Reaching goals is easier said than done. We may know what we want, but often enough we have no way of knowing how to get there. There’s a gaping hole between the person you are now and the person you want to be. If you’re looking for simple techniques that can help you navigate the road to reach your goals, keep reading.
Daydream & Have a Conversation with Yourself
We all have the angel and devil parked on our shoulders debating over the virtues some of our decisions. Instead of going back and forth between the “good” and “bad”, why not try this technique out.
First, think of your ultimate goal. Is it to lose weight, have more energy feel good about yourself? Now, look at your present situation. What is standing between “right now you” and “you 2.0”?
That’s the first step of the equation. Now, the angel will help you develop ways to carry out healthy goals with if-then planning. Take the obstacles you discovered, and develop actions that will help you overcome those roadblocks. Use “if-then” as a primer.
For example, you may have discovered that lack of exercise is preventing you from maintaining your weight. An if-then plan, will say “when I miss a morning workout session, I will take a fifteen minute walk during my lunch break.” Depending on how complex your goals are, you may have several if-then plans in play.
Self-Monitor Your Behavior
Sometimes it is hard to regulate yourself. Introducing self-monitoring into your days helps you change behaviors by increasing self-awareness. Self-awareness, in turn, helps you recognize key behaviors and adjust accordingly. For example, after keeping a workout and weight log for a month, you may notice that your weight increases after a hard workout. This will prevent you from panicking or giving up in the future.
I am guilty in letting my behaviors go on automatic. I often weigh myself to keep track of my hydration levels and fitness progress. I also keep a food and exercise log. Another device that I use is BodyMedia, which keeps track of calories-burned as well as my sleep and exercise patterns. When something goes awry, I can look back and try to pinpoint what went wrong. There are other devices like Fitbit and Nike+ Fuelband that may work equally well as the device that I use. Free websites such as MyFitnessPal and phone apps can work equally well. Try out different self-monitoring techniques and choose the one that works best for you.
Control Your Environment; Control Your Health
Sometimes the only way to control your behavior is to get rid of your vices, or at least make them harder to reach. For example, you can put the foods you’re trying to eat less of out of sight, or not buy them at all. You can place healthier and visually pleasing foods within reach. If you smoke, avoid places that promote smoking. Look around and find out what you have to hide or get rid of to pursue your goals.
Another way to control your environment is to give cues that will help you remember your goals. Post motivational message. Display pictures that remind you of your goal. You can even send yourself a text message or email reminder to spur you to remember to eat breakfast or drink water in the morning. Check out, IFTTT. Browse the site for health reminders, or create your own.
Take Responsibility for Your Life
Some people claim that you have to take responsibility for absolutely everything, including the weather, to take control of your health and your life. I don’t necessarily agree. I do think you should take responsibility for the things you have control over. In other words, believe that the actions you take—or don’t take—can determine how healthy you will become.
If you want to get fit, for instance, join a running club and take part. If you want to love your body, begin to treat it with self-respect. If you want to gain more energy, visit a physician and find out if you have a condition that’s causing your fatigue.