• Sami Holmes

8 Secrets to Mastering Your Goals

Updated: Jul 29, 2019

The holidays, truly the most wonderful time of the year! It's finally acceptable to listen to the Christmas music I've been listening to since August. Which means it's almost time for gyms to be filled with all the ‘New Year’s Resolutioners’.

As someone who goes to the gym religiously, this time of year is bittersweet. Part of me wants to roll my eyes at the lack of parking spaces, racks, and stairs taken by people who most likely won't be at the gym come Valentine’s Day. The other part of me is always so inspired to see SO many people wanting to get active and reach their fitness goals.

But why do most people fall off the wagon after a couple months (are you one of those people)?

Here's HOW you can crush your goals with 8 simple secrets:

1. Reflect on last year's behavior and decide what you want to change Tip: Start SMALL. In order to change a habit, you have to change the way you think. Choose a resolution where you can focus on new thought processes and new behaviors instead of a resolution focused on trying NOT to do something. Change “don’t stop at all when running a 5k” to “run a 5k at an even, consistent pace”. By re-wording it, you’re directing your focus from NOT stopping to simply running at a consistent pace; the same message is portrayed just in a different connotation.

2. Have a game plan​ Turn your resolution into a SMART goal

  • Be SPECIFIC: Instead of saying “I want to lose weight”, say how much weight you want to lose, i.e. “I want to lose 12 pounds."

  • Make it MEASURABLE: How are you going to know if you reached that goal? If your goal is “to lose weight”, that could range anywhere from 1 pound to 50 pounds. With a set number to work towards, you can measure your progress along the way. Whether it is inches, pounds, pant sizes- if you are able to periodically measure progress you are less likely to get discouraged.

  • Is it ATTAINABLE: Does your resolution line up with your internal view of yourself? You may need to sit down and have a come to Jesus moment, but reflect on yourself for a minute. Is this reasonable? Is this resolution manageable with my lifestyle?

  • Are you being REALISTIC: It is GREAT to set daring goals, don’t get me wrong. But if your goal is dramatically different from how you’re living your day to day life, it may be unrealistic. Don't let that deter you, just be aware that drastic goals call for drastic changes.

  • Make it TIME oriented: It is easy to think “oh I’ll get around to it”, when you have all year to reach your resolution. Set multiple milestones you want to reach throughout the year. Check in with yourself (or your support system - read #3) weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Write down these dates and times to set them in stone.

3. Create a reliable support system Share your goals with someone close to you that you trust. Whether it be a parent, family member, boyfriend/girlfriend, or someone you look up to, depend on them. Having someone to lean on through the tough times makes a world of difference.

4. Factor extra time into your routine There is something you want to change. Great. This change would’ve happened already if you set time aside each day to focus on this change. So factor in a window of time each day where you can work on your resolution – whether it be stretching more, meal prepping, reading a book. We can get so caught up in day to day tasks and responsibilities that life just seems to pass us by. Be mindful and present each and every day. Think about what you can do here and now to work towards your resolutions.

5. It's a marathon, not a sprint I’ll go out on a limb and say a majority of New Year’s Resolutions don’t last because people don’t see results instantly. It would be really nice if we could just eat well 30% of the time, work out 2 or 3 times and BAM have our dream body and reap all of the benefits of eating healthy. It does not work that way (unfortunately) but if it did, that'd drain any sense of fulfillment and self-gratification. Think about how you would feel if you were given a material item that you REALLY wanted vs. if you worked tirelessly, budgeted, and sacrificed until you could buy it on your own. The pride, satisfaction and sense of achievement is lost when something is given and not earned.

6. Find a way to enjoy the process If you want to clean up your diet in the new year but think the only way to do so is by eating salads everyday (which is not true), you aren’t going to enjoy it. It’s going to be miserable and hard and you’re going to miss your favorite foods and other junk foods that you didn’t know you even liked. Find a path to your goal that is enjoyable and manageable for YOU.

7. Know your WHY If you decided on a resolution, then you know what you want to change. But why do you want to make that change? Having deeply rooted reasoning behind wanting to make a change will significantly improve your chances of sticking to your resolution. Knowing your WHY is crucial in setting goals.

8. Be kind to yourself At the end of the day, life happens. Not everyday will go as planned. Some days will be easier and more successful than others. But don’t mentally beat yourself up if you mess up here and there. It happens; imperfection is inevitable because we are only human. What’s more important is how you react to your errors. You can let a small slip-up consume you, fill your head with nitpicking thoughts, influence your behaviors, and cause you to throw in the towel. Or you can view the failure as a “learning the hard way” type of a moment, accept that you can’t change what happened, know that now you can avoid future downfalls, and continue to make your resolutions a reality.

Now think about what you want to accomplish in the next few months and do it! Don't let yourself, your excuses, or any fearful sense of self-doubt hold you back.

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