Goal setting can seem like a mountain to climb, but it doesn’t have to be. So much of what we want to accomplish, achieve and get to is available to us. But it is in m experience that if we right from the start don’t set ourselves up for a successful path it’s going to be less than blissful and may end up being one of the 92% that give up on their New Year’s Resolutions.
I don’t like resolutions, I prefer goals because rather than telling myself I’m bad and suck here so I should change. I like to look at what I want, and how to get there.
Seven months ago I closed my yoga studio of 14 years. It was hard, and for two to three years prior I talked about doing it. I knew deep down it was what needed to happen for me to reach my bigger goals and dreams, but I was scared. Yep, long story short, I was scared and afraid. I chased my tail, stood still and felt lost, I wasn’t taking action, I never created a plan of how to get there. I just floated through mad because I wasn’t there yet. And frustrated because I saw others making changes I wanted to make and I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t happening for me.
I know now. I want to share with you what I figured out when it comes to goals, changes and dreams. What I wasn’t doing and should have been. What I recognized I did do in other areas of my life but I wasn’t applying to this particular situation and once I did, everything changed.
10 Steps to Setting Your Goals and Reaching Them:
- Choose ONE goal. Yes, choose just one goals. You may have many, but today just choose one to focus on. If you can’t decide, write them all down in a notebook. Yes, buy a notebook and write all of this down in ONE place. Write down all your goals and then looking at them choose one. What you may discover is that many of then feed into each other. So it will help to see them down on paper. When you choose one goal you will accelerate the process faster. You can only put so much energy into something at once time: exercise, studying for a new career, learning how to food prep, etc. For now, just choose one.
- Know where you are staring from. There is a reason addicts that truly hit rock bottom are the ones that make it out and fully recover. Because in that moment they decided to get well, they knew exactly where they were starting from. I tried for years to “get better” get into recovery, and it wasn’t until I truly hit rock bottom that I saw my life as it actually was and I didn’t like it. So I stepped through my anxiety, and guilt and got help. Real help.
- Make a timeline. A time line gives your goal an end date. Now be realistic, where are you right now and what would it take to get to where you want to go? Once you decide that…WRITE IT DOWN. Yes, don’t just think it in your head. If that method worked you would be there already…am I right? Yes, of course I am. In that notebook you invested your all of $2 to buy, write down your goal and an end date next to it.
- 10 Stepping stones. What are ten things that need to happen in order for you to get to your goal, your dream? What has to happen today, tomorrow, a month from now to get there? I like to work backwards. To lose 100 pounds I need to be working out five days a week and clean eating. Well I don’t recommend doing all of that all at once like a magic trick. Work backwards. Well to clean eat, I need to stop eating at the truck stops so much. Well to do that I have to buy healthy food. Well I can’t do that until I buy a frig to fit in my truck. Well I can’t do that until I reorganize my truck. See the path. This is not to cause frustration, but rather help you see a clear path to get to where you want to go. The same can be true about exercise. Because you know you need to do that to get to your 100 pound goal in one year. Decide if food happens first or second to exercise. Once you do that, working out five days a week. I need to figure out what to do. I need to enlist an expert or follow and work with Mother Trucker Yoga (shameless plug). Then I need to map out my days, even if that means I do it always the night before because my days are different (no excuses right). Research what truck stops have fitness centers and walking trails. Call my buddy and ask to walk and talk at 5pm each day. See what I did there? You can do this too!
- Once you set that path, ask yourself what is is achievable today? What can I do today to influence the outcome tomorrow? And just start. No more BS, just start!
- Recognize that 70% of the choices we make are actually habits. Yes! Habits! Not choices. You keep saying you are going to walk once you park each day, but you don’t. Instead you eat, shower and watch T.V. Why? Well, because it’s a habit, it’s what you have always done. You are choosing it before you even see it is a choice. So set your alarm, change your shoes mid day so you are ready for action. And when you park, hit the Jon, but don’t take in your wallet and get your a$$ moving and start walking. Call your buddy and chat it up for 30 minutes while you walk and talk. Make a new habit.
- Remember it’s a decision. You are not “trying”. When you try, you are giving yourself an out. You are saying that if you fail, it’s OK. A decision is a decision. There is no going back. You are all in. So when you look at your goal in your notebook each day (yes every day) and write it down like it happened each day- you are not “trying” you have decided!
- Write it down EVERY SINGLE DAY. Yes every day you have to write down your goal and write down what step you are on like it has already happened. Remember that sub-conscious part of our brains, well we remember things too. So do you want your brain to remember that you are “working on it”, “trying” or ARE there?
- Motivation comes from within. If you are waiting to be motivated by someone or something, you will be waiting for a long time. I love inspiring people, helping others to see things differently, but ultimately I cannot “motivate” you. I can’t force you out of bed. This is exactly why rehab doesn’t work for those who aren’t ready. They aren’t yet in a place of motivation. They have not set a goal. They don’t yet see the point. But you my friend, you do.
- Balance is bull sh!T. Yes, here is a yoga teacher by trade telling you balance is bull. It is, having balance as a goal in life will drive you bat sh!T crazy! I tried this path for more than ten years and just felt like a failure. It’s about learning to ride the waves with grace and swing with the pendulum. Some days life will take you one way and you learn to adapt. Other days you will swing the other way, and just go with it. Because now you have a clear goal, you have a plan and know where you are. So no matter what, nothing it going to get in your way. And if it does, get up and begin again.
Goals are for the motivated. Goals are for those who want more than what they have. If that isn’t you, no worries. Keep loving life exactly where you are! Love that! When I get to my end goal, I will surely do the same. But for those of you who are ready. Let’s jump in. First things first, buy the darn notebook. Buy a pen just for that notebook, and write down your goals.
Don’t think you have any? I beg to differ, I bet you a steak and salad that you have goals, you just have never taken the time to ask yourself what they are and then given yourself permission to write then down and see them with your own eyes.
I’m over here, believing in you. Cheering you on. You got this. You got this because you now have an actual goal. With an actual end date. With an actual plan and steps to get there.
You got this!