Making goals and sticking to them

It’s that time of year again. One year is drawing towards a close, another is about to begin.  You sit and wonder…How……How did I get through this year without accomplishing my goals. Sure, some may have had tick marks by them indicating you knocked them out….but the big ones……weight loss, finances, moving into a house, none of them are remotely close to being completed. So you make a new year’s resolution again….this year is it! 2017 will be my year! I am going to get my finances in order, save money, get healthy, and form a better spiritual relationship with my higher power.  So you throw caution into the wind and splurge…..because after all…you’ll start tomorrow.

And that is how you fail

With no written down plan. With no guidance. With no knowledge. You wing it. And then January comes and goes…”Ok that was a practice month….I’m going to start for real in February” and it goes on and on.

Without a solid plan, you will fail. Try constructing a house without a blue print and you’ll end up with a lopsided dog shed. Changing your life, in any area, requires planning – preparation – and follow through.

So let’s get started. Let’s make this your year.

If you’re married, sit down with your spouse. If you have kids, get them onboard too.

Everyone needs paper and pencils. Why….because if you try to do this in your head you will fail. IT HAS TO BE WRITTEN.

Write out the areas in your life you want to improve. Mine usually fall into 5 categories:

  • Health (anything regarding health)
  • Wealth (all my finances)
  • Self (My self-development, things I want to do for fun, books to read)
  • Career (Where am I, where do I want to be by the end of this year)
  • Relationships (With my family, God, my friends)

In each of those areas, under each heading, write down what you want to improve and why you want to improve it. This will help you remember your “Why” when you’re in a slump in mid-July….or the second week of January.

Example:

Health

In 2017 I am working to improve my health by losing 50 pounds by December. I am doing this because I want to set a better example for my children and I want to reduce my blood pressure.

Do this for each category.

Now the steps. What do you need to do to accomplish that goal? Break them down.

If my goal is to lose 50 pounds by December, 50 pounds is approximately 4 pounds a month. That’s 1 pound a week. 1 pound is 3,500 calories. So create a caloric deficit of 3,500 a week (500 calories a day) either through food or exercise, and you’ll have a better chance of reaching that goal.

How will you create that deficit? Well, I tracked my calories yesterday and I consumed about 2,300. So I need to find out where I can make some cuts. Maybe adding in a walk (about 100 calories burned for a 180 pound person walking a mile).  Maybe switching to skim milk instead of whole in my cereal. Maybe baking my chicken instead of frying….maybe even oven baking.

Either way, write down the steps you’ll need to take to get to that goal. What steps do you need to take each day/week/month? Think of how you can make those steps a habit. Plan it into your week.

Next what barriers will you face and how do you plan to overcome them?

I want to walk a mile a day. I loathe mornings. Waking up at 5:30 every morning will be bull for me. That’s not realistic for me. However – breaking up my walks throughout the day, a walk on my break, a short walk on my lunch, parking further away, and making a few extra laps with the dog when I walk her. Not only will those steps add up to over a mile, but they will make me feel as if they are incorporated into my day and I will be less likely to quit.  Another barrier for me, fast food on the way home, however keeping snack bars in my glove compartment and snacking on something healthy on the way home will not only cut out my extra calories from fast food but also will help me towards my finance goal of saving money.

Do this for each of your goals. Establishing your goal, your why, your plan, how to overcome your barriers.

Finally, so that mine look pretty… I retype them, place them in a beautiful frame, and hang them in two places that I see every day. I put mine right by the bathroom mirror and by the front door.

I even take a picture and set it as my phone backdrop. Seeing your goals everyday will help motivate you and keep them on track.

 

Doing this for each of your goals, making sure they are well written and planned, you will begin to see that 2017 will be a more successful year than any year before.

Let me know if you have questions!

Remember…YOU CAN DO THIS!

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