A lot of people know they need to take action to achieve their goals, but struggle with moving from "knowing" to actually "doing" something concrete. Day after day, they tell themselves they need to do something. But day after day, they continue with their usual routine, and nothing changes.
Are you hesitant to set specific goals for yourself? Do you have a goal in mind, like eating better or getting more organized, but you're struggling to make that first move? Or do you find that your biggest hurdle is following through?
The following tips will help you strengthen your resolve and build the necessary momentum to carry you forward.
Identify why you want to make changes and what you stand to gain.
When people think about trying to lose weight, exercising more, changing their diet to eat more healthfully, or any other goal, they often view the endeavour in a negative light. They focus on the effort required, how difficult it will be, and how much they'll need to give up.
You can turn this around by identifying why you want to make changes and what you stand to gain. Sure, losing weight will require some effort; but think about how great it will be to fit into your favourite pants again. Imagine the added confidence of knowing you're more likely to retain your health—and thus your freedom and independence—as you age. Instead of focusing on the pain, focus on the gain.
Work some easy, early "wins" into your plan.
The reality is that many goals will take time to be achieved. And if you're like most people, far-off gains won't always be enough to keep you focused, motivated, and energized in the present. That's why it's so important to work some easy, early "wins" into your plan. Choose anything that's meaningful for you; nothing is too small. It could be replacing your afternoon snack with some fruit, getting out for a walk every day, or tidying up a room or closet in your home. Celebrating these early achievements will build your confidence and inspire you to push on to see how much more you can achieve.
Accept that setbacks are a normal part of the journey.
Everyone experiences setbacks from time to time, this is a normal part of life. An occasional slip-up as you pursue your health goals doesn't nullify all your past efforts up to that point; nor does it need to derail you from your path going forward. Don't beat yourself up every time you slip-up or find yourself a little off track. Simply acknowledge what happened, refocus, and get back on track.
Don't go it alone, get support.
A little bit of support can make all the difference in following through to achieve your goals. It can be a huge asset, both when you're first embarking on your health journey, and when you run into challenges along the way. This support can come from a coach, a fitness trainer, a workout buddy, an online group of like-minded peers, or through joining a regular fitness class. What matters is that you feel supported and encouraged in your efforts, regardless of what your starting point is and where you're at. Note that healthy support may include challenging you to push to be your very best, but you should never feel attacked, condemned, or belittled.
Depending on where you're at, the prospect of change can feel extremely intimidating, making it hard to take that first step. Always keep in mind that your yesterday does not have to define your tomorrow. Regardless of what you've been doing (or not doing) up until now, you can make a decision to start doing things differently, in order to move yourself and your health in a new direction.
Tips for achieving optimal wellness, inside and out.