How many of you woke up today when the first alarm went off, motivated and ready to conquer the day? And how many of you hit the snooze button one too many times? Only to be awoken by that barking dog or annoying distress alarm every fifteen minutes. I bet many of you are on either side of the spectrum. What I often ask myself is why? Why do we make the choices we make? Why did we choose to wake up so early? Or why did we stay in bed? You see, the little daily decisions we make may seem minute and irrelevant at the moment, but if you think about it, it is what makes us, us. We create a life for ourselves with each tiny little decision. Whether we chose to wake up early, or style our hair, or spend $5 on that cup of coffee, or eat that slice of pizza instead of a salad, each decision changes us and creates new patterns in our brains. Being a conscious individual, I try to assess my daily choices, whether big or small, by pausing and thinking about the consequences. Being mindful is a form of personal growth. (Read here how I practice being Thankful everyday.)
Personal growth is necessary. It is a building block to becoming a more desirable version of self. But how do we grow? How do we achieve being a higher and better person? That’s a great question. In my opinion, growth is acquired by pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone every day. By waking up when that alarm goes off at five in the morning or going for a run before work even though it’s freezing outside. Yes, I know it’s hard! It sucks getting out of that warm bed. Yes, running in the cold hurts. But guess what? The decision to go for a run from one day to the next can be the difference between being in shape or unhappy with my body. Mental, physical and even soul growth require a constant drive. It is a daily choice to not quit, to keep going, and to push beyond what we think we are capable of.
According to a Forbes Magazine article, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. Did you also know that 80% will fail by February? These numbers are crushing! And sadly, discouraging. So how do we develop a plan that will give us a higher chance of success? You write down every single one of those goals baby. That’s how!
Setting goals is a way to stay on track. This task is an essential part of success. Goal setting is like an instruction manual that sets us out in a particular direction. It also keeps us on pace and pushes us to the finish line. Go ahead and write those goals down because when you get to cross them off from that list, it’s not only motivating but refreshing with new energy. It makes you want to keep going. I don’t know about you but losing 5 pounds after a month of running my tooshie off is motivation enough to keep getting up early for that run in the middle of winter. Any success whether big or small, is still a change for the better.
Why am I telling you all this? Because it is my mission and my purpose to inspire you to live a happier, motivated and passionate life. (Read more about Paris & June here). I want to share with you all what I’ve learned and hopefully create tools that will help you be a more successful and happier individual.
So do you want to be successful in any goal you propose to yourself? The steps below will help get you on that road to success and this goal planner will help you record each accomplishment and keep you on track.
- Write down the top goals that come to mind. No particular order.
- Write specific details.
- What exact exactly do you want to accomplish?
- Examples: Lose 10 lbs in 8 weeks, Pay off that Visa credit card, Wake up at 5:30 AM, etc.
- Narrow your list down to three. But why? You have so much you want to accomplish. Well you’re more likely to succeed if you concentrate on a smaller amount of goals. Don’t overwhelm yourself. It’s ok to dedicate a concentrated amount of effort to a few goals, for now.
- Find your Reason! What’s your gas? What fuels you?
- Ask yourself, why do I want to accomplish this specific goal?
- Why is it important to me?
- Be conscious of your triggers.
- Figure out what helps you stick to a particular goal.
- For example: What helps you make healthier food choices? What triggers you to eat unhealthily? Is it stress, time or your schedule?
- Adjust accordingly. If you’re conscious of what triggers bad choices you’re more likely to recognize what is keeping you off track. Vice versa with good choices.
- Have a plan. Write down how you want to tackle each goal. (This should help you with this step.)
- If your goal is to lose 10 pounds in 8 weeks, figure out how to burn more calories daily. Find creative ways get rid of the weight. Maybe get more active during your lunch breaks at work and/or start eating healthier meals.
- Find a gym program or active sport that fits into your daily routine, and/or find time to cook healthy meals and prepare snacks.
- Don’t do it alone. Having a friend along the way to hold you accountable is important.
- Habits are hard to break. If you have support from someone who wants to achieve the same goal, you’re more likely to stick to the plan.
- A friend who understands what you’re going through is great moral support.
- Be kind to yourself!
- Recognize your progress.
- You’re only one person. Do your best and that’s all you can ask for!
- If you wake up early seven days in a row, celebrate it. Heck, give yourself a hug! That is a win.
Now you may be thinking: “This is not for me. I can’t do this.” Part of the reason why we can’t accomplish everything we want to achieve is our self-talk. Self-talk can build our confidence higher than the Empire State Building, or it can demolish us faster than lightning splits a tree. Hear me out! I challenge you to revamp your thinking. Rewire your brain to think differently. Tell yourself, “I can do anything I set my mind to” and I promise you, a transformation will soon knock on your door. Change forces us to grow. Now, I can understand that change is difficult, challenging, and downright scary. And I am telling you, it’s ok to be scared and uncomfortable just don’t get discouraged. Trust the process and most importantly, trust yourself! (Says the girl, who tossed her comfortable lifestyle in Texas to the wind, put her fantastic career on hold and moved to Germany. A country where I couldn’t even ask for a glass of water in Dutch. Trust me; I know what uncomfortable feels like.)
I am not going to lie, achieving success in anything is hard work. There will be days when you are full of energy and motivation to tackle the day. Everyday tasks will seem light and less tedious, making your life and that cup of coffee taste so much better. Other days, you’ll be exhausted from running around like a crazy person (trying to balance work, the kids, bills, laundry, and dinner) that no amount of caffeine can fix the fatigue creeping over your body and weighing you down like a ton of bricks. The next morning, you’ll be so tempted to hit that snooze button for just fifteen more minutes of sleep. You may think “I’ll wake up earlier tomorrow” or even consider quitting altogether. The truth is, after those fifteen minutes melt away, and that alarm goes off, you’re still going to be tired, and you’re not going to feel like getting out of bed. On days where life is weighing you down, it’s good practice to remember why you started. Do you want to make your life easier, less hectic and healthier by waking up 5:30 AM every day, and working out before work? Do you want to make that ex-boyfriend regret the day he ever dumped you? Do you want to lose those thirty pounds you’ve been carrying around for the last five years? Do you want to prove to yourself and all the doubters that you are strong? I’d say that something deep inside of you is screaming a bold “Yes.” Know that you can do it, but it is indeed all up to you! If you quit, you’re only letting yourself down. If you do what you’ve always done, then you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. If it were easy, everyone would do it.
So I leave you with this. Today is the perfect day to set goals. Not tomorrow, not next month and definitely not the following year. Today! Today is a good day to start making positive changes in your life that will catapult you to be the best version of yourself. Only you have the power to make it a great day!
So what are you waiting for? Get ready? Set? Goals!!!