It is still that time of year where we are emphasizing the new habits that we would like to step into. But let’s be honest, these habits are usually circulating around goals that we may have set for the previous year and never achieved. While we must show ourselves some compassion when this happens, we must also have honest conversations with ourselves about why we did not do what we set out to do. We must set clear, measurable, attainable goals and create steps that will help us get there which will result in more progress being made. We must visualize our goals being met, speak with assurance about them happening, and then live as if they have.
Let’s say you decide to make a goal to lose 20 pounds, or save $3,000. You start eating right, exercising frequently, and when February comes, you’re back to where you started. Or you start paying yourself first when you get paid, save a few hundred dollars and see a cute pair of shoes on sale and your savings is gone. We have all been there before. No judgement! Instead of falling back into old habits when we fall off our high horse, we just dust ourselves off, accept the facts, pull out our planners or journals and create a plan to start where we left off.
The first step is setting your intention that emphasizes why this goal is so important to you. When you create this goal, be honest with yourself. If you are not honest with yourself when you are creating your goals, you will not be making strides towards them with honest intentions. Also, if you are setting goals for anyone but yourself, they will more than likely fail. Why do you want this? How will doing this help you be the best version of yourself?
You want to create small steps instead of overwhelming yourself with huge ones. Implementing steps and developing a plan to help you reach your goals will inevitably result in it becoming a habit and a lifestyle change. Saying you want to get in shape is one thing, but there has to be a plan in place. Start small. Start by committing to the gym for two days a week. As you master that, up it to three, and continue until it becomes a habit. It is hard to cut out junk food cold turkey, but try swapping your dessert for fruit, or commit to subbing one carb for veggies. As it becomes routine, up the stakes. If you want to save money, start by transferring small amounts into your savings every weekend. Take the coffee money for one day and put it in your savings. Use coupons or savings apps to help turn your spare change into hundreds. Trying to jump head first into your goals without a plan can often lead to feeling anxious about the details, which leads to feeling stressed, and manifests into guilt when you stop because it became too much. Like everything else, take it one step at a time. This is what will help you stay committed and focused.
We all know that the power lies within us. We can have anything we want. Instead of saying “this year I want,” let’s swap it with “this year I WILL.” As we affirm daily what we want to happen in our lives, it will undoubtedly come to fruition because of the energy and belief in what we are saying. If we believe our own word, our motivation and focus has no choice but to follow suit.
Despite the importance of creating plans that are easier for us to follow, above all we must be honest and clear with our intentions and believe that we can do anything we set our minds to. The power of the life we want is already ours. It's time to remind ourselves.