Goals. 2016 was the first year I found out people actually set goals and don’t just live waiting & hoping for things to happen. Yes, I’m late for a lot of things.
Since then I read a lot of articles, listened to some audiobooks and watched A TON of youtube videos and TED talks about setting goals. And then I watched some more. And did nothing about my own goals.
I then made some vision boards, filled out planners and wrote never ending to do lists and lists with dreams and goals. Then I ripped them apart after I stared at them for 3 months.
SMART goals suck.
Now if you’re someone who’s super organized and can follow through with everything you want to achieve – 1. Tell me how you do it 2. Don’t waste your time reading how I decided to set goals from now on.
But if you’re someone who always sets goals, makes plans & has a hard time following through…especially goals for your health and happiness, then this might resonate with you and help you.
If you’re always putting off the things you really want to do then we’ve got something in common.
But first, why am I writing this out of nowhere?
Well I don’t know. I guess I wanted to get it off my chest really. My goals have changed so much & so often over time, that I can’t keep track. I wanted to summarize the things that worked for me and the things that didn’t work for me over the last couple of years. And maybe make everything more efficient. Plus I just came across a bullet journaling article and I’m pretty sure I’m starting a bullet journal tonight.
Now, a little introduction. My organizational skills are like those of a toddler. I have to do lists flying everywhere. Pretty much the same stuff are on each and every one of them. I have 10 different planners that I’m filling out with the same stuff I think I have to do.
I am pretty much a mess.
But the good thing is, even this mess (me), actually achieves most of her goals. Maybe not as quickly as possible, but she does it. Wow, I’m so self-important when I talk in 3rd person.
Now, I noticed something. The difference between the goals I achieve and the goals I don’t achieve is whether they’re an action or not.
Let me attempt an explanation.
I often set goals like: I will have ___ or I will be ___.
It’s always something I don’t have right now or to be someone completely different from what I am today.
I say it, as if I’m not grateful for who I am and what I have right now and can’t wait to change my situation.
But when you think about it, that’s the completely wrong way to go, because what’s the bet way to change anything?
It’s to start with what you already have. Work with what you have, because there’s no fairy coming any time soon to turn you into Cinderella.
It’s a different story when the goal is a daily action you can take. Here, you can start doing something right now.
It’s not impossible, it’s not overwhelming.
For example, if I say: I will lose 10 pounds this month by doing cardio, eating clean and doing intermittent fasting, I actually put on weight.
But when I say, I’ll do 2 weeks of intermittent fasting because I wake up feeling lighter in the morning, I do it. And I might even lose some weight.
Losing weight is not an action. It’s a byproduct of a healthy lifestyle.
So the goal shouldn’t be I will lose 10 pounds in a month, but a specific action you can take. And then that action is the goal.
You picture yourself doing this over and over again and you actually do it. And enjoy it.
*As I said, if you’re some sort of an expert on planning, organization, rainbows and goals, sorry if I’m rude, but go away. I’m trying to break this down for myself and others who are a mess and confused by all this information on goal setting.*
This action then becomes a part of your daily routine.
It’s tough in the beginning, but then it gets easier and then it becomes something you just do.
Then you say you want to add to this. So for example after a week of intermittent fasting, you say I want to have a green smoothie every day. So you picture yourself making green smoothies, start collecting recipes and you actually start your mornings with a green smoothie.
Set goals about what you want to do, not have or be.
Setting goals you can achieve is all about exploring. Approaching things with curiosity.
What’s gonna happen if I do this for a week?
Trying out something new more often. Surprising yourself. A healthy lifestyle is not a boring lifestyle, it’s just different kind of exciting.
Think more like: “I want to do this” and not “I have to do this” or “I want to have”, “I will be…”.
Let’s face it, none of us is ever going to be Beyonce. (Unless you’re Beyonce & you’re reading my blog right now and I’m freaking out!)
To set the right types of goals, the ones that can actually help you take action, and not make you feel overwhelmed – you need to find out what’s stopping you from getting where you want to be. In this case being healthier.
Like what are you not doing that you know you should be doing and will make your life and your health WAYYY better?
Spoiler alert: That thing’s probably not that hard to do.
