I am excited to share with you my tips & strategies for goal setting and how to turn said goal setting into the most important – achievement!
First, I’d like to get real with you. Like, really real. My journey in goal setting and most importantly goal achievement is a long one full of mistakes, missed goals and re-commitments. The process is ever-evolving and I believe over the last few years, I’ve finally truly discovered (or at least really grasped) what makes the real difference.
For years I thought it was a special planner and then when that didn’t work, I thought maybe it was that Pottery Barn calendar system I eyed for months (which does look awesome and work, I might add). Then maybe, it was Google calendar, phone reminders…the list goes on and on. Once I really took a step back and looked, I realized the ONLY common denominator I was left with at the end of every planner, course and calendar was looking back at me – ME. I was the only thing separating me from what I really wanted & if you take the stance of 100% personal responsibility, there is nothing else that it could be.
I was the obstacle between where I was and where I dreamed to be.
And when I really, really let that sink in, I couldn’t have felt more free and ready to stop this cycle.
We’ve all had unfinished & underachieved goals but have we ever stopped to ask why?
We start out so passionate and ready for change. We set off with a plan and action items to get there and then….
Life happens. The kids get sick, our job hours change, schedules shift…you know the drill…life.
So, how do we discover what needs to happen in order to make this change? Well first, let’s look at a time you did succeed, what was different in the equation to bring you to the rush of success? What changed the time you wanted to loose 20lbs and did? What kept you being frugal when paying off debt was on your mind? What the heck is that secret sauce?
I can promise you that the answer was one of these three: strong desire (like the red hot burning one you felt for your love back in the beginning), unending commitment or hard work. Heck, it might even be all three of those but you at least have to have one to make the other two appear. Those three qualities are what turns a dream into reality.
Something that really stuck with me when I read in it a book by one of my favorite speakers, writers and pastors, Joel Osteen, was that those who seem to always achieve and are insanely successful (you know, the people you’d love to emulate) are no more equipped, no smarter or any more deserving than you are. The absolute only difference is that they will (and do) bust their butt in order to make it happen. They put in the hours, the sweat and yeah, even the tears to turn dreams into reality – even when they don’t feel like it.
I’ve been there. I had just had Noah (my first) and was hell-bent on getting my body back. I worked my butt off and really committed to feeling good about myself again – it was awesome. Then, 5 months postpartum I got that little pink line – yep, Liam was on his way! Instead of turning that into a roadblock to stop me, I used it as fuel to reinforce that my body needed to be in tip-top shape to do the whole birth thing over again. I stayed on task and religiously got up with my best friend, Anna, and hit the gym every.single.morning at 5am – talk about commitment! At 32 weeks pregnant, I competed in my first ever triathlon and rocked it, coming in THIRD place for my age group! My commitment paid off, not only in that awesome accomplishment but again, 9 weeks later in a 2.5 hour labor (and compared to Noah’s 21 hour labor, it was amazing!).
So, let’s get to the good stuff.
Here are some tips to help you get there and do the same:
- Sit down, take time and be real with yourself. What do you really want & are you ready and willing to take on that commitment?
- Break it down – even if only mentally. An overwhelming goal (like losing 40 lbs) feels unachievable but saying you’ll run for 30 mins, 6 days a week seems like something you can do.
- Schedule check-ins and review your goals often. I try to reflect every week and then do a monthly, larger wrap-up at the beginning of each month. This is sacred.
- Consider getting up early. This may sound weird to you, but honestly it’s been a huge factor in changing my life. Anytime I’ve ever been super successful, I was in a period of my life where I consistently got up early. Remember that triathlon? I was up at 5am religiously. Now, my husband and I get up every morning (we’ll take Sundays off) at 4:30 am to grab quiet time before our kids get up. Sound extreme? It is – but I also have some pretty extreme goals and for me, this is key to reaching them. Here are a few other benefits to rising early:
- Allows you some awesome reflection/quiet time to start your day right
- Creates nothing but positive habits. Early bedtime = less late-night snacking, filling brain with mindless TV or mindlessly scrolling FB or Instagram.
- The early bird truly does catch the worm. Increased productivity is bound to happen because you are starting a snowball effect. Throw in a load of laundry, make your lunch and tackle that to-do list before you even eat breakfast and watch how great you feel.
- Compile your favorite, motivating materials. These are KEY to those days when you just don’t feel like doing ANYTHING, let alone working towards a goal. Those days are real and they happen, so why not have a plan of attack ready? Some of my favorites: The Journey of Purpose (YouTube channel) and anything Darren Hardy.
Until next time,