There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to change and smash those health and wellness goals you have set yourself for 2017, but feeling that you are somehow not able to. It seems too hard to stay focused, you feel unsure if what you do will really produce those desired results, there are too many obstacles in your way to make it work, you are experiencing a sense of overwhelm and are getting more and more frustrated and disheartened along the way.
Let me tell you if this is your experience with goal setting, it is not because YOU are not CAPABLE of reaching those goals. Instead, it is because your goal setting more than likely needs a bit of an overhaul.
To help you change your game, here are my 5 tips that will empower you to fulfil this healthy mission of yours without damaging your self-confidence and -belief any further.
- Create a vision
Before you give those amazing health goals of yours another thought, start on your journey towards success by creating a vision statement. Having a clear vision will align your goals with your life’s purpose and values. This will supply you with a great deal of intrinsic motivation. It will also give your plan direction and keep you inspired along the way. To get crystal clear on your vision ask yourself the following questions: What will you gain by accomplishing what you are setting out to do? Why is this important to you? How will your life be different then compared to now? What will you look and feel like? How will you set out to do reach those ‘why’s” and “what’s”?
Doing this will probably result in rephrasing your original goal quite a bit. If you thought your goal was to lose weight, your vision might now look something like “I will start nurturing my soul, body and mind by eating nutritious healthy foods and engaging in weekly yoga sessions because I love feeling, strong, fit, and healthy, it makes me a better and happier person and I then can make this world a better place by playing to strengths and doing what I am good at and believe in.”
- Set a goal of action
Avoid to set any broad goals such as “I want to lose weight” since they are very vague and do not supply you with any framework or plan on how to actually get there. Instead use a behavioural goal such as “I will be buying and cooking more wholefoods so I eat more healthful foods and I will walk 5 times the week and do yoga on 3 days.“ The end result will be the same: you will lose weight, however, instead of concentrating on the overwhelming part of shrinking your waist, you are focusing on clear cut actions or behaviours which will support the desired outcome. You are creating an action plan of what you have to do today to get you where you want to be tomorrow.
- Be SMART with your goal-setting
Formulate your goals so they are specific, measurable, accountable, realistic and time-framed.
Specific – Creating a clear vision of what it really is you want to achieve will have already helped you to greatly specify your goals. So instead of plainly wanting weight-loss, your new goal will be more about feeling and looking good, strong and fit. The more specific you can formulate your goals, the clearer you are about what you are really after and the easier it will be to set action steps to make your dreams a reality.
Measurable – Find a way how you can easily and successfully measure and keep track of how you are going with your goals. This might be as simple as noting down when you went for your walks and how long for and when you turned up for your yoga sessions and what kind of yoga you were doing. Technology makes it very easy for us nowadays to have something in place that will help you measure your progress and success, with all those fabulous health and wellness apps popping up everywhere. Find your very own fun way of measuring your success.
Accountable – This has a lot to do with really taking ownership of the new you that you are aiming for. This also involves taking responsibility for your old behaviours that have resulted in less good health. Once you are ready to do this, holding yourself accountable to your goals, one action step at a time, will be a breeze. Making yourself accountable on your journey towards vibrant health and radiant beauty might mean you tell others about your goals and ask them to check in on you. It could also simply include you marking those menu plans and exercise schedules you have created for yourself with a lovingly and proud tick once you have achieved them.
Realistic – It is essential for your goals to be transformed into happy successes that you ensure they are realistic and very much achievable. The easiest way to do so, is by breaking your goals down into small, easy steps that you are confident you are able to fulfil and commit to on a continuous basis in your busy flow of life. You will be surprised by how quickly you will make your dreams a reality this way.
Time-framed – Make an appointment with yourself. Or even better, make it lots of regular dates. Putting a time frame around your goals such as walking 5 times the week for 30 minutes, doing 3 1-hour yoga sessions per week and cooking nutritious easy meals 6 days per week, gives it urgency. We all know that it is just too easy to procrastinate on things which might feel hard, uncomfortable or push us beyond our comfort zone. However, we also unconsciously or consciously know that it is exactly in this gray space of discomfort where there is plentiful opportunity to grow.
- Contemplate your obstacles
Identifying the many things that could get into your way of achieving your goals, is a very empowering first step to overcoming them. Be honest with yourself here, because some of those seemingly big obstacles can be disarmed as simple excuses. Change is almost always a bit daunting and also likely to be a little uncomfortable at first. So, it is quite human to come up with many reasons of why we cannot tackle those changes straight away. Pretexts like “I don’t have any time, or money” are probably among the most favourite ones. If the change is important enough to you, you will find a way to make time for it, fit it into your busy life and come up with the necessary resources. Everything is figure-outable, so in a next step, this is precisely what you are going to do. You now have a pretty good idea of all the things that could turn out to make your attempts of changing difficult for you. So in your next step you are coming up with ways how to get past those obstacles.
- Play to your strengths
Think back of a time where you fully and utterly achieved the goals you had set yourself. Which resources did you use to do so? Which unique strengths and abilities of yours did you use to make those goals happen? What did it take you or what did you need to be able to accomplish what you had set out to do? List 5 qualities that make you uniquely you and that will assist you on your way to success. My top 5 strengths I can use when things get tough are: 1. I am determined 2. I am resilient 3. I am very practical 4. I am positive 5. I am organised. Which ones are yours?
And now it’s crunch time! It is up to you now to really commit and make those dreams of yours happen. I know you can. You now have got a great plan at hand that I know will work for you, because it has and still does for me and my clients. So, what are you still waiting for, you can now jump with confidence at it and start your journey towards a happier, more fulfilled and radiant version of yourself – there has never been a better time doing so than NOW.