The first month of 2020 has come and gone. The year is in full swing, and there are undoubtedly some goals and resolutions out there that are still going strong. However, we do know that the first month of trying to make a change is the most difficult, and we’d like to offer some encouragement and some quick tips to anyone who’s trying to keep up their good work.
Stick With It
The first step to accomplishing a goal is to keep going. Life can be unpredictable, but we can always choose to keep our priorities at the forefront. Failures, mistakes and slip-ups are bound to happen, since nobody is perfect and change requires practice. It’s important to remember to not beat yourself up about the mistakes and to not sweat the small stuff. Set-backs are simply a part of the process of pursuing a goal. The process of changing is worth it, no matter how hard it is some days or how easy it is others. Learn from the mistakes and celebrate the victories. Focus on the process and keep moving forward, no matter what.
One Step at a Time
One of the most common mistakes to make in going after a goal is settling for a “quick fix.” But the truth is, anything that is worth doing will take time, conscious effort and self-discipline as you work to train your brain. That’s why it’s important to focus on taking your resolutions one day at a time, and sometimes one moment at a time. Dozens of small steps and intentional choices add up over time and work to create new habits and behaviors. It won’t be long before you’re able to look back on your progress with a smile.
The same philosophy can be applied to setting the goal in the first place. You can make several goals for yourself, but you’re far more likely to be successful in your pursuit of change if you simply work on one or two highly specific and detailed goals at a time. Once you have reached a good place or have succeeded in one goal and you’re confident in your ability to stay the course, you can move on to another goal.
Make a Plan
If you haven’t done so already, making a plan for success will help you immensely. You can do this in any number of ways, whether it be making detailed, specific plans or just crossing off days on a calendar. The point of a plan is to unload your mind of the knowledge of what you have to do and give you a guide to follow. You make a goal much more achievable when you make it specific and realistic and write it down.
When you make a plan, you can add in steps to take, planned time for pursuing your goal, personal rewards, reminders, encouraging notes to yourself and more. A plan will help you be flexible and remind you that the process of changing toward a goal is worth it—and more importantly, that you are worth it.
Once you have a plan, focus on it. You can track your progress over time, and when you look back, you’ll have something to be proud of.
Make It Meaningful
Most successful goals have a personal element to them. People change because it matters to them somehow. Find your personal motivation. Think about what thoughts and emotions it’s based upon, and make sure that the motivation is positive to your overall health. If it’s a negative motivation, but you still want to pursue the goal, find another motivation that is positive. You’re far more likely to succeed in a goal when it is personally and positively meaningful to you.
Whatever meaning you discover that lies behind your goal, make it one of your main focuses. Let it fuel your daily choice to pursue your resolution, and remind yourself often of why you’re doing it.
Let Us Help!
Sticking to a goal is not always easy, particularly if you’re trying to accomplish a major life change like ending a smoking habit, working out daily or going on a diet. One of the most important things to remember about keeping a goal, though, is that you’re not alone. There are people who are willing to support you, and we’re among them. At Community Access Network, we want to see you succeed in your wellness goals, and we’ll do whatever we can to help. Contact us today or walk into one of our locations to talk to one of our doctors!