motivation early is a lot easier to deal with -- before it becomes full on ambivalence. By focusing on the process, and setting short-term milestones, you can remember the WHY of your goal and refocus!
Celebrate the little wins along the way and hold yourself accountable for the slip-ups. Leave excuses at the door, but give yourself grace if you stray from the road map. These are the keys to success with goal setting!
Erica Hinsdale is a personal trainer and the owner of Fit Chicks Studio, a women-only fitness and wellness studio in Harborcreek. She is accepting new in-home clients, and also offers a full-range of in-studio classes for all abilities.