3 steps to make the change you want in yourself in 2016
Have you made any New Year’s resolutions yet?
Did you make them last year? If so, did you keep them?
In my “day job”, I’m a trainer…my job is to modify people’s behavior. Sometimes, all you have to do is tell them what they need to know in order to do something a different way, and they do.
That’s education, though…not training. Education is important, but I like to say that you haven’t trained a dog to sit if they just know what it means. 😉
I think I can safely say that I’m reasonably successful at what I do.
For that reason, I thought I could share some things with you that may help you get to where you want to be this year.
1. Have a vision
You can’t make any progress if you don’t know where you are going.
You can go somewhere, but how are you going to know if you succeeded if you don’t know what success looks like?
So, step 1 is definitely to figure out what you want to change.
This can be a broad idea: “I want to be healthier”, “I want to have more money”, and so on. It does, though, need an end state…something you can recognize.
2. Make small goals that you are sure you can achieve 90% of the time
Once you have a vision, you need to find out what you can do to realize that vision. For example, let’s say you see yourself getting into shape. You can clearly picture what you would look like at that point.
You talk to your medical professional, who recommends you do more exercise…at least 10,000 steps a day.
The first day you measure your steps, you get 5,000…and you are tired.
You know you want to get to 10,000 steps a day, because that will help you get fit.
It’s important to make accomplishable goals
Let’s say you decided right off the bat to get those 10,0o00 steps.
The first day, you try and try, and get 7,000 steps…but you are wiped out.
Are you going to want to try for 10,000 the next day? Probably not.
On the other hand, you got to 5,000 pretty easily…just a bit more than your normal routine.
If that was the case, set your goal at 5,000 steps a day. You want to be confident you can hit your goal 90% of the time (hey, sometimes things interfere…that’s okay).
Keep it there until you are both confident and bored. 🙂
Then, move it up…but not by much. Maybe 5,500 steps a day.
Keep it there until you hit that confident and bored level again.
It’s okay if that is weeks…you are moving in the right direction.
Interestingly, your body prepares itself for more than the current challenge. If your body “thinks” you are likely to do 5,000 steps a day, it will get itself ready for that 5,500.
Eventually, by stepping up slowly (so to speak), you’ll get to where you want to be.
This next part is crucial: don’t keep going when you make your goal! If you said your goal was 5,000 and you hit and you feel like you could keep going towards that 10,000, stop anyway.
Otherwise, you’ll just keep going until you fail…and then you won’t want to try again the next time.
If you did great, you can increase to the next level sooner or take a bigger step up when you do go to the next level.
I had someone who was helping with basketball years ago who had a great line: “Never leave on a missed shot.” This coach (I was a kid) said that if I was trying to do something new, let’s say a hook shot, and I missed it five times and it was time to leave, do an easy lay-up first.
3. Accept imperfection
Up above, I said your goal should be something you confidently think you can do 90% of the time.
You might have a cold, you might have a family crisis which interferes…it might be your Significant Other’s birthday.
One step backwards doesn’t undo 100 steps forward…unless you don’t turn around and get going forward again.
If you do 100 steps forward, one step back, 50 steps forward, one step back, you are still making progress.
Can’t do your half an hour workout? Do ten minutes…that’s better than nothing.
Just because you can’t do everything, doesn’t mean you should do nothing.
To sum up: your vision can be something you want to be…your goal (and your resolutions) should be something you want to do.
Give yourself a lot of success by setting small achievable goals in 2016…that will help you realize your vision.
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