5 Tips To Set Yourself Up For Success
It’s the new year, and that generally means goal-setting, resolutions, and very often, GUILT.
What do you say we take a different approach this year?
I have 5 tips to help you set yourself up for success in this new year.
Here’s the good news:
It’s normal to lose motivation, even if you’re seeing steady progress towards your goals.
You’re not suffering from some major deficiency of will power…
So let’s set you up to deal with this ahead of time with my 5 top tips for success.
1. Set realistic goals
The problem with unrealistic goals is that they very quickly leave us without motivation and with lots of guilt.
Setting realistic goals does not necessarily mean giving up on the original “unrealistic” goal… more often than not, we just need to set it up differently.
So let’s take a new exercise routine as an example:
If you rarely exercise now, and your goal is to exercise 60 min a day, 6 days a week, going from 0 to 360 is no easy feat. However, we can make it realistic by gradually increasing the time and/or days per week.
So, for example, rather than jumping straight into 60 min, 6 days a week, we could start with 10 min/3 days, then 20 min/4 days, 30 min/5 days, 45 min/6 days, and finally 60 min, 6 days a week.
You can decide how quickly you want to move through each of those phases towards your goal, but I would recommend 2-4 weeks minimum for each phase.
2. Get some accountability
The best way to stay motivated, particularly on the rougher days, is to get some accountability, and ideally not a friend or family member.
You may have tried this before and not had it work… it was probably a friend or family member.
Family and friends often don’t work well for accountability for a few reasons:
1) they’re not invested in your success the way you are
2) they don’t want to feel like the “bad guy” when you’re not motivated, particularly since they may be losing motivation too
3) you probably won’t listen to them when you really need to.
This is part of the reason why hiring a personal trainer, a coach or a consultant to guide you through and keep you on track can skyrocket your success.
3. Track your progress
Tracking your progress helps keep you motivated, and helps you to fully acknowledge how far you’ve come. The best way to do it is to write down your progress daily.
Each day write down what you did towards your goal and how far you’ve come since you started.
Some examples: a food journal, what you did for exercise (and how many minutes you’ve exercised since you started tracking), how much money you’ve saved since Jan 1, or even a calendar where you cross off each day.
Truly, you can record anything and it doesn’t need to take much time. If you need help figuring out how to track your progress towards one of your goals, get in touch. I’m happy to help you with that.
4. Use visual reminders
Even when they aren’t registered consciously, visual cues can have a very powerful effect on our behavior.
So use that to your advantage.
I want you to pick a goal you’re setting for yourself, and create a few visual reminders.
You can use photographs, cut outs from magazines, drawings, etc. You’re looking for as few words as possible (so your subconscious mind can work for you even when you haven’t consciously registered one of the cues).
Now I want you to post these in places you spend much of your time, e.g. bathroom mirror, next to your alarm clock, in the car, on the fridge, on your desk.
Lastly, put a reminder in your calendar to change and refresh these visual reminders every 2-4 weeks to keep them working for you.
5. Get support and help when you need it
Knowing when to call in additional help is really important. Hiring someone to help you move forward towards your goal, even for for a short period, will get you much farther along than you would be able to go alone.
A professional can help you avoid common mistakes, keep you from backtracking, help you set up a plan, keep you from burning out, and keep you accountable when motivation wanes.
This goes for any goal, including learning a new skill, getting organized, saving money, eating healthier, or setting up a regular exercise/writing/work/cooking routine. A professional will be able to get you there easier, faster, and with fewer ups and downs.
Use This Now
Now, before you go any farther, I want you to make a note of each of these tips so you can use them right away.
Pick one goal and work your way through each of these tips for it. Decide where you need to take action to set yourself up for success. If you need help with this, get in touch.