One of the key parts, if not the most important part, of behavior change is setting goals. I didn’t truly know the steps I needed to take because I didn’t know what it was I was working towards.
Objective. Measurable. Goals.
I’d like to throw in “realistic,” too. Oftentimes I set such high expectations for myself, and that unfortunately doesn’t help me at all. I need to set goals I CAN achieve. Maybe my ultimate goal is to look great in that tiny bikini. That’s a totally acceptable goal, BUT I need to recognize that it may take time to get in that bikini. I also need to recognize that the size of my, ahem – assets, may make that bikini an unrealistic goal. Or maybe the timeline is what’s unrealistic. Maybe deciding on June 1st that I want to get in that bikini by June 30th is not realistic.
So objective, measurable, REALISTIC goals.
Also, by being realistic, I can break down goals into manageable pieces. Say I want to lose 100 lbs. That’s a big number. How motivated am I going to be if I continuously focus on the number 100 and the small dents I’m making in it? Instead, I can focus on smaller increments, like 5 lbs or 10 lbs at a time. The program I’m following now has me focusing on 2 lbs at a time and I can’t even tell you how reinforcing it is to achieve those small goals. Instead of one big goal, I have 50 small goals. It keeps me coming into contact with that reinforcement which keeps me going!!
My advice? Set goals. Have big goals and small goals. They don’t all have to be about numbers. You can get creative and slightly abstract, just operationally define what those goals mean to you so you will know when you achieve them. I have a goal called “daily personal development.” What does that mean? You’d never know from that title alone, but I defined that goal as daily journaling, reading PD books, listening to PD podcasts, and/or self-reflection. So if I develop a daily habit of doing any one of those things each day, then I’ll have achieved that goal. I defined it which makes it objective, and I want to do it each day which makes it measurable. I keep track of this stuff in my tracker so I can monitor my progress on each goal.
Also, sometimes I have to remind myself it’s OK to dream big. I have to encourage it even. I have SO many big dreams and sometimes I’m TOO realistic. But I just have to remind myself that in order to make them goals, I need to make them objective and measurable, and I need to break them down into realistically achievable steps with a realistically achievable timeline.
I’ll see you next week!
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