Many of you are using the New Year as an opportunity to set healthier goals for themselves. However, reaching those goals can be a struggle. The beginning of every group I run involves educating on how to set appropriate and realistic goals. Whether you are setting a emotional, physical, relational, or spiritual goal, here are a few tips to help you overcome the most common pitfalls of goal setting.
1. Start Small. Make sure your goal is small enough to be achievable. For example, tell yourself that you will ______ (e.g. meditate, workout, etc) for 5 minutes, 3 times a week the first week. Be careful of your inner critic that tells you the small step isn't good enough. Follow your rational mind that understands success begets success. You are more likely to succeed if you start with small, achievable goals.
2. Adapt. Ask yourself if your goal is truly realistic at this moment in time? What was realistic a year ago, or when you were 10 years younger, is not necessarily what is realistic now. Consider your current schedule, responsibilities, and priorities. You may need to change the activity, the time of day, or the accountability plan to find a goal that is right for you.
3. The Why. Ask yourself why you picked this specific goal. Your reasons must be important to YOU, not to your family, to society, or even to your doctor. If you are doing it for someone else, you are unlikely to be successful and likely need to pick a different goal. Make a list of your reasons why and keep them visible to you.
4. Infuse Pleasure. Make sure to integrate pleasure into your goal planning. Pairing your goals with something pleasurable will increase your motivation and make a break from your old routine more likely. If your goal is to read more this year, pair it with your favorite hot beverage. If you goal is to move your body more, pick an activity that makes you smile or find someone who makes you smile and ask them to join you.
If you need any help along the way, the women's groups here at Rite of Passage are designed to help you reach your goals.