Step One: Analyze What Needs to Change
Before you even think about a goal, ask yourself this question: “What aspects of my life aren’t working as well as I’d like?” Most people come up with a goal and go for it without considering whether something else might be blocking their path to success. We suggest starting out by thinking about things you’d like to move out of your way, so that you can climb to new heights in other areas of your life.
Step Two: Choose the Right Goal
Once you’ve come up with a couple of ways you’d like to improve your life, make yourself a roadmap. We always suggest that you put each goal in writing, and be careful to word each step so that it’s realistic and measurable. Vague or unrealistic goals fail to offer a viable plan, which usually results in failure. So take the time you need to spell out each step of your plan.
Step Three: Prepare Yourself
No goal is achieved without preparation, so do your homework. If, for instance, you’re planning to lose weight, you need to decide what that will entail: Will you cut out (or cut down on) certain foods? You’ll need a grocery list, and maybe some healthier recipes. Will you vow to put half of any restaurant meal in a to-go container as soon as it’s served, transforming one fattening meal into two healthier meals? Will you count calories? Decide how you’ll log the calories you consume. Will you exercise? How, when, and for how long?
Be sure to write everything down, so you have a reference to keep you accountable, and to celebrate your achievements along your way.
Step Four: Clear the Path
One of the most important aspects of laying the path to success is to remove the obstacles that would otherwise slow your progress (or worse, sideline you). For instance, if you want to lose weight, then you’ll obviously want to purchase healthy foods. But you also must clean out the high-calorie junk food you love that’s still lurking in your cabinets and fridge. Get rid of anything that will keep you from achieving success and don’t allow those temptations to block your path again.
Step Five: Slow and Steady Keeps You Ready
Most people are all fired up at the start of the New Year and begin their resolutions with a bang. For example (in keeping with our weight loss theme), typical dieters might begin a fasting diet and work out for two hours on January 1. And by month’s end, they’ve fizzled out and given up.
Every goal takes time to achieve. The further you go, the easier it will get. So start with baby steps and gradually increase your pace. You’ll be much less likely to burn out before reaching your goal.
Step Six: Think of Each Resolution as 365 Individual Steps.
This may be the most important advice you can heed if you are serious about your goals. Every day is a separate, tiny step on your climb to success. Concentrate on today’s goal and don’t worry about yesterday, tomorrow or next month. You know you can handle what today requires. Just concentrate on achieving the goal for today, and be sure to celebrate your accomplishment at each day’s end—whether by enjoying the sunset or giving yourself a high five in the mirror! At the end of the year, all those steps will take you places you might never have imagined.
Step Seven: Reassess When You Need To
There’s no shame in reassessing your goals as you go. For instance, if part of your weight loss plan included cutting out all breads from your diet, and by the end of January, you realize that breakfast without your morning toast just makes you miserable, then by all means, revise that diet and keep on going!
At DMC, we wish you a successful and steady path in achieving all your goals in 2016!