How Do You Stay Motivated To Reach Your Goals?
I am highly motivated on Mondays. In fact I call it Motivational Monday or Magical Monday because anything can happen. On Motivational Monday, I can stick to a diet and exercise plan flawlessly. I can even tackle my To Do List with ease.
Tuesdays are a spill over from Motivational Monday so I call it Terrific Tuesday. I'm still productive but around 70%. My percentages rapidly decline the rest of the week.
But watch out when Motivational Monday rolls around. I'm unstoppable again. But I'd rather be unstoppable all week long.
Does this situation ever happen to you?
New Heart, New Health Goal, Same Obstacle
Prior to my 2020 heart transplant, my exercise level was one level below couch potato. My heart function was much lower than normal so it didn't take much movement for me to get easily winded.
Unfortunately, my stress eating was tied to my stress level. Most people who've gone through breast cancer and heart problems have lost weight during their journey. Not me.
My oncologist told me after my chemo treatments five years ago that I was in the 1% who gained weight. Really? 1%? Looking back, I tried to find foods that satisfied my cravings which was useless because the chemo made food taste like tin. However, staying optimistic through my breast cancer journey, I never gave up trying. Ugh, now I'm paying the price for being persistent.
Over the past two years, I slowly switched to a whole food, plant based way of eating which eliminates all animal products (meat, dairy, saturated fat) and focuses on beans, legumes, tubers, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. This food plan benefits my new strong heart and lowers my risk of recurring cancer. I want to keep it this way plus I like this way of eating.
The area where I continue to struggle is consistent movement. I hate the word exercise so I prefer the word movement. At the moment, my body is not much different than Jabba the Hut's. I know I need to move but it's hard...and sweaty. I don't like to sweat or have sore muscles. And I have a lot of weight to lose. Ugh. Where's my persistence when I need it???
Oh, I see what happened. My persistence made friends with procrastination. Ugh. I need persistence to read my blog on improving your people-picking skills. Procrastination is a bad influence on my persistence.
4 Steps To Break A Goal Into Smaller Goals To Ensure Success
The best way to ensure success in goal setting is to break down your main goal into smaller achievable goals. As you accomplish each small goal, you build your self-confidence and self-worth.
When I would complain to my dad about facing an insurmountable task, my dad would always ask me a question "Laura, how do you eat an elephant?" and I would smile and reply "One bite at a time, Dad."
So that's what we're going to do. We're going to break the main goal into approachable and doable tasks.
1. Write the main goal into specific and measurable terms. Example: I want to lose 1-2 lbs a week on a whole food, plant based (WFPB) food plan and move 20-30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.
2. Break the main goal into smaller goals with specific and measurable terms. Example: I see two smaller goals: 1) lose 1-2 lbs a week on a WFPB food plan; and 2) move 20-30 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week.
3. Write each smaller goal into specific and measurable terms. Example: Think what can I do today to move me closer to my goal?
- In order to lose 1-2 lbs a week on a WFPB food plan, I need to plan simple meals and snacks to have on hand that satisfy my food cravings. When I'm not working on my laptop, I need to keep my hands busy with crochet and embroidery projects or play the piano. Busy hands can't shove food in my mouth when I'm bored.
- In order to move 20-30 minutes, 4-5 days a week, I need to set conditions to make movement a priority. No coffee and bible study time until my movement is done. Focus on one day at a time. Change my attitude about movement as a choice instead of a punishment: I CHOOSE to move this morning to get my body in better health and keep my new heart strong. Vary my movement between at-home-walking, resistance bands, my Total Gym rower, chair workouts and chair yoga. I get bored easily so I need to listen to captivating audiobooks in order to stay moving for 20-30 minutes.
4. Evaluate your progress every 4-6 weeks with small rewards for consistency. If you struggle to stay consistent then adjust your goals into smaller doable tasks for success. There is nothing wrong with baby steps as long as they are moving you forward. Quitting is not an option if you truly want to reach your goals.
What Goals Do You Need To Break Down Into Smaller Goals?
Do you have any goals you are struggling with? Can you break your main goal down into smaller goals? What rewards will you give yourself for each milestone?
You can do this!
Daily Mantra: Hunt the good stuff, find the humor, keep positive, and focus on your blessings. God can bring good out of every situation!