If your goal is very large or way out of your comfort zone, break it down into smaller, more manageable goals. For example, if you want to lose 20kg, work out how much is a realistic amount to lose every week or month, rather than thinking about the whole 20kg. Similarly, if you want to enter an endurance event (marathon, triathlon, 100km walk), work out a training program that starts out small and build it up from there, rather than wondering how you are going to run 42km when you can’t even run 5km!
In order to achieve any goal, you really have to believe it is possible. Really believe. From the very core of your being. Sometimes this can be difficult, particularly if your goal is a large one. That’s where visualisation can come in handy.
Practice seeing yourself achieving your goal. Picture the bank balance at $10,000. Close your eyes and visualise yourself getting through a whole day without a cigarette with ease. Imagine what it will feel like when you lose that last kilo.
The more you visualise the closer you get to your goals. There is a saying — “what the mind believes, the body achieves”, so get visualising and build your belief in your goal.
Having goals and working towards them actually uses more energy than sitting on the couch, watching life go by. Be aware of this and set up your surroundings for success. Yes, it’s important to work hard and get closer to your goals, but you need to take care of yourself in the process. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself stumbling and giving up, because it’s all too hard.
Part of that involves eating well (plenty of lean protein, fruits and veggies and water). Go easy on alcohol and caffeine and definitely watch your sugar intake, as sugar often leaves you more lethargic once its effects wear off.
Engage in regular exercise and get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Not only will this help you cope better physically, but it will enable you to be more mentally alert, therefore able to focus better or look for more opportunities to reach your goals. Regular walking is a great way to clarify goals and thoughts. You can even practice your visualisation along the way.
Part of the process of goal setting is working out your rewards for reaching milestones. How will you celebrate when you have saved $5,000? What is your treat for losing 10 kg? (note: this should NOT be a food treat!)
When you congratulate yourself and celebrate what you have achieved, you are subconsciously confirming that your goal is a good thing. You build your self-esteem and make it easier to keep going and tackle the next milestone.
So this year, ditch the resolutions. They are nothing but wishes and dreams.
When people ask you what your New Years’ resolutions are, tell them you have gone one better and actually set goals you are going to achieve!
Happy New Year!