It’s the season of goals and resolutions – jam-packed gyms and endless weight loss commercials. It seems like everyone and her sister have jumped enthusiastically into drinking green drinks, working out, and winning their battle with the scale.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a bit tired of this hamster wheel – the one where you start with a lot of zeal, don’t see the results you want and end up feeling frustrated, burnt out, or even hopeless – and maybe farther behind than you were when you started.
Success doesn’t look like that.
Take a moment and close your eyes. Form a picture of what your success looks like to you. Really see it – YOU, being successful.
What do you see? Maybe the-she-you-envisioned was slimmer or happier, or more refreshed and energetic.
I bet she wasn’t starving. Or struggling. Or biting everyone’s head off because she now has 20 more daily requirements on her to-do list.
I’m betting your vision for success has a smile on her face. And whatever she’s doing to be successful is now coming naturally and calmly, without a lot of stress, or struggle. The changes she’s made are actually enhancing her life.
Ease, joy, satisfaction, and confidence are the feelings that most of us crave along with the actual results.
Achieving your goals takes work and discipline, but there is a better way to get there than jumping into frantic, overzealous action.
Here are three tips for creating habits that you’ll want to stick with
1. Take the time to plan for success and you’ll be a lot more likely to get there.
Obvious, I know, but planning doesn’t mean simply deciding to give up sugar or go to the gym four days a week. Planning for success means considering the realities of your life, what you’ll need to stay on track, where you’ll find support, how you’ll reward yourself and stay motivated, and where these plans will fit in your busy life. Planning as a first step is an awesome way to determine whether your action steps are realistic or need to be modified. Planning on an ongoing basis helps you see what you can tweak or improve to keep your plan working.
Success planning takes many forms. Cuddle up with your journal, and/or invest in some solid planning tools.
2. Stretch your boundaries instead of leaping off a cliff.
Pace yourself. It’s a lot easier to build on success than it is to try, fail, and work up your motivation to start trying again. One of the reasons the gyms are crowded in January and not crowded in March is that people tend to sprint out of the gate, with unrealistic expectations at the start. Create success by making what you want to achieve do-able. Be realistic about where you are starting and begin by crafting an action step you can reasonably do.
Create a milestone that you know you can achieve in the next two weeks and create a mini-plan that will get you there. At the end of the two weeks, reward yourself copiously for what you have achieved, set another two-week goal and plan, and do it again. In the beginning, do not look farther ahead than 7 – 14 days.
If you like the idea of a seven-day, step-by-step plan, to get you started, consider this 7 Day Jumpstart.
3. Give yourself some breathing room.
Perhaps the biggest mistake that I see smart, busy women make, is not giving themselves enough time, space, and energy to succeed. If you’ve elevated multitasking to an art form and if you have a full schedule, you are at risk for not allowing enough breathing room to achieve your goal. Success requires time and energy to plan, execute, and evaluate. This means you not only want to set aside time to prepare meals or go to the gym, you also want time to manage and evaluate the things that got in your way.
Your plan will not go perfectly.
Success happens when you use your failures as data, then adjust so the next round goes better.
This year, include time, even a few minutes, for daily reflection and a weekly wrap-up. Start giving yourself an extra five minutes between tasks so that you can really transition and show up fully for what’s in your calendar. Instead of judging your efforts as either a success or a failure, take the time to look for ways to improve your performance. Evaluate what tools or support will help you become more effective.
The success that you crave doesn’t just bring results. It feels good. Put these tips in place to create the habits that will get you to your goal along with adding more ease and joy to the process.
Take good care,