You’ve made a goal. You’re finally going to address that habit. You know the one. You’ve been talking about doing this for a long time now, and you feel good because now you have a deadline. You’ve got this handled.
Or do you?
Whether you’re trying to break an old habit or instill a new one, the thought has always been that if you make a positive decision toward change, that’s already half the battle. But more often than not, these lofty goals fall by the wayside in fairly short order. Why?
The problem with goal-setting is that we’re focusing on the wrong goal. We say we want to lose 25 pounds by swimsuit season or to stop smoking by Christmas. But without a plan in place to make that happen, nothing is going to happen, even if you have what seems like a reasonable timeline in place.
What you forgot was how to make a plan, a roadmap for getting there.
So what can you do?
1. Break down the task into small goals. If you want to lose those 25 pounds, then how are you going to do it? Maybe you want to exercise more and watch your diet. So make a goal for each week instead. For this particular goal that might mean changing out a meal for a protein shake every day and going to the gym three times a week. Whatever your goal, figure out the steps you need to get there.
2. Put those tasks on a schedule. Now that you know what the pieces are, how are you going to make them fall into place? So if you’re planning on going to the gym three times a week, then put that on your calendar. Or create a meal plan and post it somewhere you’re going to see it.
3. Track your Progress. Change is slow, so having a visual cue will help you see that in fact, you are making positive strides toward your goal. Remember those sticker charts we had as children? They work on adults too. Or mark on your calendar so you can see at a glance when you’re making progress.
4. Don’t worry about the end date. Maybe progress might not be as fast as you’d like. The fact that you’re making progress means you’re heading in the right direction. Keep going!
5. Visualize your Goal. We create our reality with our thoughts and feelings. How will you feel when your goal is achieved? Imagine your goal as already completed. See and feel yourself as you want it to be, and it will happen. Focus on the good feeling and positive results.
You can change habits with time and effort. In this case though? It’s more about the journey more than the destination. Make a solid plan and whatever your goal, you’ll get there!