Inside: Goal setting activities don’t have to take forever nor do they have to be difficult. Here are the best steps for how to uncomplicate goal setting, plus troubleshooting tips that are sure to help.
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It had been 17 months since our second son was born. I was tired. Tired of:
- A whole wardrobe in my closet collecting dust because nothing fit
- The squishy belly that was still hanging around all these months later
- Not achieving my goals because, in my mind, I didn’t think I could achieve them
I had decided enough was enough. It was time to get serious.
It wasn’t that we were a family who necessarily had poor eating habits or ate out all the time. But for some reason, I just couldn’t get this weight off.
After I hit my early 30s, it seemed like everything was going to take a 10x effort.
A neighbor in the meantime told me about how her parents had lost a significant amount of weight using a book, The Wild Diet, which she suggested to them.
Her dad was able to quit taking his blood pressure medication, and her mom lost more weight than she had planned. Now her parents were the pillar of health.
I was intrigued. Now I personally knew someone who had met a weight loss goal they’d set for themselves.
Here’s the Problem with Goal Setting Activities
Dreaming about fitting into old clothes should be enough motivation.
Dreaming about that pair of favorite jeans in your closet you hope to fit into someday just isn’t enough.
Only about half of those people who make resolutions each year succeed in reaching their goals. Those are some pretty discouraging results and definitely make you feel like you can’t achieve anything.
Plus, who needs ONE MORE THING on their to-do list?
One kid needs a recheck for his chronic ear infections, we need to make a plan to get out of town at least once before the new school year hits, the writing goals I had set for myself were being pushed way down the list and on and on.
How can I make time for losing weight?
RELATED POST: 6 Time-Saving Tips for the Busy Moms
Then I did Something That Made it All Possible
A few times throughout the summer my husband had mentioned some shows on Netflix that got him thinking.
They discussed the origin of our food and the sad state of affairs in the United States of some of the large food producers.
I won’t go into the details of those shows, but I will tell you that after some more research, our minds were wondering what else we didn’t know about the food we put on our table.
In the meantime, I had purchased the book, The Wild Diet, which was from the recommendation of my neighbor and read it from cover to cover.
There were some fascinating insights into food supplies and the companies who produce them. 75% of the book contained background information about how our bodies work and why it’s important to eat healthy foods.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I read something that gives me the step-by-step to improve my life in some way, I like to know there’s research behind it.
The combination of my husband discussing the Netflix shows with me and me reading The Wild Diet, I suggested we try to lose some weight.
He had mentioned his pudge a time or two, and I wanted to lose the last of this baby weight. That was the middle of July 2017.
22 pounds ago for me and 25 pounds ago for my husband.
So…What Made the Difference?
I realized the key to success was accountability AND a goal setting plan. Those 2 words: accountability and plan make all the difference in the world.
My husband and I decided we’d work together. When you join forces, everything really does seem attainable.
But that doesn’t solve every problem. I wish it were that easy.
Here are 4 Goal Setting Activities to Help You Achieve Success
1 | Identify what you really want to be doing.
What’s your ultimate goal? Write. It. Down.
2 | Write your goal in the present.
Don’t make your goal so far into the future that you’ll never accomplish it. Break your goal into smaller chunks: monthly, weekly, daily. Depending on your goal, you may want to break it down even further.
I will ____________ for 30 minutes/day.
I will pack a healthy lunch the night before.
RELATED POST: 3-Step Simple Meal Planning System
3 | Use the SMART goal framework for writing your goal.
SMART is an acronym that gives you a skeleton for making sure your goal is worded in such a way to make it achievable.
S – specific. What do you want to accomplish? Why do you have this goal?
M – measurable. How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal? How will you measure your progress?
A – achievable. How can you achieve this goal? What are the basic steps to get you from point A to point B?
R – relevant. Is it the right time for this goal? Do you have the resources you need to get started?
T – time-bound. How long will it take to achieve your goal? When will you work on your goal?
4 | Create a detailed blueprint or roadmap to help you reach your goal.
Keeping a journal will allow you to track your progress. Take small steps or actions to help you reach your goal. Quick wins are great motivators.
5 | Find an accountability partner.
