Let's think about your personal goals for a sec. Where do you want to be in six months or a year? Maybe you want to lose 20 or 50 pounds, run a 10K, or cook dinner more often than ordering takeout. These are "outcome goals"—results or milestones we want to achieve down the road. Outcome goals give us direction and are a great motivator, but how do we actually make them happen?
Setting mini goals
It’s a whole lot easier to reach your ultimate, fist-pumpable goal if you break it down into smaller, more reachable ones. You’re more likely to reach any goal if you make it…
Rather than:“I’ll eat healther.”
Try:“I’ll pack a salad with chicken for lunch on Monday and Wednesday.”
Rather than:“I’ll start being active by running 5 miles on Monday and Wednesday.”
Try:“I’ll start by walking a mile each morning.”
Rather than:“I want to stop eating sweets after dinner.”
Try:“I’ll start having a piece of fruit after dinner if I want something sweet.”
Rather than:“I want to fit into my jeans from high school.”
Try:“I want to feel great in a bathing suit for my upcoming vacation.”
Choosing right-for-you goals
For starters, stick with one or two goals at a time. The more your attention is divided, the less chance you have of reaching your target. Give yourself time to accomplish (and maintain) your first couple of goals until they're a part of your routine—and then set new ones.
Putting it into action
To reach a long-term goal, you need a path made up of smaller, mini-goals, so you can chart your progress along the way. Your mini goal might be to swap your nightly ice cream for fresh fruit, or to jog two or three mornings a week, or to grocery shop every Sunday. These may feel minor but over time, they can ladder up to something big.
Keep this in mind:
Change doesn’t happen by accident. It happens by setting goals and learning from the experience.
If your journey looks like this, you're probably doing something right...