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5 Steps to Establish a Goal

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Searching goals on a laptop

Establishing goals is crucial as they provide an opportunity to make progress toward your desires. When envisioning goals, my mind goes to Atomic Habits" by James Clear. This insightful book delves into how cultivating small habits can yield significant outcomes.

You can get your book here.

It all begins with that initial step. The pivotal moment is when you decide to alter an aspect

of your life that you wish to transform. While it might sound straightforward, the reality is that true change necessitates a genuine desire for it.

Actions stem from genuine intentions; a simple truth, yet profound. Unhappiness at work prompts resignation, dissatisfaction in a relationship leads to its release, and a desire to shed weight results in portion-controlled meals. These actions are steps toward achieving your aspirations.

Here are 5 steps to establish a goal:

1. Think about what makes you happy

Yearning for a change in life sparks the drive to set a goal. This shift often centers around how I feel. When I sense sluggishness or lack of motivation, I reflect on what brings me joy. In this article, we will explore the unease I encounter while attempting to wear jeans after gaining a few extra pounds.

Rather than dwell on my discomfort, I envision the freedom of slipping into those jeans effortlessly. It's a liberating sensation that propels me to reconsider my eating and fitness routines to reclaim that comfort.

This introspective journey not only realigns my goals but also inspires me to opt for healthier choices in diet and exercise. By focusing on the positive transformations and the sheer bliss of feeling at ease in my skin, I'm motivated to uphold a well-rounded lifestyle that nurtures my well-being and joy.

2. Make a Plan

Once I’ve established that happy feeling, I think about the steps I need to take to start. This usually consists of adding certain tasks to my calendar. For me, if it’s not on my calendar, it will never get done.

I look at how my day is scheduled so I can incorporate some sort of activity during the day. I know that my furry best buddy loves going for a walk in the neighborhood so I will add 15 minutes a day in the morning to do that. It may not seem like much but it was 15 minutes more than what I did previously.

In addition to adding activity, I know that I need to streamline my eating habits. I’m a huge snacker so avoiding purchasing those items will prevent me from over-snacking. I, instead, find healthier alternatives.

For example, I love gummy bears, especially Haribo Gold bears so an alternative to that sweet goodness is to snack on mandarin oranges or strawberries. Sure, it’s not the same but it satisfies my sweet tooth and I feel better about eating it.

But I do reward myself with the gummy goodness from time to time. You can grab some here.

I give myself a timeline with weekly check-ins and a deadline for when I want to achieve this goal. By creating a timeline, I break it down into smaller sections so I can indicate small achievements.

We’re all built with some kind of incentive-driven mindset and feel like once we’ve achieved that mini-goal, we deserve something in return. At least, I am that way.

An example of this would be, I set a mini-goal of eating Lean Cuisine 5 days a week. My incentive would be so that I would not have to think about what to eat during the week.

This structured approach helps me stay accountable and motivated towards my health and wellness journey.

3. Self-reflection

Self reflection in a mirror

Each week, typically on Sundays, I assess how I'm feeling. Journaling allows me to be candid without fear of judgment, aiding me in tracking any behavioral shifts and gauging my emotional state.

Scrutinizing the contrast between my initial feelings and those at the end of the week informs me of my progress. I unload my thoughts onto paper, documenting my reasons for embarking on this journey.

My approach involves three key stages.

Firstly, I introspect on my mental state following the changes. Capturing my thoughts in writing mentally prepares me, reinforcing the deeper purpose behind my decision.

From mind to heart, I delve into my emotional well-being, acknowledging the tumultuous ride of expressing feelings, sometimes encountering emptiness. It all boils down to my readiness to persist.

Mind, heart, and finally, spirit. I ponder my life's purpose, with the ultimate drive behind any change being to secure a better future for my children after I'm gone.

It's a harsh reality to face, but I comprehend that such is life. Mentally bracing myself for the consequences of inaction, I acknowledge that failing to change would be a disservice to my kids. As their advocate, I must advocate for myself to effectively advocate for them.

Before stepping on a scale

Reflecting on this readies me for what lies ahead.

4. Access the Change

We evaluate progress using various methods, such as stepping on a scale or fitting into our favorite jeans. No matter what the objective is,

there is always a way to gauge it.

SMART goals, as described in an informative article by Indeed, encompass Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based aspects.

While these principles are logical, I customize them to align with my requirements. For me, the Measurable component of the SMART approach involves stepping on the scale to monitor my advancement.

To ensure precision, I wear the same attire and weigh myself at a consistent time. Consistency plays a significant role, using the same scale each time.

However, relying solely on a scale may not always provide accurate results due to variables like muscle mass or water retention. Hence, I also assess changes by trying on those familiar jeans.

By attentively considering these nuances, I can effectively oversee my development and adjust my strategies accordingly.

5. Pep Talk

It is widely recognized as essential to save the most valuable for the end, as the well-known saying suggests.

Engaging in a Pep Talk with oneself is considered a pivotal element for achieving success, especially when taking into account our inclination to be more critical of our actions than those of others.

When I engage in self-dialogue, it often involves some less-than-kind words, but in those moments, I pause to remind myself of my humanity. This allows me to grant myself the necessary space to learn from mistakes and pivot when confronted with similar challenges.

The practice of embracing self-compassion has been something I have worked on and am still learning to give myself grace over time. I do not pretend to be without flaws; recognizing my imperfections is a crucial part of my journey.

By striving for humility, I make a conscious decision not to allow my limitations to hinder my day-to-day life. This aspect ties back to the importance of self-reflection, particularly in Step 3 of the process.

Deeper than just seeking change, my journey is focused on realigning my thoughts to ensure I remain on the right path.

I hope these 5 steps to establish a goal has inspired you to strategize for your next objective.

To support you in finding this balance, consider subscribing to join me on our journey to navigate life. Together, we'll craft our days, making room for the beautiful chaos that fills the moments in between.


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Hi, I'm Fe! I help busy families find balance by prioritizing their time for increased productivity.

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