We've all done it.
We make new years resolutions, and by two weeks into January they're all but forgotten.
Do you want 2023 to be the same, or will this finally be the year that you make a real change?
If you're serious about making a real change this year then read on, because we'll be discussing a simple 5 step plan to take you from where you're at today to where you want to be.
The first part of any goal is to clearly define the desired end result.
Your goal isn't to, "lose weight."
Your goal is to weigh 135lbs by Dec 31st, 2023.
If you don't make your goal specific, you can't hold yourself accountable, and you can't easily track your progress.
So to start, we recommend setting aside about 15-30 minutes, and clearly defining exactly what your desired outcome looks like.
The more detail, the better.
Make a plan.
Wanting something to change isn't enough. You need to make a clear plan of action that will bring you from where you are currently, to where you're aiming to be.
This part is crucial to get right, because following a poor plan (or no plan) is highly unlikely to result in success.
If you aren't sure how to achieve your goal, now is the time to seek help.
If your goal is to run a marathon, don't just "start running."
Find somebody who runs marathons, and ask them for advice on how to train.
The more detailed your plan is, the better, but also leave some room for adaptations along the way in case they're needed.
Your plan should include a set of daily or weekly actions or routines that, if followed diligently, should drive you towards your desired result.
Set up checkpoints.
Checkpoints are dates set in the future that you should use as a measuring stick for your success.
For instance if you currently weigh 185lbs and your goal is to weigh 135lbs by December, your checkpoints might look like this:
- March 31st - 170lbs
- Jun 30th - 155
- Sept 30th - 145
You could even have more regular checkpoints such as monthly checkpoints to make sure you don't deviate too far off course.
These are meant to act as natural guardrails to help you get back on track in case you fall off course.
You should pick a time interval that is long enough so that you could see genuine progress at each check-in, but also short enough that you can catch yourself before it's too late in case you fall of track.
It's tough to do things alone.
It's easy when you have people counting on you.
Find people who have the same or similar ambitions as you do, and make a pact to check in with each other as regularly as you choose to do so, as a way to keep one another accountable for your actions.
Even better - meet up with those people to work towards your goals together!
If you have a goal to lose weight, and exercise is part of your plan, then meet up with other people who are also looking to exercise.
By doing the activity together you create immediately accountability because the other person is "counting on you" to show up.
Stay consistent through ups and downs.
Life has a way of getting in our way sometimes, and it's easy to let life's many distractions or curveballs be an excuse to stop working towards our goals.
Maybe it's an unexpected layoff, or an injury, or a new child on the way.
There are always surprises in life, and they often pose a challenge to our fledgeling habits and routines.
When things get tough, we tend to retract to what we know best.
But if achieving your goal is important to you then you can't let that happen.
Even when it's difficult you still need to stay committed to following your daily plan.
If you quit, you'll be right back where you started.
If you keep going, you're bound to eventually find yourself someplace new.
Recognize difficulties and speedbumbs, but don't get derailed by them.
If you can do those five things, you can find yourself in a very different situation one year from now.
A year of dedicated commitment to a new habit is plenty of time for you to see a massive difference in your life.
If your goal is important then why not make this next year the one where you finally accomplish everything you hoped to achieve, or at least get yourself on track.