Even if your partner isn’t trying to achieve the same goal as you, ask them if they’ll check in on you and ask about your progress.
When somebody else knows about your goals and dreams, it becomes a motivation and driving force like no other.
I don’t know anyone on this planet who would ever want to look like a failure to friends or family.
How These Goal Setting Activities Will Place You Among the 9%
There’s a reason only 9% of people actually reach the goals they set. Life is hard, and sometimes we feel like the salmon swimming upstream during spawning season.
But with a little GRIT, we can make it. Explicit goal setting is the key.
I thought trying to lose weight was going to take every ounce of my brain power and willpower. It was actually a whole heck of a lot easier with a laid out plan and accountability like I mentioned above.
And while I’d like to think that we’re all super(wo)men, I know that’s just not the case sometimes.
We all fall down (like the time I ate that second piece of cake), but it’s what you decide to do with your next step that really matters.
Areas You Might Get Stuck and Ways to Overcome
Here are some troubleshooting tips and tricks to make this whole goal setting thing easier:
1 | Make small tweaks.
People usually fizzle out at the 4-week mark. Pace yourself. Instead of making your goal “go to the gym every day,” how about starting with choosing the parking spot furthest from the door wherever you go?
And remember, when you fall down, pick yourself back up. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
2 | Create new habits.
We all have cues that lead to a reward which we’ve turned into a routine. We have to mix it up for our minds to create new habits.
In the end, my losing weight was more about changing my habits rather than being on a diet. I wanted this to be a lifestyle change and not just something I try for a few months.
Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit is an excellent book all about this topic. This was one book I just couldn’t put down. You start to see all your habits, large and small, as you read his book.
He created a flowchart which shows you exactly how to change your habits:
3 | Change your mindset about your future.
Spend more time looking inward rather than thinking about the life you “hope” to have someday. It all starts with a single step.
4 | Think positively.
Become a “glass half full” kind of person. It will take practice and consistency if you’re more of a “glass half empty” kind of thinker.
Meditation and mindfulness can help refocus your mind. If you think you can achieve your goal, you’ll be more likely to find ways to solve problems when they arise.
5 | Don’t be okay with being unhappy.
Dive deep into the real reason why you’re not happy. Yes, you may want to lose weight, but what’s the real reason you started gaining weight in the first place?
We have to go out and get what we want out of life. Unfortunately, it’s probably not going to fall into our laps.
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”
6 | Start by cleaning your bedroom.
As weird as it sounds, research shows that having a clutter-free bedroom clears up mental space we can use to focus on other things.
Usually, chaos in our bedrooms is a reflection of the chaos going on in our heads.
RELATED POST: 19 Experts Share Their Favorite Organized Tips
7 | Stay the course.
Wake up every day with a good attitude. Sometimes this means we have to “fake it till we make it.” It’s going to be a constant battle to choose the right path.
Every choice we make is a fork in the road.
“The only thing in life that’s not hereditary is your attitude.”
– JD Roth “Biggest Loser” Creator
Here’s the thing,
The beauty of life is that you get to decide. You get to decide that you no longer want your goals to stay as dreams. You get to decide to put one foot in front of the other and walk out your plan.
I got to decide on that day in July I wanted to get the weight off once and for all.
Is it always easy? No. If it was easy, there wouldn’t be a measly 9% of the population actually achieving their goals.
So, let’s get you started with those big, audacious goals. Let today be Day 1!
Download Your Free Goal Setting Worksheets
Remember that plan I referenced earlier? It all starts here. Download your goal setting worksheets and get started today.
- Click the button below to download your free worksheets, plus join my newsletter!
- Print. They won’t do you any good staying on your computer.
- Fill out while rereading the above goal setting activities. Follow the checklist so you’ll have a better chance of success.
- Hang them in a place where you can see them. We all need visual reminders.
If you struggle with constant stress or that inner critic taunting you every step of the way, here are some more posts you might find helpful:
- How to Reduce Your Stress in as Little as 5 Minutes
- 17 Positive Affirmations to Help Ease Anxiety
- 22 Simple Living Tips to Bring Out the Best in You
Now it’s Your Turn
What’s one thing you’re going to do when the going gets tough while trying to reach your goal (because you know it will)?
Share your tips in the comments below.