I’d be willing to bet if you’re starting a new journey or outlining a new path to achieve your goals this year, you’re probably going to find yourself guilty of doing one thing: Focusing too much on the big picture and ignoring all the small stuff.
“But Heidi, don’t you always tell us not to sweat the small stuff?” True, but that goes for everything except goal setting. For goals, the small stuff is your SSS: Secret Sauce to Success.
Focusing on the big picture can be a good thing or a bad thing. It can be what motivates us to ultimately make our best (or worst) decisions in life and help determine both where we want to start and where we want to end up.
Bedroom + Outfit Details:
You know we’ve talked about setting SMART Goals in the past, but I’m here to drive home one super special point today: Being able to attach attainability to the larger picture is what’s going to help you cross that finish line.
So how, exactly, do you do that? How do you build momentum, create excitement, and foster sustainability to help you accomplish your goals? Just keep reading!
1: Find your WHY
Finding your WHY is an essential first step toward achieving anything in your life. It’s the force behind why you’re doing what you’re doing, it’s the thing that can help keep you motivated when things start to feel boring or redundant, and it can renew the sense of excitement necessary to keep pushing forward. There is no right or wrong WHY, and guys, your WHY can change as you evolve too. And that’s a great thing.
If you’re struggling to find your WHY, sit down and answer the questions below:
- What makes you feel like your best self?
- What are your greatest values and strengths?
- How do you harness these things?
Now jot down some answers for yourself and see where your WHY can take you. If you’re thinking, “How does this apply to transformation?” consider WHY you want to change. While many of us focus on the physical, the emotional is really where it’s at. The emotional and physical together = the big picture of who you are, and your WHY is somewhere in between.
- Start by writing down your goal (we will get into making it more tangible below, but that just kicks it off by writing it down). Now forget about your weight loss goal for just a minute and do the following.
- Answer the questions above if you haven’t already.
- Now ask yourself how does what you just wrote down impact WHY you want to reach those goals.
If you’re still stuck in the trenches of finding your WHY, considered things like, “I want to lose weight to enjoy more activities with my family” or “I want to lose weight so I feel more confident,” to get you started. I promise, once you get writing, it will all come together, so have no fear, and grab that pen. Remember, nothing is written in stone, and the only person who can see your notes are you unless you share them.
2: Use the extrinsic motivation of your peers
We all have intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) motivators. If you’ve never heard of this before, here’s the breakdown:
- Intrinsic motivation may be related to how we feel when we accomplish something—that sense of pride or satisfaction
- Extrinsic motivation is brought on by outside sources like rewards or even punishments or consequences.
Here’s the thing: While there is a negative side to extrinsic (hence, the word punishment), the reality is that it’s just a fancy way of saying, allow your peers to help keep you accountable and cheer you on. Peer groups are amazing that way.
This all starts with step 1. If you haven’t found your WHY, go back and try that one again. It is invaluable to this journey. Once you find your WHY, don’t be afraid to verbalize it. Shout it from the rooftops if you have to, but keep repeating it and putting it out into the universe. You can even find a peer group who can support you in the WHY you’ve verbalized. THIS is where extrinsic motivation shines its brightest.
Being able to verbalize your goals and feelings can be difficult enough to do solo, let alone in front of others. But opening yourself up to that vulnerability is really beautiful, and you’d be amazed at the push it sometimes gives you when you need it most.
3: Create a series of small SMART Goals
You guys, when done right, SMART goals will snowball into greater habits. Success breeds success and creates consistency in the process. Sometimes it’s the smallest steps that take us the farthest. Instead of writing down a super big, ultra-competitive goal (not that there’s anything wrong with that, so keep those big goals handy too!), break that big goal down into smaller goals that you know without a shadow of a doubt you can accomplish. What makes a goal SMART? Your goals should be:
Here’s an example: Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight,” which is a great goal, you can make it easier to achieve by diving in a little deeper and saying:
- S: I want to lose 50 pounds.
- M: I will start with 5 pounds at a time and weigh myself every Sunday at 7:00 AM for comparison.
- A: Losing 50 pounds is an attainable goal, especially if you break it down into smaller increments.
- R: Explore your goal. Is it realistic to say that you’re going to lose 50 pounds within a given time frame? Or are you setting a goal that you can actually work toward and achieve because you’ve made it doable? What are the relevant steps to reach this goal?
- T: Give yourself a timeline. Instead of saying, “I want to lose 50 pounds,” say, “I want to lose 50 pounds by April.” Give yourself a cutoff time that will help keep you committed and working toward your goal each and every single day.
Now, your goal is, “I want to lose 5 lbs per week by working out for 10 minutes per day and macro counting by April, and I will weigh myself every Sunday at 7 AM for comparison to measure my goal success.” Remember, small goals snowball into larger goals, and then the cycle of success breeds more success. It’s truly amazing. It’s the pinnacle of where your passion, mind, and hard work steamroll into the life you really want.
4: Journal your successes
Just like with writing down your WHY, get into the habit of keeping a daily journal. This can be done any way you like, but use it as a way to record how you’re feeling and the successes you’re seeing, both big and small.
You can use it to write down things like non-scale victories, your daily gratitude, things you like and appreciate about yourself, nice things you’ve done for others, and the progress you’ve made. Keeping positive reminders in front of you will help keep any unwanted internal negative dialogue out of your head and, most importantly, out of your way.
5: Forgive yourself when you have a setback
Remember that anything worth it in life is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. There will be setbacks, and that’s okay. Don’t focus on getting it right from day one and never having a slip up. Instead, enjoy the journey and frequently recite the mantra “Progress, not perfection.”
Giving yourself grace is one of the best things you can ever do, and learning how to forgive any mistakes made along the way will only help you to be stronger in the long run.
Failures are never just that—failures. Instead, they’re opportunities for another chance to try again, but to do it in a way that helps you succeed.
Much like anything in life, you have to remember one thing: The journey is never linear. There will be ups and downs, roadblocks and obstacles to overcome, setbacks and traffic jams. But in the end, all of those moments build resiliency and actually propel you forward, one small step at a time so you can achieve those big dreams.
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