With the start of a new month, I always think about my goals. What do I want to accomplish, change or keep the same? I know I’m guilty of the typical cycle where I have told myself so many times that this is the time I’m going to stick with it, change or finally stay focused to accomplish a particular goal. You know, that whole, I’ll start again on Monday routine. But sometimes, even though we have the best intentions, we start to figure out and make a plan but we don’t follow through because it all seems so overwhelming. We spend time thinking about how and what to do, analyzing every step but never taking action. Don’t get stuck in “paralysis by analysis”. Don’t be so afraid of making a mistake that you won’t even try and therefore get any closer to your goals.
- What does this new you look like? What does someone who is fit and healthy do or act like? Who is the new you and what do you do?
- Do you cook healthy meals for yourself?
- Do you enjoy working out and eating healthy food?
- Are you active on the weekends with fun stuff like rock climbing, biking or hiking? Or participating in races?
- How many days a week do you exercise? What type of activities do you enjoy?
- What do you do with your friends and family?
- Pick one item from the above list and focus on just that piece. You’re going to focus everything you have on showing yourself that you’re capable of making that item a new part of your identity a reality. Don’t go crazy and make this too unrealistic or you won’t be able to accomplish it. If you’ve never worked out, don’t say you’re going to workout everyday for 1.5 hours. Or that you’re only going to eat chicken and broccoli every meal for the rest of your life.
- Start small and make it manageable. If you want to workout 5 days a week, start by adding a 5 minute walk each morning. Then add 5 more minutes next week. Or if you want to be someone who eats clean and healthy at every meal, start with one meal like breakfast. Once you feel like you have that down and you’re consistent, move on to another meal. If no soda is your goal, drink 11 instead of 12 sodas this week. And next week make it 10.
Measure your progress and mark the calendar each day as you complete the task and say, “I did this today”! And then as you see your progress and you’ll be able to say, “I did this 5 days in a row!” Keeping the steps small and manageable will help you build momentum and create little wins for yourself. All these little wins add up and you will feel so awesome knowing you’re making progress!
As you complete each step move on to another item that will help you get to your goal. Even though the steps are small, they will have a great impact. Most importantly though, you will be proving to yourself that you can make lifelong changes and build new habits. These new habits will slowly become your new normal. Before you know it you will be the new version of yourself that you envisioned!