Setting Goals That Stick

If you’re like most people, you started the year with big aspirational goals on how you’re going to be better in 2021. Setting goals is great, but it’s only one part of the equation. We have to consistently do the things required to hit that goal, and that’s where most people fall short. Roughly 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail, so it’s time to reimagine how to achieve the big goals we set for ourselves.

I’m currently reading Atomic Habits by James Clear which unlocks the secrets to sustaining massive changes in our life by focusing on small incremental habit changes. We often focus on big changes and outcome-focused goals that can feel daunting and are more likely to be abandoned.

The problem? We go from 0-100 TOO quick! For instance, you decide you want to become an avid reader so you set a big goal to read one book per week. If you haven’t read an entire book in years, this goal will likely fall by the wayside. What if you shift your focus to who you are becoming (an avid reader) by making tiny changes that are easy to stick with. So now, your goal becomes: I will read at least one chapter per day. If you read more, great! If not, you’re still in alignment with your goal of being an avid reader.  Every day you read, that’s a win worth celebrating, instead of getting down on yourself because you didn’t finish an entire book!

How can you reframe your New Year’s resolutions in terms of the type of person you want to become instead of focusing on short term wins? Here is an example to get you started.

Old goal: I want to lose 20 pounds. New Goal: I am becoming a healthy person.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Does this meal align with my goal of being a healthy person?
  • Am I keeping a schedule that prioritizes my health and wellness?
  • Am I meeting my daily exercise goals to become a healthy person?
  • Am I taking time to nurture my mind and soul to reduce stress in my life?

So now, instead of being fixated on a number to hit, you’re consciously focused on individual habits that achieve the long term goal of being healthy. This also gives you an opportunity to celebrate the small wins along the way. Every time you make a healthier choice, you’ve won!

You ultimately become the person you want to be one small choice at a time. Now your short term goal of losing a specific number of pounds simply becomes a by-product of who you are becoming: a healthy person. Tying your goals to a new identity is the strongest indicator of how successful you’ll be at maintaining that goal.

If you’re interested in learning more about the science of building healthy habits and breaking bad ones, I highly recommend grabbing a copy of Atomic Habits! Be gentle with yourself. No success comes overnight. Big success is the result of small habits compounding over time. You don’t have to rush to the finish line, just make sure you’re always making choices with the finish line in mind.

Check out my Youtube video that addresses this topic in more detail. Cheers to maximizing our 2021 and beyond one small win at a time! 💛✨

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