Four questions that outline your problem and potential solution:
1) What is your goal? In the clearest possible terms.
2) Why is it important to you?
3) What obstacles might get in your way?
4) What can you do now to set yourself up for success?
Defining Your Terms: A lot of people set New Years Resolutions like “be a better person,” “read more,” or “eat less fast food.” But if it’s not clear what being a good person entails, how much you’re currently reading, or what exactly defines “fast” food…you’ll inevitably either forget about your goal or lose track of whether you accomplished it.
Know Your Why: This. Is. Critical. I recently worked with a client who had hoped to lose weight for years, but nothing worked. What changed? She downloaded an app that simply asked her why this was important to her. She lost 30 pounds. You don’t wake up in the morning sensing “ya know, I’d really like to lose 12.7 pounds…” Any change worthy of your energy will come with its challenges. If you know why it really matters, you’ll be significantly more prepared to meet them.
Anticipate Obstacles: When we set a goal we care about, it can be easy to get excited. Wow, I’m gonna do this thing! I’m such a dedicated person, and it’s gonna feel so great. This is the honeymoon phase of goal setting. Really ask yourself what could go wrong. Have you tried and failed before? What got in your way? What if you get sick, the weather surprises you, the housing market changes, or you get promoted?
Next Action: You know where you want to go, and you know some things that could stop you. What can you do right now? Want to floss your teeth tonight? Put a reminder on your mirror. Want to read a book next month? Put a reminder in your calendar to go to the library? Hoping it’ll work is the scared way out. Make it work by taking the first tiny step right now.
Here’s an example of me flushing out this entire process with an actual person:
Make a change you can stick with, note whether or not it is working, make adjustments based on feedback, repeat.