What comes to mind when I say the word, goals?
Depending on your past experience with goal setting and reaching, you might have some negative feelings toward the word, and other words such as failure, frustration, inconsistency, or others might come up.
Take a moment to think about your past experience with setting goals. Do you have primarily good experiences or bad experiences?
Whatever your relationship to the word “goals”, you can find joy and success in creating and reaching them. And today, I’m going to show you how!
Because self care is one of the best things you can spend your time on, let’s talk about goals as it relates to the care of your physical health.
Creating a goal does not have to be a huge, drawn out, detailed process. That’s where many of us stop because we feel like we have to start out perfect. But, the joy of setting and working toward a goal is also about learning to appreciate the entire experience, including the ups and downs.
So, today, throw out all your preconceived notions about goals. Get rid of the negativity you’ve experienced with goals in the past. Start fresh with me right this moment. Today, it’s all about showing yourself consistency. Staying consistent with your dreams in life.
If you’re ready, make sure you grab the “stick to your goals checklist” I made you. It’s a super easy way to get started on the right foot with your goals, and a template you can keep coming back to as you continue to set and reach goals throughout your life.
HOW TO CREATE A GOAL YOU’LL STICK TO AND LOVE
STEP 1: PICK YOUR PASSION
Before you do anything, you need to choose a goal that excites you. Don’t settle on a goal that someone else is working toward. Choose a goal that lights a fire in you. Choose something that makes you want to achieve it today.
Picture the end result of this goal. What are the emotions? What are the sights, the sounds, the feelings that come?
I know I’m going against the grain by saying this, but your goal does not have to be perfect. It doesn’t always have to be super specific, or have a timeline, or have exact outcomes. For right now, the only thing you need from that goal is a feeling of excitement, a feeling of looking forward to getting closer each and every day.
Of course there are times when specific and measurable goals are absolutely appropriate, and it depends on what your goal is. But just know that right now, your goal does not have to be perfect.
Write down something that fuels you. Have you always wanted to run a marathon because it seems almost impossible for you and you can’t imagine the feeling of accomplishing something so huge and amazing in your life? Go for it. Do you want to be able to wake up every day with energy and passion for fitness? Write that down. Do you want to feel toned, tightened, and happy with a healthy body? Get started on it.
The first step to reaching any goal is to write it down first. And when you write it, the words should excite you, fuel you, and give you something to look forward to.
STEP 2: START WHERE YOU ARE
Ah, the most important step. The step we all seem to miss.
You are unique. Your goal is unique. Where you start with a goal will be completely different from where someone else starts.
The key to successful goal setting is to start where you are. Start where you are at this very moment. That is your step one.
If you want to lose weight, it will require a mixture of consistent exercise and nutrition changes. Don’t overhaul your entire diet in one night, or start with a 6 day per week plan at the gym.
Instead, start one step ahead of where you are right now. If you don’t exercise at all, find 2 days per week to start exercising. If you struggle with overeating, start by reducing your portions at one meal, or dropping a few nights of your late night snacking each week.
Start where you are right now. You will find success in consistency, one day at a time.
STEP 3: TAKE BABY STEPS
Once you’ve found that first step, now I want you to head alllll the way to the end of the goal. To the outcome. To the finish. What does it look like? What kinds of habits have you created and what are you doing consistently to stay at that outcome? This could be exercising daily, eating fruits and veggies at every meal, doing yoga daily, etc.
Look at the habits you’ll be following once you’ve reached your goal and work backward from there. Work backward in steps until you reach day 1. Then, start with day 1, step 1.
The key is to set a tiny habit. A habit that seems almost impossible to fail. That’s where most of us struggle with our goals and staying consistent. We set habits that are just too hard to stick to. Pick something that is so simple you’d be embarrassed if you didn’t stick to it. This could be starting with just ONE day per week of walking.
I know it sounds like it could take forever to reach your goal at that pace, but my years of coaching others through their goals have demonstrated that this is the most successful path for everyone to take. To create habits. To create consistency.
Be consistent with your first habit. Then when you are ready, take that next step. As you are consistent, your progress with start to grow exponentially.
If you pick something too hard and you struggle staying consistent with it, go with an easier habit until you are ready to move on.
A lifetime of healthy habits begins with one step at a time.
STEP 4: EVALUATE & REEVALUATE
Last but not least, evaluate.
Consistently check in. Ask yourself how you’re doing. What things are you finding success with? What are you struggling with?
Failure is a completely normal AND good thing. You will have ups and downs on this journey. The best part about the failures is that they give you some incredible learning opportunities. You learn exactly what works and what doesn’t work for you.
Stay consistent with your goals even when it doesn’t go well. Don’t give up. It’s completely normal to have setbacks. Expect them, appreciate them, learn from them.
Set goals that challenge you, that help you grow, and that mold you into the person you want to become.
You can do this. Show up for yourself today. Find something that fuels you, and go for it!
Learn more about Elizabeth Dall.
Elizabeth Dall is a certified exercise physiologist and wellness coach. She specializes in helping women and mothers build confidence and love for who they are, build a better relationship with food, and reach their health and wellness goals. As a mother herself, she’s learned how important it is to find ways to nourish her body and soul to give the best to others and her family. Her message is one of self-compassion and a simplified, well-rounded approach to health.
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