- Clarify your goal or goals! If you aren’t clear on what you want, you’ll never obtain it. Think about the last time you went on vacation. Did you have an idea of where you wanted to go, or did you just get in the car and start driving, and then stop when you ran out of gas? Wanting more money is not a goal! You need to determine how much you want, after all earning an extra dollar is more money! Take the time to clearly define what you want!
- Have a plan! For instance, you’ve decided to go to Disney World. Will you drive or fly? What route will you take? How will you get to and from the airport? Where will you stay? You need to know these things in order for your vacation to become a reality. Well, the same is true of your goals! You need a plan! You need to know what steps you need to take to achieve them. If you want to lose weight, you need to exercise and make healthier food choices. What foods will you eat? How often will you exercise? What kind of exercise will you do?
- Prepare for obstacles! Let’s face it, you will run into obstacles and setbacks while working on your goals or changing your habits. I know this sounds similar to planning, and it is, but its crucial to have strategies in place before you run into trouble, so I'm listing it separately. You’d be surprised how many people don’t prepare for obstacles and setbacks and when they do encounter them, they give up on their dreams and consider themselves a failure. I don't want that to happen to you! If you plan in advance, you’ll be in control and make better choices. For instance, you want to make healthier food choices, you'll need to think about what you will eat before you're hungry. And if you decide you want a treat, that's okay, but plan for it and don't feel guilty afterward. The objective is to make conscious decisions, and not operate from old habits without thinking.
- Monitor your progress! Keep a journal. Continuously review and adjust your plan to see what’s working and what isn’t! Review your day and analyze, without judgement, how your day went. What went right? What didn’t go so well? What can you do different? After you're done, let it go. You can't change the past, so being upset isn't useful, but you can learn from it to ensure that your future is more successful!
- Stay motivated! When the going gets tough, and it will, how will you stay motivated? Surround yourself with people who can help you, encourage you and support you. Also, constantly remind yourself of your goals and why they’re so important! Put your goals and your “why” in writing, it makes them tangible and more achievable! Read it at least twice a day. Do it first thing in the morning to set the tone for the day, and again in the evening before going to bed. Constantly re-reading your goals helps to ingrain them into your subconscious.
Do you have goals, dreams and aspirations? Why haven’t you achieved them yet? Many people believe that change is impossible, after all old dogs can’t learn new tricks, right? Wrong! Change is possible with planning, and being aware of what you’re doing, and not doing!
Joanne Beattie, Certified Holistic Health. Life and Leadership Coach.