Every one is different. And everyone is the same. We all have goals from simple to complex. It can require a variety of techniques to achieve your goals, and the way or ways that work for you, may not work for someone else.
I am always making changes, tweaking habits and thinking about goals.This is how I have achieved success and happiness.
The other day, I was thinking about all the different ways of accomplishing goals…ways that I have used or that my former coaching clients used, that lead to successful outcomes. It’s not one-size-fits-all for achieving the outcomes that we want. Some ideas will work, some won’t…That’s the beauty of coaching–we would come up with all different ideas for achieving goals.
Today I want to share the Top Ten Tips that have worked in my life or my former clients’ lives. These are the Cream of the Crop! Pick one or more from the list to help you achieve your goals.
1. Write it down. Write everything down. This is a way of observing yourself and being truly honest with yourself. If you are trying to lose weight, write down everything you are eating, and when and if you are exercising There it is. Right there on the page. Within three days you will see what you need to do and what you need to change. This was ALWAYS an eye opener for weight loss clients, and always helped them achieve success. (Seriously, ALWAYS.) It works the same with other goals. Write down how you spend your days, when you seem to fall apart and what you honestly observe in your behavior.
2. Start with building new habits. Instead of always looking at what you have to “deny” yourself, think about what you want to give yourself. What habits do you see in other people that you wish you had? What habits would you LOVE to have? The habit of walking every morning? The habit of ordering salads for lunch? The habit of getting enough sleep? Pick one, and just concentrate on that one new habit. Build the habit and you change the behavior. (By the way, building the habit is more important that the time spent on it. For example, if you want to walk every day, start with ten minutes a day instead of 45 minutes. The ten minute walk will be easier and more appealing. Once you have built the habit, you start adding to the time.Once you have the new habit in place, add another new habit. ( By the way, there is an additional bonus here: you will eventually squeeze out the bad habits—there won’t be room for them in your life! )
3. Breathe. I have a client that used this technique and it changed her life. I am not exaggerating. It literally changed her life. She would take three slow, deep breaths before she spoke to her team, before she spoke at meetings and before she made phone calls. She would stop every hour to take three slow breaths. It improved her focus, her creativity, her view of herself…You may have heard me say it before and I am now saying it again: Do not underestimate this–do not be fooled by the simplicity of this technique to improve your life.
4. Write it down some more. Post notes to yourself about what is important to you. We get so busy with the day-to-day tasks that we can actually forget about something that we truly want to do. If you want to remember to get to bed earlier, post a note on the computer or television. If you want to remember to breathe, post it. (Note: Change location of notes to yourself every two or three days, because your mind will stop seeing the reminders.)
5. Take the time to create your vision. You may want to make a vision board, or you may want to write down your goals. You may just want to take a few minutes each morning to meditate or concentrate on what you want your life to look like. When you see your future in your imagination, it gives you something to cling to when your choices or habits are threatened. So, if you are trying to lose weight, picture yourself in the future at your goal weight. Would you, at that weight, make that particular food choice? Or if you are changing your career, would the future you make the choices you are making in your job right now? This is a new way to approach your daily life. Think about it.
6. Make some coupons. OK, I will explain this one. You need to have some rewards and breaks. Wait, let me rephrase that. You need to give yourself permission to cut loose and be human. Years ago, I had a delightful weight loss client who actually came up with this idea during one of our coaching sessions. She needed permission to have a couple of treats without feeling guilty. Each week, she made herself two “coupons” for treats to be used whenever she wanted during that week. It worked! She stuck to her new way of eating, was able to “indulge without guilt,” and she still lost weight. Give yourself permission to be human.
7. At the end of each day, focus only on successes. If your mind drifts to what you didn’t do, and it will, give a quick thought to how you can change it tomorrow, and move on. Dwell on failure and you will have more on it. Dwell on success and you will have more of it.
8. Be selective about whom you share your goals with–people’s reactions can be surprisingly upsetting. There are people who will always support you no matter what you want to do. If you are absolutely sure that they will give you a positive reaction, It’s ok to share with them. There are more people who will try to discourage you. Most will not do this intentionally. They will actually feel that they are helping you by pointing out the dangers, pitfalls, and the why-it-won’t-works. Then there are the people who are threatened by your plans. This is more about them than about you, but IT CAN STILL AFFECT YOU. Be warned, be careful and keep fragile ideas to yourself. Yes, the beginning of changes and working toward goals can be a fragile time—protect yourself.
9. Move slowly and purposefully. Remind yourself that time will pass anyway. Remind yourself that you are in this for the long run. Baby steps in the right direction will get you there, and the more steps you take, the longer your stride will get. You did not get bad habits or stuck in situations overnight. It will take time to make the changes, but they are worth it. Keep moving forward.
10. Prepare. Prepare for all situations ahead of time. This is related to #5.When you are making changes in your life, you need to be aware of the ‘default’ mode. The default mode is the place we end up when we lose focus. We lose focus AND forget that change is difficult. In other words, you let down your guard and fall back into old habits. (Default mode)
This can happen when you get busy and tired, and especially when you do not prepare and plan ahead.
When you are trying to change something in your life, you need to start by taking a look at your habits (See #1) and decide how to handle the danger zones.
- For a person who is quitting drinking, the danger zone could be a bar or hanging out with a certain group of friends. We often forget that making a big change will change other things for us. It’s all part of the package. It’s hard to resist drinking when you go to the same Friday night bar with no alternate behavior plan in place. Planning ahead means deciding what drink you could have instead of your alcohol or what you will say when you are asked why you aren’t drinking. Perhaps you will not be able to go to those same spots for awhile. Free tip: Don’t waste time feeling sorry for yourself. It is how it is—how badly do you want it?
- If you are quitting smoking, you will have to anticipate the most dangerous triggers. These could be certain times of day, or after a meal…you need to think ahead, and decide ahead of time what you will do to replace the smoking.
- If you are changing the way you eat, you need to plan ahead for trips, vacations, or even your next meal at a restaurant. (By the way, I have dealt with all of these issues. Quitting smoking was the hardest for me.)
Being realistic about the dangers and possible pitfalls is not a discouraging activity. It is actually very empowering.
YOU are taking control of the situation.
You are taking control of you life.
YOU are deciding to be happy and successful.
Now, GO FOR IT!Pin It
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- Women’s Daily Health Tips | March 17, 2013