Setting goals is easy. Delivering on them, well that’s a different story.
We humans kind of suck at following through on the things we want to achieve. We take on too much, cut corners, lie to ourselves and all too often, we fail.
I’m no life coach and I’m not about to hit you with any cheesy motivational catchphrases such as Unleash Your Inner Greatness. That stuff doesn’t work for me. Sure, maybe there’s a moment of inspiration, but that doesn’t last and if you’re going to achieve your goals, any changes you put in place have got to last.
We’ve all resolved to do something in the past, yet somehow failed to deliver, right? I know I told myself countless times I was going to lose weight and then there’s the forgotten New Year’s resolutions… but let’s not go there!
So what happened, what went wrong, and why couldn’t I deliver? In my experience there are two big traps we fall into when we start setting goals:
- we go too big, and
- we’re vague about the things we want to achieve.
Sure, it’s fine to set that one big goal, but just don’t make it your only goal, and don’t overwhelm yourself with a single task that’s too big. It’s an excellent place to start, but you really need to follow it up with a couple of mini goals that are realistic and you can work towards, today. Pick one or two small things and only work on those for the first month.
If your goal is to lose weight, start with one mini goal about food and one that relates to exercise. It might be a five-minute walk every day and trim milk in your tea or coffee instead of whole milk. These were my first mini goals – yours will probably be different, you’ll have to figure out what best suits you. Whatever they are, make them small and achievable and check them off every day. Slowly but surely these become new, healthier habits and healthier habits are completed weight-loss goals in the making. When you’ve got those two sussed, set another two and keep moving forward.
Most people will tell you that you really ought to set yourself a deadline for achieving your one big goal, but I disagree. A deadline suggests there’s a clear finish line – a point in time where you can stop. Then what? You return to your old habits? I don’t think so. Losing weight, getting fit and gaining health doesn’t work that way. My advice is to stop thinking about how long it will take, or when you’ll get there, and simply focus on making good decisions. I don’t want to sound like Yoda, but there is no finish line, there is only now.
My philosophy around weight loss is small changes that become new habits eventually add up to big results. They don’t suddenly stop one day because you hit a magic number. They become lifelong sustainable habits that lead to a permanently healthier you.
Strive for small wins and tiny improvements, but keep moving forward.
This blog is the opinion and experiences of its author and should not be taken as medical or dietetic advice. Healthy Food Guide has not verified the content and cannot endorse any advice given. Healthy Food Guide recommends seeking professional health advice for specific complaints or symptoms, or before undertaking a weight-loss program.