1. Brainstorm about what you want to achieve! This may seem obvious, but it is important to spend time on this step and really flesh out your goal and why it is a priority to you both in the short term and long term.
Great goals need to be measurable (ex: I want to lose weight is NOT a good goal! Instead, I want to lose 10 pounds by May 2021, gives you an objective number and a timeline in which you’d like to achieve it by.) Goals should also be specific, timely and ultimately attainable and realistic for you! That is not to say that you shouldn’t shoot for the moon with your goal, but if you make it unrealistic then you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. (For example, an unrealistic goal would be something like “I want to make a million dollars in my first year as a new business owner.”)
2. Now that you’ve got your goal, write it down! Just the simple act of writing it down increases your chances of actually following through with it! Be sure to frame your wording in a way that describes what you want, not what you don’t want. For example- I want to be able to wear my favorite dress again. NOT: I don’t want to be overweight. Be sure to place your goal in a location where you’ll see it every day. You can also write it down and put it in multiple spots!
3. Share your goal. You don’t need to post about it on the internet for the entire world to see, but telling a close friend or confidant about your goal can help keep you accountable. You might also inspire them to set a new goal for themselves!
4. Come up with a step-by-step plan. If your goal is a big one, having multiple smaller goals or steps along the way can help you stay on track and keep you motivated. For example, a weight loss goal may involve both food-related mini-goals, as well as workout goals too. You’ll feel more successful and driven as you achieve your weekly or monthly mini-goal or step as you work your way towards your ultimate end goal!
5. Take the plunge! The hardest part is getting started or taking that first step. You may feel unsure and a bit like you don’t know what you’re doing, and that’s okay (and even to be expected)! Don’t procrastinate when it comes down to taking that first actionable step. If you’re waiting for the perfect time when everything is right, you’ll never get off the couch! Start now and you’ll find that the steps that follow will be that much easier.
6. Don’t quit! The route to completing a goal is rarely simple and straightforward. You’ll likely experience bumps along the way. Frame these adversities as an opportunity for learning- don’t shy away from them! Re-visit your original goal to remind yourself why you started in the first place as a way to stay motivated and enthusiastic. Hold yourself accountable to at least one action per day that moves you a little closer to your ultimate goal.
7. Celebrate your achievement! Once you reach your goal, be sure to celebrate it! Reflect on all of your hard work and dedication and be proud of your successes. Once you’ve rewarded yourself, it’s time to set your next goal!!
Kelly Wild (@kellywild8) is a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy. She also is a National level Olympic Weightlifter and former 3 time CrossFit Games athlete. Kelly also played Division I ice hockey at The Ohio State University. Kelly believes that health care should be proactive, not reactive. This mantra has inspired Kelly to publish a number of online fitness protocols at Californiastrength.com that anyone can use to reduce injury risk and improve strength in order to continue to pursue all of your athletic and fitness goals!