Create a plan of action and then stick to it.
You can do this my writing out a list of actionable steps which need to be taken on a weekly or daily basis. As this is a basic requirement for practically any goal let’s look at this area in more depth.
We will take a simple scenario for our goal and that is to write a daily blog post and work on creating a new Kindle book or report.
Actionable Step: Create your To Do List and separate it into three sections:
Depending upon your daily routine you may want to create a timed To Do List.
Separate your list into two major columns the first will be any work related items that you need to get done that day. The second column will list your family and household commitments.
By including both personal and business items you will find that you can balance out your schedule much better. You will know if you have any appointments scheduled or if you need to visit your kids school or attend their sports games. You won’t miss anything and you will end up not feeling guilty about not going to any events. With a little planning it is possible to create a solid balance in your life.
As each item is completed cross it off your list. If something is left as incomplete make sure you add it as a priority the next day and get it done before starting on anything else.
You can apply these same ideas to other types of goals including weight loss, exercise or working on improving your mind set. Create a detailed list of steps which you can accomplish each day.
An example for weight loss may be:
|Drink 8 cups of water|
Walk for 20 minutes
Eat 2 servings of fruits
Include 2 veggie choices at lunch/dinner
Sleep 7 hours
Make healthy choices
This can help you stay motivated and keeps your whole approach to losing weight more manageable. Even if you only check off 5 out of the 7 choices you are making progress and that is what is so important to remember.
You can keep track of your progress in various ways including by:
- Creating lists
- Using a calendar
- Using sticky notes
Create deadlines by setting dates and times to your goals
When you set a date and time to your goal you immediately make yourself more accountable. Instead of having a vague goal with no end in sight you now have a time line. It can even help to write your deadline on a sticky note and place it in your bathroom, your kitchen fridge or stick in on your computer monitor. This way you have a daily reminder staring you right in the face.
Announce your goals publicly
This helps to reinforce your goals in your own mind and makes you accountable to yourself, your friends and family and to everyone you have announced it to. This equals EXPECTATIONS and when you know people are expecting something from you, it can help to spur you into massive action.
Use an accountability partner
The perfect way to stay on track and stay motivated each week. Don’t forget that you can partner up with someone if you have a weight loss or exercise goal in mind as well. Quite often losing weight or starting a new walking regimen is easier with a partner. If you know your friend is waiting for you at the end of the street every morning at 7am you are less likely to miss your walk.
Plan for the unexpected
If you plan for the unexpected you will not let things stand in your way. Instead of using these things as an excuse you can easily substitute something else in their place.
To do this successfully you want to use the phrase:
If _________, then ________.
Let’s look at some examples.
If my meeting runs late and I can’t get to the gym, then I’ll get up early tomorrow.
If I eat that piece of cake at the party today, then tomorrow I will go for an extra walk.
If my kids are sick and I miss my Yoga class, then I will just do my class at home the best I can.
Use small tools which can help you achieve your goals
Using tools to help you achieve your goals is a very smart idea and today there are thousands of tools that you can use. Many of these are in the forms of Apps (applications) that you can simply download to your computer or mobile device.
Some of the most popular apps include things like:
- Food journals
- Exercise apps
- Running Stroller
- Baby Carrier
- To Do Lists
- Specific Goal setting Apps:
- Don’t Break the Chain
- Life App
- 21 Habit
- Life Tick
There are many more apps just visit your App Store and search for goal setting ones.
Some goals may feel really challenging and you may find yourself wondering if you can achieve them. When this happens it can be helpful to use visualization techniques to overcome your fear. Start visualizing daily how you will feel when you reach your goal. If your goal is connected to weight loss visualize how you will look in those skinny jeans or sexy bathing suit.
As well as visualizing how you may look don’t forget to visual your actual goal before you start. We mentioned this earlier in this eBook and it helps when setting and planning out your goals.
It really is so easy to miss a work out or eat that piece of cake or skip getting up early to work on your goal. This is when your willpower comes into play and it is when you need to dig down and find the strength to take action.
On those days when you feel yourself slipping think about what the long term affect will be if you give in to your temptation. You can use the visualization method above here as well. If you let yourself eat that cake are you going to get into those skinny jeans by Christmas? Then ask yourself is it worth it or not. When you do this you may find that you are not ready to let temptation get the better of you yet!
Forums & Groups
Joining a specific forum or group related to your goal can be really helpful. If your goal is to read more books then joining a book club can be a huge help. If you want to write a book then join a writer’s group.
Weight loss forums can offer you support and additional tools for achieving your goals. It’s always nice to chat with people who are struggling with the same things you are.
In fact, forums are so popular these days that you can almost find one for any goal or habit you are looking to make or break. Support forums exist for people dealing with drug addictions, smoking, and dealing with depression to name just a few.
Quite often challenges can be a fun way to accomplish your goal and a way to get other people involved with you. If your goal is to eat a healthier diet then you could create a healthy eating challenge at work. If you blog then blog about this topic and challenge your readers to do the same.
Challenges can help with a variety of goals especially those centered around self improvement; weight loss, exercise and learning a new skill or hobby. Get others to learn with you and the entire process becomes fun.
With the popularity of apps you can find ones that help you create goals. They will keep a running tally of your specific goals and evaluate your progress. For example you can buy pedometers which keep track of your steps over a 30 day period. This can help you out as you can easily determine what your daily average was and then you can take this number and improve on it.
Bite size your goal
Sometimes goals seem overwhelming because they are so huge. Losing 50 lbs in a year can seem insurmountable as can training for a marathon or learning a totally new skill.
