It is Spring, with its April showers, May flowers and the refrain Oh my gosh I have to get in shape before summer.
I can help. Let’s start with you being more specific: what does “getting in shape” really mean to you? Does it mean losing 5 lbs, or having arms that are more toned? Write down your desired outcome as specifically as you can. Yes, grab a pen and paper – studies show people are more successful when they write down their goals.
Then, decide what 3 things you need to be doing consistently by the time Memorial Day comes around to get to this desired outcome. Is it going to the gym 3 days a week? Or drinking 80 ounces of water a day instead of soda? Make sure all your goals have tangible actions in them, like “When I crave chocolate I will have a 10 almonds instead”. “I will not have any chocolate” is not something you can actually do, so it is not an effective way to frame a goal.
Write these goals down.
Now, write down 2 things you can do this week that will get you to your June plan. So, for example, if you want to be “bringing my lunch to work 4 days a week” in 2 months to avoid those heavy restaurant meals that have put extra weight on you, maybe this week you can start possible menus. The goal this week would then be: “On Friday afternoon, I write down 6 possible lunches I can cook and bring to work”. Next week, you might have a goal of bringing a lunch from this menu to work one day, slowly building up over the ensuing weeks to the desired 4 days.
Each week, give yourself new tasks to accomplish that bring you closer to your Memorial Day goals.
Baby steps, my friends. One of the main reasons people fail is that they bite off more than they can chew each week and give up early. You want to make sure your weekly goals are achievable. Don’t overdo and don’t load yourself up with things you hate doing!
Another reason people fail at their desired outcome is they are not clear what they really want, so be specific. What does “eating better” mean to you, exactly? If you want to lose weight, define exactly how many pounds or inches that is.
Most of us know exactly what we need to do to get healthier, but we struggle to find the motivation to make changes. Having a clear, extremely specific plan scheduled in your calendar each week helps motivation come more easily.