The first month of the new year is over. The excitement of starting new things has passed or new routines are becoming a part of daily living. Either way this article hopes to act as a guide to re-calibrate or encourage you to keep going. Simple steps can set us up for success as opposed to grandiose or unrealistic goals that can further entrench limiting beliefs that keep us in one place. The following three tips, however simple, can be a foundation for bigger changes down the road. Goals and success are like anything in life and are easier to attain when momentum is on your side.
- Start small: If your main goal is to get a “gym-fit” body but you have never worked out in a gym, signing up for a gym may be too daunting and create an insurmountable challenge to fully integrate in to your life. Suggestion: Set a small exercise goal that can be achieved daily. Some days you may work out more but we want the daily consistent effort to be the ultimate success of this “Small Start”. Try doing 20 body weight-squats every day.
- Add something VS. taking something away: It’s always difficult to cut something out of your life even when you know it’s bad for you. And if you are able to cut it out most of the time it may be replaced with something of equal damaging effects. Suggestion: Add eating an extra serving of raw green leafy veggies daily. This starts to create a habit around the addition of something healthy. When you get momentum then cutting things out, if you need or want to, is easier.
- Be specific: The two previous examples suggest a particular workout or dietary addition but when I say specific I mean EVERYTHING about the new habit you would like to create should be described. This helps create a very clear plan for execution. The more details you consider the more likely it is to happen. Suggestion: Going back to our body weight squats; consider timing of day and surrounding activities, like, 20 bodyweight squats every time you brush your teeth. Since brushing teeth is normally habitual in an adult it creates an opportunity for a constant reminder. 20 squats can easily be done in the time that you brush your teeth.
Creating NEW habits isn’t impossible but it DOES require work. By adding something to your life that is small, manageable, and specific you will be able to create big changes with daily commitment. Strive to achieve this goal every day for 30 days. Do this, and it is time to celebrate with a bigger and more gratifying goal. Dream big but start small, it’s the only way we ever achieve anything.