What if I told you there were three easy steps you could take to make a change? Setting a goal for yourself or wanting to make a change can be a daunting challenge. Maybe you want to lose weight, eat better, become Instagram famous or you simply want to live healthier. Don’t know where to start? Start with these three easy steps to set yourself up for success.
Step 1: You won’t see changes overnight
An important point to accept when you’re working towards a goal is that change does not happen overnight. While you can wake up with a positive attitude, and see that every day is a chance to start new, acknowledging that you won’t see changes after one day of eating healthier or working out can set realistic expectations for yourself. This helps combat discouragement or disappointment that might set you back or make you discount your positive efforts. It can be helpful to do some research on how long the change you want to make typically takes. For example, it’s well known that it takes about 21 days for a behavior to become a habit. If your goal is to workout in the mornings before work, knowing that it could take almost a month for it to feel like a habit instead of a conscious effort can be helpful. By setting realistic expectations for yourself you may be more likely to understand your progress.
Step 2: Tell a friend
Accountability is one of the greatest tools to use when trying to make a change. Don’t get accountability confused with someone constantly nagging you or judging you for your choices. Instead, think of accountability as knowing someone is going to ask you if you did something or not. How good does it feel to tell someone, “Yes I did make it that spin class this weekend like I said I was going to!” And even when we don’t follow through with what we plan on, it can help to tell someone this too. By verbalizing it and saying it out loud, you might understand why the plan didn’t work, or you might feel so uncomfortable with telling this person you didn’t do what you said you were going to that you don’t want to go through that again! Choose someone who you feel comfortable telling anything to, and who will help you celebrate small wins.
Step 3: Make one small change
The best advice I can give anyone working towards creating change in their life or working towards a goal is to do one small thing a day. While this may not seem like a lot, one small change can give you the confidence boost you need to keep progressing towards change. Reaching a goal isn’t one major change at once, it’s a bunch of little things over time. By changing things slowly over time, you’re able to adjust and adapt and understand what works for you versus what doesn’t. Take the goal of going to the gym before work. If you try to do a high intensity full workout at 6:00 am and have never exercised in the morning before, there’s a chance you’re setting yourself up for failure. Instead, see if you can get to the gym at this time, and if you can do light cardio for 30 minutes. Simply getting yourself to the gym early can be the boost of confidence you need to keep going. Setting small achievable goals are a great way to work your way towards long-term change that will last.
Are you ready to take three easy steps?
Written by GUADS staff member Emily.