Still trying to accomplish those 2019 New Year’s resolutions? Do you even remember them?
More than halfway through the year, many of those goals have been abandoned. Now our summers are filled with vacations and family time. And before we know it, the stress of school and the holidays will be upon us. So when do we make time to achieve our goals?
As life throws us curveballs, we quickly find excuses for why we can’t fulfill our hopes and dreams. This can lead to disappointment, regret, frustration and even depression. Getting healthy and staying fit is not only about the body; it’s also about the mind. Goal-setting can help keep the mind sharp, especially as you focus on bringing another positive outlook into your life.
We can set many goals, and deciding where to start can be overwhelming. That often pushes us to give up before we even begin. So incorporate goal-setting into your daily, weekly or monthly routine to succeed.
Here are five steps to get you started and help keep you on track:
1. Set realistic and attainable goals: Set small goals you can accomplish in a week. If you are focused on weight loss and unsure how to begin, then start with a goal of getting a gym membership and working out at least one hour a week. Your next goal could be to contact a personal trainer or take a fitness class. Such goals help you gain momentum, feeling success with each step. And take note of why you want to meet certain goals: Keep your eyes on the target.
2. Push yourself out of your comfort zone: Many goals might focus on working out more or improving our diet. But it’s important to include goals for other aspects of life. Look at how you can improve your work life, personal relationships or home life. Learn something new or push yourself outside your comfort zone. When I was taking courses to become a fitness professional, for example, I never intended to teach classes. The thought of being in front of a room full of people frightened me. But when I was offered a class to teach, I nervously accepted. I had set a goal to expand my involvement in fitness, and now I truly love leading classes. Take a chance. You might stumble onto a new passion.
3. Draft an action plan with a deadline: Buying a home, finding a new job, obtaining a college degree and losing weight are life-changing goals but can seem out of reach without a plan. Jot down the steps needed and set a deadline. For example, I knew it wouldn’t be easy to get a master’s degree with a full-time job and teaching schedule. But I wrote a plan, including researching college programs in my interest to determine how I could complete coursework. I set an ambitious deadline, which pushed me to complete my degree in 2½ years. These big goals are doable, and keeping yourself on a strict timeline will keep you focused on the result.
4. Team up: What better way to set goals than with a friend or family member? If you’re focused on health and fitness, then having someone at your side with similar goals will keep you accountable. Even as a fitness instructor, I need accountability. My co-instructors push me to the next level when they see that I’m getting too comfortable. When someone is at your side, you’re less likely to give up because you don’t want to disappoint them. The camaraderie also makes a fun way to reach your goals.
5. Share your progress: Some might consider it bragging, but don’t be afraid to share your accomplishments with loved ones or on social media. Your true supporters will be proud of you and become personal cheerleaders. We all need encouragement to stay on track, especially with challenging goals. The extra support also can remind us why we’ve set these goals.
This year isn’t over, so you still have time to go after your 2019 goals. Quit pushing it to tomorrow. Today is always a good day to start chasing your dreams.