It’s almost the end of January. Are you on track toward completing your new year’s resolutions? If yes, way to go, stop reading. You’re on your way to success. If not, the following steps will likely get you back on track.
Step One: Write your goals out. Include all of the tasks you want to accomplish. Be specific. I will lose 10 lbs. is specific. I will lose weight is not. I will run a mile without being completely exhausted is specific. I will get into shape is not. Clearly defined goals are more likely to be accomplished. Also, it is easier to objectively look at written goals and decide if they are really what you desire. If so, great. If not, adjust and tweak every goal until they distinctly represent your desired outcome.
Step Two: Make sure your goals are accomplishable, and I add safely accomplished. For example, running one mile without losing your breath in a month is probably not a safe goal if you have not exercised or run in a long time. Check with your doctor and then set the goal timeline for 6 months. However, six months seems like a long way off. So…
Step Three: Break your big goal into small obtainable goals. Start with slowly walking a mile three to four times a week for the first few weeks. Then walk the same distance but briskly for the next two weeks. And next, perhaps jog half a mile and briskly walk the other half mile. Slowly, safely and surely you can work your way up to running a mile. Celebrate each small success making progress a positive experience. Also taking small steps keeps you from overdoing yourself at the start, which is likely to give negative results (like soreness in this case). Negative feelings associated with your goal makes it more likely you will give up. So, don’t take on too much at once. Also, if your goal requires diet or exercise, see a medical professional first. If you injure yourself that would defeat the whole purpose of getting in better shape.
Step Four: It’s worth saying again, celebrate and reward yourself each step of the way. Yay! We love to celebrate. Choose what the reward will be ahead of time. Make sure it is aligned with your overall goal. Having a huge piece of chocolate cake filled with tons of sugar may be an impulsive celebration but it does not fit a goal of eating healthier. Plan ahead so you don’t neglect your goal. A better option is to share a small, less sugary, chocolate treat. Still a reward, but not a goal wrecker!
Step Five: Get others involved. Follow these steps with some friends. Creating a team helps everyone stay focused and accountable. Also, celebrating each other’s goals as a group is more fun.
Step Six: DO IT! Yes, you can.
Step Seven: Have a great year!