Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Commit your goals to paper and make them happen!

January is the perfect time to make resolutions and set personal goals for the year. While this is a common practice, apparently less than 2% of us will stick with these newly established resolutions and goals past January. Why is it challenging for folks to keep focused on goals? One reason may be that goals are not revisited after they are created…or worse, maybe these goals were not written down to be revisited.Writing your goals on paper is the important first step to accomplish a desired change. Without identified written goals, there is no easy way to track achievement. Write out your goals in a journal that will be easy to keep track of throughout the year. Include easy to reach short term goals as well as the larger long term goals. Both are important. Be sure to create many short term goals that support the achievement of each long term goal.

Long term goals represent a final destination. An example of this could be achieving your optimal weight. Long term goals may require a commitment for months or years to accomplish. Commitment and patience is required for reaching long term goals.

Short term goals are crucial to the successful achievement of long term goals. These small goals support the big goals. Short term goals give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation as you work toward your long term goals. Short term goals may be items like reducing a size in your clothing or walking for thirty minutes four days a week.

Think of short term goals as the individual steps in a staircase. As you achieve each short term goal, you step up one step at a time toward your long term goal of reaching the top of the staircase. You can get excited and celebrate your progress as you achieve each short term goal that propels you further up the staircase to your long term goal. Looking back at how many steps you have climbed will give you the motivation to keep going when you feel tired of climbing.

Your goals journal is a tool. Use a highlighter to highlight each goal as you achieve it. Since you will make a lot of small easy to accomplish goals, you will be highlighting a lot in your journal. Make a habit of highlighting achieved goals weekly. This keeps you rereading and mindful of your goals. As you update your goals journal, you will feel continually motivated by the growing number of highlights. Thinking of the highlighted goals in your journal and staying mindful of the upcoming goals that you will be highlighting soon could very well help you decide the chocolate cake offered at lunch is not as good as it first looked and easily avoid eating it.

Many people are accustomed to thinking that weight loss is hard, so they proceed in fulfilling that prophecy through negative thinking, self criticism and bad choices. This year, decide that weight loss is easy. Keep it simple and use this technique for organizing your goals this year and accomplish amazing weight loss results!

To your thin body,

Kelly Stallings, MS, LPC