by Amie Gibbons (originally posted on ryanlanz.com)
Hey, how are those New Year’s Resolutions going? : )
No, I’m not trying to bait you or make you feel terrible about yourself. I’m trying to make a point. If you set goals, do you stick to them?
I’m here to give you some tips on how to stick to your goals, basically by sharing what works for me. If your way works, stick to it; you’re obviously doing something right. If it hasn’t been, try these tips and see what happens.
Set definite goals
Start small and build up
Know why you’re setting the goals
Reward yourself when you hit a milestone
Yep, that’s it. Why set definite goals? Well, let me ask you something. If your goal is to lose 40 pounds in a year, what are you action steps to do that? How do you know if you met what you need to for the day to make that goal happen?
Exactly. And how do you know that 40 pounds is healthy for you to lose? Instead of the vague, I’ll lose 40 pounds, how about something more concrete? Something you can look at every day and say if you’ve met it or not? You’ll be able to feel good because you met your goal, keep track of your progress so you can see yourself accomplishing instead of the general, well, I should’ve lost 3.33 pounds this month and I haven’t lost 1 yet, so I’m doing something wrong.
Instead, try I’ll walk 10 minutes every day for [insert month here] and I’ll do 10 push ups and a set of 20 crunches every day, and I’ll limit my soda intake to 1 can a day. It’s small, but it is definite, and it’s a start. Once you get yourself to that little goal every day, carving out time and energy for that tiny bit, then you can increase your goals. I’ll walk 20 minutes, only 2 sodas a week, etc…
You get the idea? So here are some suggestions:
If you’re a writer, don’t say I’ll finish that novel this year; say, I’ll write 1,000 words a day, and once the book’s done, I’ll edit for 1 hour a day for 3 months, and then I’ll reevaluate and increase that.
If you want to learn how to cook, don’t say you’ll learn. Get a cookbook or scour the internet and say you’ll do a new recipe a week for the first 3 months, then up it to 2 a week.
If you want to lose weight, start setting some definite and realistic goals, like above, and build it up once the habit is set.
Why should you know why you’re doing this? Because keeping your goals isn’t always easy; if it were, we’d all do it. Losing that weight? It’s going to be hard work and you’re not going to get to eat like you used to. But if you’re doing it because your heart’s in trouble, you have diabetes, or hell, you just want to look sexy again dammit, then keep that in mind.
And reward yourself. You’ll be putting in hard work–give yourself something for it. You meet your workout goals all week? Reward yourself with a soak in the tub, a night out, maybe an extra treat (though that may create the mindset of junk food good and is a reward, which you probably need to get rid of if you want to lose weight, so it depends on if this works with the way you think about food.)
I hope this helps. Set your goals, just try one for a month, and see what happens.
Guest post courtesy of Amie Gibbons. She is a lawyer/writer/science geek who blogs about writing, legal tidbits, and fiction pieces.