Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Goals and Make Them Work!

Rewards come in many sizes, shapes, colors and value

The last day of 2009 and I declare ‘do the eco.nomics’, the responsible decisions affecting your today and your tomorrows.

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Here are some simple ways to set goals so that we achieve them! After all, what good is a goal if it isn’t something you achieve? Follow these simple steps to make sure that you see change in your life this year.

Narrow your focus. That’s right, start small. Pick two or three areas, tops, that you want to work on. Too many people say to themselves, “I want to do this, and this, and this, and this…” and they end up doing nothing! Most of what you do throughout your day can be done without a lot of mental or emotional exertion, but change isn’t one of them. So focus on a couple. This way you can win some victories in those areas. Here are some areas to think about: Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Spiritual, Financial and Relational. What areas need some work? Now, what one thing should be the first item on the change list? The others will come later, but for now, you should focus on two or three.

Keep the long term in mind, but set your sights on achieving your goals in the short term. Do you want to lose 75 pounds? Good. Long term you will. But for now, think short term. Don’t think about losing 75 pound by summer; think about losing 5 pounds by next month. This does two things. First, it makes it urgent. Instead of blowing it and saying, “Oh well, I still have 17 months to lose the 75 pounds” (because eventually that becomes 2 months to lose 75 pounds) your goal is only a few weeks out. This is better in terms of reaching your goal. Secondly, as you reach these shorter-term goals, it gives you regular victories instead of regular progress. Progress feels good, but achieving a goal is awesome!

Reward yourself when you achieve the goal. When you lose the 5 pounds, go get yourself a grande whole-milk mocha. But just one! Then get back to your goal for the next month, and the next. This puts a little fun back into the process of self-control and self-discipline. You will look forward to the reward, and when the going gets tough, you will say, “two more weeks, two more pounds, then…”

That’s it. I truly believe that it can be that simple for you.

This adds some ideas to the above article.

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Instead of saying, “I am going to quit my three-pack a day habit cold turkey,” say “I am going to drop to a pack and a half a day.” You can always make new resolutions when you have achieved the first ones. Give yourself small victories a little at a time.

2. Be specific in your timeline. Don’t just say, “I am going to lose 20 pounds.” Say, “I am going to lose 20 pounds by April 1st.” This way, when you’re tempted in the ice cream aisle, you can say, “Nope, only 10 more pounds to go in a month and a half, and I am not going to blow it.”

3. Post your goals where you will see them every day. This will keep it at the forefront of your mind. Instead of forgetting that you are trying to lose weight and ordering a big, thick porterhouse, you will have been reminded earlier that day that you need to go with something a little more on the lighter side. It will help your will beat your desire.

4. Find an encouraging person, who you respect, to keep you accountable. This person should ask you, at an interval established by the both of you, how it is going. They must be the encouraging type, though. If you are blowing it, they can say, “Well, that’s okay, get back to it tomorrow.” If you are doing well, they can say, “Awesome job. I’ll talk to you next week.” You will look forward to their weekly encouragement.

5. Find a partner. That’s right, someone who is trying to accomplish the same thing (or something different if need be). Just make sure that they really want to change, or they will end up just bellyaching about how hard it is and you will both fall into the abyss.

6. Write down a list of all of the benefits that will come if you accomplish this. If it is losing weight, it might be something like this: Feel better, better self-esteem, longer life, clothes are more comfortable, no more time spent sewing on popped buttons, wife says you look 22 again, etc. If it is quitting smoking, it may look like this: Better breath, no more brown fingers, no more wrinkles on my face, no more red eyes, no more smelly clothes, longer life, wife doesn’t make me spend two hours a day on the back porch, etc. This will help you see what you will get from accomplishing your goal.

7. Plan a reward if you accomplish your goal. It can be anything from small to large. If you drop the 20 pounds, go out for dinner and dessert. Then get back to losing the next 20. If it is quitting smoking, go on a mini-vacation. Whatever you do, reward yourself. Or let a spouse or a friend pick the reward. Then splurge and enjoy!

by Chris Widener

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