Ever set a resolution on January 1 that you toss out by February 1 - or can’t even remember by July 1?
It’s this awful pattern where you set a goal, berate yourself for not being strong willed enough to hold onto it, and feel like a failure at the end of it all.
It kinda makes you not even want to make resolutions anymore.
I get it. If it hasn’t worked in the past, why’s it going to work this year?
I’m here to tell you this: there’s nothing wrong with you. You are strong willed, and you already have everything inside you to be successful.
Let’s get you a little structure and support to help you achieve whatever has been on your mind.
These three things will determine if you reach your goal or not.
01. Did you write down your goal + make a plan?
After fifteen years of chasing National Championships, World Championships, World Cup trophies, and the Olympics, you could say goal setting - and going after those goals - is in my blood.
It was an integral part of my success on and off the water; I can say unequivocally that I wouldn’t have made it to the Olympics without strong goal setting.
It wasn’t just big events I’d set a goal for. I’d set annual goals, goals for each test on the rowing machine, weight lifting goals, leadership goals, and specific aims for each of my races in the spring, summer, and fall seasons.
With all these goals, let’s start with the most important factor: writing it down.
A goal isn’t real until it’s written down. Full stop.
Here’s the best part: studies have shown that if you write it down (old fashioned style, with a pen and paper), you’re 42% more likely to achieve it. Forty two percent! This alone has a huge impact on whether you’re successful or not.
Once you write down your goal, make a plan.
Let’s say you set a goal to lose 20 pounds this year.
Twenty pounds this year means by the end of June, you should have lost ten pounds to be on track, which means in Month 1, you should be aiming for just shy of two pounds to be on track.
Feels a lot more doable all of a sudden, doesn’t it?
Next step: list out a few specific actions you’ll need to take to get there, like walking 5 times a week and drinking at least 70 ounces of water daily.
Breaking your goal into bite sized chunks makes the big-ness of it seem so much more manageable.
02. Do you have a way to track it?
Once you have a plan, you’ll need a way to see if you’re making the progress you need to to reach your goal.
Your goal tracker doesn’t have to be fancy.
If you set a goal to work out 3 days a week, it can be a piece of paper where you tally those days each week. If you’ve got a healthy eating goal, it can be a tally of the days you go meatless - or eat at least 2 cups of leafy greens. If you’ve got daily actions associated with your goal, you could use this sheet to shade in each day you do it.
Put this piece of paper on your fridge or bathroom mirror, so you’re frequently reminded of how you’re doing.
When you have a week when you don’t quite hit your mark, that’s an indicator to make a tweak in your approach. What impacted your ability to reach your marker this week or month? What needs to change to get back on track?
This tracking process will help you hold yourself accountable. What’s even better than being accountable to yourself? Being accountable to others.
03. Are you leveraging community?
None of us is as strong as we are together. Have you leveraged those around you to help you reach your goal?
The #1 thing a community provides is accountability. They’re there, watching whether you’re reaching your goals and asking how it’s going.
A truly great community also provides support, positivity, and celebrates your wins - no matter how small.
Family members are a good place to start, but it’s even better if you can join a community of like-minded people with similar goals. This is where the magic happens, because you’ll have people to bounce ideas off of, lean on when you’re having a hard time, and ask questions of when you’re stuck.
I saw this magic on the rowing teams I was on, and I see it every day in my community of women.
If you’ve wanted to get your health and fitness to a better spot, but aren’t sure why it’s just not happening for you, I hope this step by step process gives you the structure you need to get there.
Grab a pen and paper and write down those goals!