It’s the time of year where everyone jumps on board with resolutions to lose weight, eat healthy and exercise more. But now we are approaching February, are you already back to your old ways?
So what is the difference between someone who achieves those goals and someone who gives up on them?
Learn your goal setting type.
Before you set a goal, you want to know what kind of goal setter – and goal achiever – you are. Do you tend to overestimate your abilities, and feel crushed when you don’t succeed? Or do big goals inspire you to stretch yourself? Maybe you don’t even start as the fear of failing is too big and you are waiting for the ‘perfect’ time.
There is no right or wrong answer. I am a ‘everything needs to be perfect’ sort of person, so I know that waiting until I am properly prepared will only slow me down. Heard of paralysis by analysis??? If I don’t follow my goal setting steps then no action is made.
By understanding how goals motivate or deter you, you can be more clear on the type of goal you want to set.
Get clear on your why.
Setting a goal is great. But if you don’t know why you’ve set it, you’re likely to drop it whenever life gets tough. Sometimes, we set goals because of what society thinks, or because our friend or partner makes a comment about our eating habits – again.
We’re more likely to stick to goals that are made based on internal motivators – things like how we feel and what we want from our lives – rather than external motivators, like peer pressure or an ideal appearance. When you set a goal, think about why you want that goal. Will you feel more energetic? Will you be able to get a better sleep at night, give up the need for an afternoon nap? Or maybe you want to keep up with your kids at the park?
Make it flexible, but targeted.
It is important to put a time-frame on goals – if you say you’re going to lose 10kg in 6 months, it is always going to get pushed back. But if you say you’re going to do it by 30/06/2019, it’s a hard date. You’ll either achieve it or you won’t.
That being said, life happens. You might set a goal to be able to do a 5km run in 3 months time, but then after a few weeks, get a promotion at work and have to work longer hours. All of a sudden, that goal is almost impossible to achieve because of lost progress. So make sure you add in a bit of buffer time, especially if you’re likely to come up against an external challenge.
How do you eat an elephant?
The answer is ‘one bite at a time’. Don’t worry, you don’t need to eat an elephant, but you do need to look at big goals the same way. When something seems overwhelming, breaking it down into bite-size steps makes it easier to start taking action.
For example, say your goal is to be able to run the next Sutherland to Surf. For you to make it through the whole run by the next 4 months might seem impossible. But if you broke it down into mini steps of 500m of running in the first week, you could achieve your goal by doing that mini goal and gradually increasing the distance each week.
With breaking your goal into small steps, you are really creating new habits. Research says it takes 21 days to create a new habit, so in this time you need to make the small steps a priority. This is where accountability comes in.
Having an accountability buddy can be the difference in hitting the snooze button in the morning, or getting out of bed and making it to your workout for the sake of not letting your friends down.
Accountability is what will help you get yourself through the dip where many people give up and go back to their old habits.
Are you ready to set your new goal for 2019? To help you plan your new health habits and for accountability we have a free Healthy Habit Tracker for you to access. Share it with your partner / friends and create your habits together so you can keep each other accountable.
Then display it on your fridge / bathroom mirror so it’s regularly in sight for you to keep those new habits going.
Before you know it – you will reach your goals!!
By Tanya Jones – Naturopath