Setting Goals and Sticking to Them
It’s one thing to set goals. It’s another to keep them and make them happen for yourself.
As you may have read in THIS post, it’s easy to let your goals fall by the wayside if your expectations aren’t rooted in your current reality, or you’re biting off more than you can chew. So what do you do to make progress when you can’t seem to get yourself to do anything at all?
It may seem less rewarding to start small, but if you’re struggling to take action, stay accountable, or fall off the wagon all too easily, then small, actionable items are your ticket to success.
The following tips are through the health, fitness, and nutritional lens, but I think you’ll find you can apply them to your life outside the gym too.
Establish One Consistent Moment
Start small. Sometimes all you need is one positive habit to change or improve your lifestyle. Many of my followers or clients will say they can’t get themselves to commit to working out and they’re always falling off the wagon. When I ask them what their current program is they turn over a PDF or cookie-cutter plan that prescribes FIVE days in the gym.
If you struggle with consistency is it realistic to define success with five sessions? Most likely, no. Remember, that all or nothing mindset is a tricky bish. She creeps in and can change a rational thought to an irrational one. If I can’t work out five days a week, what’s the point? I might as well not work out at all.
Instead, start with ONE day or session per week, and prioritize it for one month. Here are the only criteria, it’s got to be a consistent date and time.
Example: A Barry’s class at 6 AM on Monday’s, or an outdoor run after work at 5:30 PM on Thursdays.
Schedule it for the same time, and the same place. Then work around it, and do NOT cancel it. It’s one personal obligation per week, consistent, and expected, so even the craziest of schedules can accommodate. For real, for real.
Outline Your Action Items
It’s not enough to say, “I’m going to take a Barry’s class at 6 AM on Monday’s.” Because taking the class doesn’t tell the entire story, and doesn’t give an adequate representation of its demands. To get the proper view of what it’s actually going to take to make that one class happen, outline three action items you can commit to ensuring your success.
Hold up. My POV is that when goals fail, it’s not the action of the goal itself (i.e. workout), it’s the prep, the commute, arrangements for childcare, and every other logistic that fails. We don’t prepare for the full story and are therefore are exhausted by additional responsibilities and that’s why we fail.
If you’re prepared, you’ll set yourself up for success.
Example: I’m going to take a Barry’s class at 6 AM on Monday’s so I need to…
- Pack my bag on Sunday night so I can get out the door quickly.
- Set my alarm to account for the time I need to wake up, make coffee, get ready, take the bus, etc. REMEMBER, it always takes you longer to get anywhere than you think it’s going to.
- Be out the door at 5:15 AM so I can catch the 5:30 AM bus.
- Block my calendar from 8-8:30 AM so have enough time to settle in at the office before my meetings start.
Everyone’s action items will look different, but the point is, you’ve got to get GRANULAR and SPECIFIC.
Practice Consistent Evaluation
Let me rephrase, practice consistent, and NON-JUDGEMENTAL evaluation. This is between you and you, so take the ego or shame out of your failures and successes. Regardless of the outcome, classify your experience as LEARNING and move on. Determine if you did what you said you were going to do and identify what worked, and what didn’t.
- I made it to class!
- My first meeting at 9 AM was do-able to prepare for and make even with hitting the gym beforehand.
- I had a ton of energy throughout the day
- That Monday morning wake up call is rough
- I missed the bus and had to Uber, which I can’t afford to do all the time
- Afterward, I was STARVING
Unpacking the successes and challenges helps you redefine your strategy to maximize your new habits potential to stick.
Refine Your Game Plan
The successes help build our confidence and make us feel like a fahkin’ million bucks, but the challenges are what you really need to pay attention to. What’s your game plan to overcome them for the next week to keep you on top of your shit? Give yourself a plan B to cover your ass and all your bases.
- That Monday morning wake up call is rough…so I need to go to bed at 9 PM on Sunday nights, and start my bedtime routine at 8:30 PM
- I missed the bus and had to Uber, which I can’t afford to do all the time…so I need to set my alarm 15 minutes early OR ditch the mid-afternoon Starbucks run.
- Afterward, I was STARVING…so I’ll pre-order a shake for a post-workout meal OR pack an additional meal for the day
Instead of getting overwhelmed by why you CAN’T act, nip your concerns in the bud and make it foolproof.
At the end of the month, take a look back on how you did. Again, this evaluation is without judgment, so be honest. You may feel you need more time to nail your previously set consistent moment, but you may feel ready to progress. Continue doing what you’ve been doing and layer by one! You’ve laid a foundation, now you can build the lifestyle you want, one brick, or one layer at a time.
What do you commit to accomplishing for the next month?
Example: I’m going to take a Barry’s class at 6 AM on Monday’s…and 6 PM on Tuesdays
The entire process starts again.
Goals are tough, but so are you. By creating a plan like this you’ve laid a blueprint for success. All you have to do…is do it!
You know what they say, if you write it down, you’re more likely to achieve it. Download the worksheet below to help you keep your ducks in a row.
Want more? Check out the magic of monthly goals, the importance of being accountable, and these tips for short-term goal setting.