You did it! You took time to imagine your healthy, happy, future self. You know what is important in your life and how to become the healthiest and happiest you. You completed the Health + Happiness Quiz (HHPS). You are honest about where you currently are and where you would like to be. Although you would like to make change in several areas, you decided on a single area of focus for a clear and concise start. You created a SMART goal, purchased a beautiful journal to track your success and are ready to start your journey. You are excited! You have done a lot of work and tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your healthy, happy life.
Tracking Your Weekly Actions
Let’s check out your journal…
At the end of the week, you pick up your journal, realize you never got to your actions and wrote in your journal only two days.
Sound familiar? This is not uncommon when creating new habits. We believe when we set the goal, the hard work is done and now we just do it. But after the goal is created, that’s when the rubber meets the road, the boots are on the ground, the work really begins. If day-after-day or week-after-week you find yourself struggling to get moving, check out the tips below. Getting started can be the biggest challenge. With a little goal tweaking, you may find yourself more smoothly heading out of the starting gate.
Tips for Tweaking Your Goal for Success
1. Re-evaluate importance of the goal. Often times we set goals because it is what we “think” we should do. Our Facebook page, friends, parents or partner are telling we need to make a change. A friend of mine used to say, “I would love to not be a smoker but I don’t want to quit.” She knew it wasn’t good for her. Everyone wanted her to quit but she wasn’t ready. She examined other areas more important to her. She focused on her priorities and successfully tackled smoking when she was prepared for that challenge.
2. Dig a little deeper. Have you missed a preliminary action? Remember the Health + Happiness Cairn? Is there something you need to address before you move to your current action? Creating new habits and reaching a goal requires a strong foundation. It could be as simple as downloading a beginner’s mediation app before you start your practice. Maybe it is more complex and you need to address confidence and fear issues before you join the gym or begin a walking program. Consider what may be missing from your foundation.
3. Create back up plans. Create your goal and actions for the week and then look at your week. When will you get it done? Then look again and create your back up plan. Your goal is to tidy up your yard and create a new flowerbed. You have been unhappy with your yard for years. It’s time! This Saturday is the designated “dig the bed day”. Weather is predicted to be beautiful. You have the tools, new gloves, yard hat and sunscreen. You wake up Saturday morning to that old aching knee injury. You feel like an immediate failure. Then you remember, there are other actions less physically demanding. You get your list of actions for creating the bed and decide that this weekend will be “research plants weekend”. Yes, a perfect back-up plan. Save the hard labor for another day.
4. Create an accountability plan. What’s holding you accountable and is it working for you? Do you like to track progress in a spreadsheet? Do you journal? There are many apps for tracking activity, diet, sleep, etc. or maybe you need a real person to check in with your successes and share your challenges.
Change is challenging but not impossible. Sometimes the smallest tweak can make the biggest difference. What goal tweaking has contributed to your success?