Easter is a special time of year for most of us. Whether you celebrate for spiritual or recreational reasons, it’s a nice point early in the year (very early this year) to take stock of how we are tracking with our goals.
You see, “checking in” as I call it, is just as important as setting the goal to begin with. We’ve all done it, we all make promises to ourselves about starting something new, or stopping something old and we get a few months in and realise we got distracted, or busy or it no longer suited us. Then we ponder for a while, and wonder if this goal setting thing really works.
Well it does, but only if you do it right. The most important thing to remember when setting goals is WHY you need that thing to happen. Here’s the thing, our brains don’t like changing behaviour, in fact we’re wired to learn and follow a routine. Thank goodness for that because, imagine how tired we’d be if we had to learn how to do everything again every day of our lives.
So knowing that, the key to succeeding in making change is to create a new routine. Build a new pathway in the brain that says,
when I wake up I do this…(insert something positive like drink a glass of water, do 10 push ups, smile, meditate etc).
Then set up triggers to remind you to follow the steps to get that done. A trigger could be a label on your alarm, a post it note on your bedside table, leaving your sneakers in the doorway, whatever. Just something that prompts you to think, and follow the new routine.
Sounds easy enough, but what about when we’re feeling crappy? (you mean like now, after binging on chocolate for a week!!) You always need a plan B. So if your ideal plan is to exercise in the morning, but that doesn’t happen, you have a plan B, which might be go for a fast walk at lunchtime.
Finally each step needs to mean something to you – That’s your WHY! So it’s tied back to the chicken, or is it the egg? Whichever, the point is, the goal should be about you having achieved the desired outcome, by doing the thing that gets the desired outcome. Not focussing on quitting a bad habit, but on enjoying the doing of the new habit. That is a worthy result in itself.
Final tip, if your goals is to eat healthy it’s time to throw out all the remaining chocolate!
In 3, 2, 1.. Ahhh, doesn’t that feel better!