What are my goals? Why would someone set a goal? How does goal setting become a habit? All good questions that I routinely ask myself. We have everyday necessity habits: Eating, sleeping, working, brushing our teeth, etc. We also have habits that are completely based on good or bad choices: Smoking, exercising, drinking too much, eating vegetables; you get the drift. Putting goal setting and habits together is an important part of success.
1) Create habits that build you up, not break you down.
This can start with the simple day to day choices such as exercise, food choices, and addictive behaviors. How many people are addicted to something….I would say a majority of people. I know I’m addicted to Facebook, peanut butter, and weight lifting. I could definitely get rid of FB, but the PB and weight lifting, these are what I consider good addictions, so I’m not really willing to give them up. Mental habits are a huge component of whether or not many people will succeed in their goals. When confronted with a goal, most are in the habit of beating themselves up…”I can’t do this, I won’t be able to succeed, nobody will support me, I am a failure.” These mental self criticisms along with what is referred to as the “Circle of Life” habits, is what gets in the way of most people succeeding. How many times have you set a goal, and then because of everyday life circumstances: kids, work, holidays, births, deaths, you name it, the actions of reaching the goal never happen. I hate to call them excuses, but as the queen of excuses, I feel pretty entitled calling it what it is. Habits that will lift you up DO include all the new age self help ideas, such as liking yourself, talking nice to yourself, and believing in yourself. This also applies when others are not believing in you. I’m sorry but you have to like, no LOVE, yourself. Your goals represent how much you are willing to reveal, and in this there must be complete love and acceptance.
2) Don’t hang out with others that have habits that don't support you reaching your goals.
You might say DUH here, and we can all interpret this in different ways, but if you want to enjoy life, be happy, be successful, and prosper, don’t hang out with people who are negative, lazy, and want nothing more than to avoid change. Change is what goal setting is all about. If you are willing to change every moment in how you are going to achieve your goal, having a bunch of bummer folks around will do nothing for your self esteem and motivation. It’s true what they say: the friends you keep are a reflection of you. Choose wisely.
3) Set REALISTIC goals and WRITE THEM DOWN!
Start on a 90 day plan. What can you do in 90 days? Like the seasons of the year, 90 days are a great way to change those bad habits, giving birth to new and improved ones. Many people make the mistake of making goals that are vague, too big, and unrealistic. Winning the lottery is not a good goal, it’s what I like to call a “dreamers” goal. Who wouldn’t want to win the lottery and be rich over night? Sure, but that’s likely never going to happen, so spending every last dollar on lottery tickets is like trying to grow a flower without sun and water. I’ve met many a dreamer, and must say I have been subject to it myself, I however am wise enough to know, ENERGY + TIME + PERSISTANCE = GOAL. Persist within reality and likely you will reach your goals.
and 4th) Don’t be ruled by FEAR.
Fear is necessary in some cases, but in goal setting and habit formation, it can really hold you back, OR can be used to your advantage. I’m afraid of heights. As a kid my friends used to call me Knee Knocker every time we went skiing because I was so scared that I could barely move, my knees would lock and I would be completely frozen. When I got older, my husband agreed to teach me to ski. Again I found myself on a mountain crying with my knees locked, so afraid of falling that I could barely move. He started that lesson with falling. I would just turn and fall, over and over again. Eventually I felt that falling wasn’t so bad, and so I was able to go a little faster with out the fear of what it meant to fall. Over time, I fell less and less, the steeps didn’t seem so scary, and I slowly overcame my fear of heights. Now I love to ski, and FEAR does not rule my day on the slopes.
Lesson: Don’t be afraid to fall, it’s how you face that fear and move forward that will determine your success.
So what is your GOAL? Better health, decreased pain, better relationships, more money, a better job? What habits are you creating that will get you to that goal? Start now by setting goals and forming the good habits that will build you to be the best version of yourself today and everyday!