Does setting goals help you get from A to B?
I believe so. A goal helps you to address habits whether you’re trying to break an old habit or instill necessary routines to create a new one, most people believe that if you make your mind up to take positive steps toward change, that’s half the battle. But often, these lofty goals fall by the wayside in no time flat.
The problem is that many people focus on the wrong thing when they set goals. The focus is only on the end result, but not on how they’re gonna get there.
Say someone is interested in losing 25 pounds. They set a goal, but without a plan in place to make it happen, nothing is going to happen, even if the person has what seems like a reasonable timeline in place.
If you’ve made your goal SMART, then planning is built right in, however if you haven’t you need a roadmap for getting there.
So, what can you do?
Read on for 4 ways you can make it easier to reach your goals.
Make It Happen
Break Tasks Into Smaller Goals
So if you’re the person who wants to lose those 25 pounds, how are you gonna do it? Usually through exercise and diet. You could give yourself a reasonable timeframe to lose the weight and then break that overall goal of 25 pounds into a weekly set of steps.
For week 1 you would exercise x times a week for a total of x minutes (of your choosing) and you could even put the specific exercises for each day into your plan.
You could also take one day to do your meal planning for the week as well. Whatever your goal, figure out the steps you need to get there and break them into reasonable chunks. It’s all about making time.
Schedule Your Tasks
Now that you know what you’re gonna do, how do you ensure that you do it? How do you make all the pieces fall into place? Well, since you have your exercise schedule in place, make sure to put it on your calendar. You’ve taken the time to create your meal plan for the week, so post it somewhere you’re going to see it every day and even consider having it in your phone as well.
Tasks that are written down and scheduled have a greater likelihood of happening. You’re worth it to take the time and make sure that you achieve your goals.
Track Your Progress
Change can be really slow; especially if you’re trying to change a habit that you’ve had for a long time. Having a visual cue will let you see the positive strides you’re making towards your goal; which can help motivate you as you go along.
There’s several ways you can track your progress. You can use a habit tracker, which is a form that lets you record your goal and see your progress at a glance; or remember those sticker charts we had as children? They can be motivating for you as an adult as well. I don’t know about you, but I loved getting gold stars 😊. You can also do a “countdown” on your calendar where you mark off each day as you take the steps towards your goal.
Don’t Stress Out About Your End Date
It’s important to have an end date for reaching your goal because that provides a measure of motivation while you’re striving. But life sometimes gets in the way and your progress might not be as fast as you’d like.
But that’s ok. The fact that you are making progress means you’re heading in the right direction. Just keep going! Stressing out about not meeting all your timelines may get you to a point of being so frustrated (aggravated what word) that you make no progress at all. Relax and keep going. Baby steps are okay and can be a way to help you manage your stress before your stress manages you.
You can change habits with time and effort. In this case it’s more about the journey more than the destination. Make a solid plan and whatever your goal, you’ll get there!
Let’s talk, what do you do to ensure that you reach your goals? Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In