The major things I struggle with are:
- eating too late (like I’d actually eat right before I go to sleep)
- doing workouts sporadically
- sitting for hours at time
- spending too much time indoors
- eating too much sugar lately
- drinking more coffee than anything else
- looking at my phone at night
- waking up at different times every day
So for me this month, these are the things I want to achieve & get better at.
- Intermittent fasting (last meal until 5pm). I sleep better and wake up feeling better in the morning when I don’t eat too late at night.
- Blog 3 times a week. I want to keep things moving here and not just planning in my head. So far so good.
- Exercise for 20 minutes every day. I’ll do pilates, barre, yoga and some HIIT. Might as well turn it into a challenge that I post here.
- Go on a hike for 2-3 times/ week. Went already for 2 hikes this week and feeling great, more connected to nature.
- Do something fun in the evening – DIY or actually go to a Zumba class.
- Try new plant-based meals (2-3x/week). I do this most of the time, but lately been off track with eating really healthy, so I want to go back to plant based most days of the week at least.
- Quit coffee and drink more water instead, see how you feel. No progress on this one yet.
- Get into a healthy evening routine: some stretches, some reading + shower + candles 30 min before going to sleep. No phone/computer.
- Wake up at 6am. Been waking up around 6am, but feeling tired. I want to go to bed earlier to get 7.5 hours of sleep.
To me the biggest changes here would be intermittent fasting and quitting coffee. The other things – I kinda do them anyway.
So here’s what I’ll do: I’ll start with the biggest struggles one at a time. I’ve tried to do everything at once in the past, but, sadly, it did not work. So now 2 weeks I’ll focus on intermittent fasting and then 2 weeks on quitting coffee and drinking water instead.
I want to get off coffee really bad. Like, I’ve never been addicted to anything, but coffee is taking over my life for a couple of years now. It’s a struggle. I go to sleep thinking about coffee, I wake up in the morning thinking about coffee. So, now I wanna be free finally.
Health & Fitness Goals To Get You To Take Action
Now here are some ideas for health and fitness goals you can set to improve your health, your fitness and the way you feel about yourself overall.
So, this week I will:
- Eat plant-based 3 days of the week.
- Cut my grain/carb consumption in 1/2 and eat nuts/ seeds instead. (related: 3 diet changes to reduce inflammation)
- Go out for a hike.
- Make 1/2 my plate vegetables
- Have 3 healthy meals/day I really enjoy. And I won’t mindlessly snack on whatever’s in front of me
- Eat carbs until lunch and then I’ll try some new low-carb recipes (here are 51)
- Have a green smoothie every day and experiment combining different ingredients I love.
- Try 3 new healthy recipes that seem delicious.
- Do some stretching or yoga after I wake up (10 minutes are enough)
- Actually have breakfast and not just coffee. (Here are 5 easy healthy breakfast ideas you can make in 5 minutes or less.)
- Actually write every night for 10 minutes to reflect and relax.
- Go out for a 30 minute walk every day. (Here are some ideas to help you walk more every day.)
- Read every evening for 20 minutes.
- Learn how to make the best overnight oats.
- When in doubt, I’ll drink water first.
- When I want ___, I will___ (for example for me: When I want coffee, I will drink water;)
- Exercise every day for 20 minutes in the morning. (Here’s how you can make your own workout plan to get fit at home.)
- Try different plank variations to strengthen my core and improve my posture.
- Walk to work and back – it’s my time to set an intention or to reflect on the day.
- Wake up at the same time and start my day at peace.
- Go to bed at 10pm.
- Try a different class at the gym.
- Talk to one person I don’t know.
- Find a simple way to improve my everyday environment (buy some candles, get some flowers, play relaxing music…).
- Add some fun to my life (new DIY, meeting new people, going to fun events)
And if you do have any more ideas let me know, so I can add them to the list!
I don’t know if that was helpful for you or not (I hope it is!), but it’s been working for me. I don’t wanna walk around (or sit around!) feeling guilty that I’ve not lost weight just because I thought I was on a diet all the time. (ignoring the fact I ate candy and cupcakes). When I take action, I take action – that’s it. Results are coming.
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