Setting Achievable Goals

It can be so easy to lose motivation. Especially at the beginning of the year when we are all expected to make vague New Year’s resolutions like ‘get fit’, ‘eat less sugar’, ‘get out more’. I personally don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. If you want to make a change in your life, you don’t need to wait for January 1st to do it. Start now. Also, these resolutions can be so vague and wishy-washy, there is no way to effectively measure them, and you can stop striving for them altogether.

When you are focused on your end goal, it can be so easy to get down when you feel you aren’t seeing results. There’s a reason why ‘quick’ fixes sell so well. I myself have definitely felt disheartened when I am working hard, and the results don’t seem to appear, or I don’t feel like I have achieved anything. That’s why I’ve recently spent time to make sure that as well as my large, overall fitness goals, I am setting myself small, achievable goals that I can tick off and pat myself on the back for. These can be things like:

  • Work out at least 5 times this week
  • Eat something green every day
  • Eat breakfast!
  • Write a blog post
  • Take a progress picture

By setting myself a small goal each day, week or each month, it can seem much less intimating to achieve. I received my Lorna Jane Active Living Diary as a Christmas present, and it has come in so handy. There are sections at the beginning of each month where you can set yourself goals for fitness, nutrition, and mind. I set myself a few goals for January that I thought I could achieve in that month, and it felt so great to be able to go back and tick them off once February arrived. I think I did pretty well! Now, when it comes to February, I’m going to carry some of these goals over, like working out 5 times a week. But I’ve also added some new ones, to keep me striving to achieve. Breaking your goals down into small bite size chunks can make life much less intimidating. One of the times I feel like I’ve been at my most organised and productive was when I was writing my dissertation in uni. Prior to this I had been a ‘if tomorrow isn’t the due date, today’s not the do date’ kind of girl. I knew that wasn’t going to fly this time, so I made a whole spreadsheet with a calendar and what I had to achieve each day I was at the library in order to get everything done on time.  I was teased mercilessly for this by my friends, but it kept me on track and I even left the library early a few days because I had achieved what I needed to. I felt a sense of achievement every day, which kept me encouraged to see the project through. This paid off as I received a grade I was proud of and showed myself that I can actually be organised if I put my mind to it!

I’m doing the same at the moment. As well as setting small, achievable goals each month and week, I’m writing myself a to-do list each day and working my way through it. Eventually, parts of this list have become habits, so I could be tempted to stop writing them down, but I keep doing it so I definitely have a few ticks. I want to make sure I am keeping track of the things I am achieving, so that when I want to curl into a ball and say ‘I’ve done nothing today’, I can recognise that I did go for a walk, do laundry, or eat a healthy lunch. I’ve also been taking progress pictures each week, first thing on a Wednesday morning. That way, I can keep track of even small changes in my body that I may not notice, and recognise my achievements.

The most important thing is to give yourself credit for the things you are already achieving, as all of these small achievements are getting you that bit closer to your overall goal. Grab a pen and paper, or your phone, make a list, and start ticking things off!