By now, you've gone through the process of setting goals, evaluating whether each is realistic, then splitting them up into doable chunks and are ready to focus on making it happen. Here are some things to consider over the coming months on doing just that.
If you struggle with executing the plan you set forth, consider getting an accountability partner. An accountability partner is someone that you trust to hold you to the standards that you set for yourself. Having someone who cares about your success and will tell you when you are not staying the course, may help you to stay on track with your goals.
One goal at a time
If you have numerous goals for 2014, consider limiting how many you tackle at the same time. For example, if an overall goal is to improve your health by exercising more and eating better, consider improving one meal like breakfast consistently for a few weeks before moving on to lunch or dinner. By tackling just one task at a time,you will be able to focus all your energy and efforts in one area. Eventually that task becomes a habit requiring less effort. While it may seem like building habits one at a time will take forever to get you to your goal, statistics show that your success rate skyrockets when working on one new habit at a time. So, don't rush it.
Focus on the little things
While your outcome goal is important, focus your daily efforts on the behaviors you outlined to reach your goal. Take a heads-down, foot-in-front-of-the-other approach, checking in every so often to make sure you are progressing toward your goal. Stay focused on the steps not the outcome.
Tackling limiting factors
A limiting factor is anything that is going to get in the way of your progress. Identify any limiting factors you may have and come up with a plan how to overcome them. If you know checking your weight frequently will have an impact on how you feel and sticking with your plan, put that scale away. If you are looking to improve nutrition, but travel for work, a limiting factor might be access to nutritious meals. Perhaps scouting out restaurants in advance or staying at hotels which provide a kitchenette might be one way to remove this limiting factor.
This one goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. In order to reach your goals, you have to get started on them! Many times we'll put off starting something until a particular event or even just the start of the week. One that I hear often is joining a gym after losing a certain amount of weight first. Say what? Don't get me wrong, I understand how intimidating the gym environment can be. However, this is about you and no one else. Don't put off the start date…start now!!
Over the year you may find that your progress has stalled. This doesn't mean your plan is not working, but may simply mean you need an adjustment. Don't panic. Don't freak out. Evaluate what you've been doing and see what may need tweaking. Resist the urge to change too much at once as you won't know what may get you progressing again. If needed, ask someone who may have an expertise in the area you're trying to accomplish.
Along the way you will make mistakes and that’s fine. With each bump in the road you gain a little more experience. Pace yourself and keep moving forward. We're rooting for you!
photo credit stockimages, stuart miles,