It will be much easier for you to handle if you break down your goal into smaller, bite size chunks. You can apply this method to any task that needs to be done in your life.
If you have been putting off cleaning out the basement break it down. Select a day that you are going to do this task first and then assign a time period to it.
Say you choose the next Saturday for this, break the day into time chunks. So from 8am – 9.30am you will start cleaning out the basement. Then allow yourself a break to go outside or sit and have a coffee. Repeat this process throughout the day and set a finishing time of say 4pm.
You can further break this down into the actual tasks you will be doing:
- Finding empty boxes and putting them into the basement
- Clean up tool bench
- Check out kids old toy box
- Check lights and replace as necessary
- Check on furnace, electrical box etc
- Create a family TV area
- Create a workout area
By doing this you are creating actionable steps that will help you get the task done. Take your list with you into the basement and cross off each job as it is completed.
You will feel great about just tackling the job and you will feel a huge sense of accomplishment once it is finished.
Book a Day Off
There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a day off from your goal. Your main concern here is that this day should be a day you plan in advance. You do not want to get into the mindset of allowing yourself a day off whenever you feel like it.
NO EXCUSES ALLOWED
Choose a particular day in advance so that you can look forward to it and you can plan other activities. You may want to pick a day so that you can spend more time with your family, or you may prefer a day where you can just relax and recuperate.
Many weight loss experts agree that allowing a cheat day can be extremely helpful. You can have that piece of pizza or glass of wine without feeling guilty. Just remember you must set a start and end to your day off.
Stop thinking constantly about your goal
While we don’t want you to lose your focus, often people tend to start over-thinking their goals. They allow their goal to become such a focus that they end up wearing horse blinders.
What we want you to do here is to start making conscious choices and then rely on yourself to continue making this choice. Things that fall into this realm include choosing whole wheat pasta and bread over white, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the back of the parking lot and more.
As you accomplish small segments of your goal they become a habit, so you don’t need to focus on them as much anymore. These things have become part of your regular lifestyle and not something extra that you ‘have’ to do each day.
Hook up with successful people
By surrounding yourself with successful people their success will automatically rub off on you. You have probably experienced this before in one way or another. If you are in a group of people who constantly complain you begin to do the same and you end up always feeling down and miserable. Think how you will feel if you surround yourself with people who want to get ahead in life?
Sometimes as you work towards your goal you may not feel as though you have come very far. This is exactly why it is a great idea to keep reminders. These can be in the form of notes, from writing in a journal or from a photo.
Keeping some type of reminder can be really helpful on those days when you are not feeling productive, and your end goal is nowhere in sight. Let’s use weight loss as an example.
If you snap a photo of yourself when you begin your journey, every time you look at it you can see just how far you have come. Why not create a photo board of your journey so that you can track your progress?
When your weight loss plateaus take another photo and then compare it with your first one. This should provide you with tons of motivation to stay on track and keep plugging towards your goal. The same applies if the scale isn’t budging, try recording your measurements. You may find that instead of losing pounds you are losing lots of inches!
When looking back reflect on where you were and where you are right now! Congratulate yourself for making it that far and know that you can finish your journey.
When you plan ahead you can help eliminate those tough choices or resist those sudden temptations when they emerge. If your goal is to create a healthier lifestyle set aside time each Sunday to plan out your meals and exercise routine for the coming week.
This allows you to go out grocery shopping, for example, and select healthy choices. Each day you know what meals you are going to be having and even if you come home tired after a tough day at work; your meal choice is ready and waiting for you.
Planning in advice can become an activity that your entire family can enjoy together. Why not let the kids help plan on dinner per week? Or let them decide on a weekend activity that you can do together. Maybe they would love to go hiking or swimming with you.
Apply this tactic to any resolution or goal by writing down your plan for the week and even attaching a time to each item which you want to work on. This is a great way not to miss out on any school activities or to be available to help with homework.
By doing this you can still enjoy plenty of time with your family and can map time to work on your own goals.
Believe in yourself
There is no room for self doubt when it comes to achieving your goals. Always remind yourself of what your goal is and get into the habit of telling yourself that you can do it!
By just believing that your goal is possible your success rate sky rockets. Even when that little voice pops into your head and says take a break, or eat that cookie, you know you have the strength inside you to resist and stay on track.
Remember you want to be like the little engine that was trying to get up the hill.
Keep saying, ” I know I can, I know I can”, until you totally believe it.
Using Affirmations and Motivational Quotes
This is another great tactic which can really help you stay motivated and ready to take action each and every day. Find motivational quotes and affirmations that hold some type of meaning for you. Then simply place these quotes in places around your home and at work where you can read them several times a day.
You can use specific quotes pertaining to your goal or general goal orientated ones. Here’s a few that you can use to get you started, search online for additional quotes.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
– Ernest Hemingway
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
– Albert Einstein
“If you’re bored with life, if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things, you don’t have enough goals.”
– Lou Holtz
“Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw
“Little by little does the trick.” -Aesop
“Every choice you make has an end result.” -Zig Ziglar
Ask for help
You should never feel afraid or intimated about asking for help. No-one has to feel as they are super human and can take on all the world has to offer alone. Instead when you feel that you are struggling or are just feeling down and blue reach out and ask for help and advice.
Quite often when you do this you may be surprised by who jumps in to help you out. Most people don’t always realize how many people are waiting in the wings to offer you help and guidance. They may even feel afraid about hurting your feelings, and this is why they have never offered their help before.