Tuesday, January 5, 2016

How to Set Goals and Stick to Them

If you can trust yourself to do what you say you want to do, a whole world of possibilities opens itself up to you. You can set big goals and trust yourself to accomplish them. I know it sounds cheesy, but it's true! 

If I can stick to my New Year's Resolutions, I will feel so proud of myself at the end of the year, and I will feel more healthy. 

I find that I am most successful when I take my goals and break them down into "where," "when," and "how." If I can answer those specific details, then executing on my goals can become more automatic. If I say I want to run once on the weekend and once during the week, but I have no plan for where that's going to take place, exactly when it's going to happen, or what is going to be happening with the boys, then I create so many more barriers for myself that get in the way of getting it done. 

I will already face a barrier every time I go running. Most of the time, I won't want to do it (even though I feel great afterward). If it's overcast, I'll have even more excuses (i.e., barriers). "It might rain in the middle of it! I should just stay home." 

If I also have to figure out when I'm going running, where, and what the plan is for the boys, then I will never do it. That's too many barriers all piled up. 

However, if I decide that I am going to run on Sundays when we first wake up and that I will take Henry to ride his bike with me on the running trail and that Matt will take Tate to the dog park, then I reduce my barriers. The behavior can become more automatic. 

If I take it one step further and decide on a back-up plan, I reduce the barriers even further. For example, if Matt has an early morning soccer game, then we will go on Saturday. 

So what are the other barriers I can anticipate and solve for myself in order to set myself up for more success? Here are my goals again:
  1. Start the year with the 21-day cleanse from Clean and work through a book about breaking the emotional eating habit. I tried to set up a support network of people to work through this with me at the same time. I also selected all the recipes in advance. Then I ordered the groceries in advance. Having the food and the recipes in place takes away all the excuses. Then I just have to focus my energy on actually following through.
  2. Eat more salads with dinner. I need to identify salad ingredients that we like. Then I need to do as much prep as possible on the weekend.
  3. Drink at least 80 ounces of water each day. I need to have a water bottle at home and at school.
  4. Run once on the weekend and once during the week. See plan above....
  5. Go to yoga once a week. Find the specific class I want to go to at the YMCA and get it on the calendar. Invite a friend!
  6. Do 15 minutes of strength building once a week (either MommaStrong or my back exercises). I need a schedule for my exercise. Run on Sunday and Wednesday. Do yoga on Tuesday. Do my home exercises on Thursday. And I will need to do these right after I put Henry to bed. Otherwise, I will not do them! I also need a good podcast or book on tape to listen to.
  7. Cultivate a daily meditation and gratitude practice. I downloaded Insight Timer, and it is going to change everything! It makes it so easy to do a guided meditation every night (even just five minutes). I think we need to start a gratitude practice during dinner to highlight the positives from our day, and then I want to review my gratitude as I'm falling asleep at night.
  8. Publish five books. Hmmm...this one is a little overwhelming. I think I will need a whole separate project plan for that project.
  9. Clean and organize our house before the boys go to bed each night. I need to leave work on time so that I can cook dinner on time so that we have enough time before bed to get everything cleaned and put away.
  10. Track our expenses in Mint.com daily so that we are able to hit our saving goals. We should do this while Matt is showering each evening. We have a little ledge in the bathtub that I can sit on so we can do it together.
  11. Invite friends over monthly. When I sit down to reflect on my goals each month, I can plan the next get together. I also want to keep a list of all of our acquaintances so I can be sure to rotate through different people.
  12. Use my work time in the evening to clear out my inbox and do bigger-picture planning. Try to move all projects into slots during the work day.  
  13. Reflect each month about how I'm doing toward these goals. 
I feel better prepared to actually execute on these goals!

Join us for the upcoming Purposeful Parenthood course! We'll be reflecting on the kind of family we are and the kind of family we want to become. Learn more...Register now! We start on Monday!

Share |


Katie Z said...

Sara this is a great post and it actually makes me wonder about your daily schedule? I am a mom to an 18th month old and also recently started working from home (after 5 years of a 45 minute commute) I thought I would have more time but am finding that a more scheduled day may be helpful. I'd be curious to here what your daily schedule looks like. Katie

Alifiyah Ghadiali said...

Hey! I went to the App Store to check out Insight Timer and there appears to be two...one is called 'meditation timer' and the other is 'guided meditations'. Wondering which one you are using?

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hello, Katie Z.! Here is my schedule:

6:45am = Wake up and get ready really fast (no make-up, hair pulled back into a bun, not much thought into my outfit, lots of kisses for the boys)
7:15 = Arrive at work (Matt does the morning routine with the boys so I can do the early shift at work); I live only two miles away from my school
4:45 = Arrive home and start preparing dinner (I prep almost everything on the weekend so that I can pull together dinner really quickly)
5:15 = Eat
5:45 = Bath
6:00 = Books and story
6:30 = Lights out for the boys
6:30-10:00pm = Work on my computer
10:00pm = Lights out for Matt and me

So I'm going to a 7:15pm yoga class, and I'm going to run on a treadmill after school from 4pm-4:30pm. That's how I'm going to fit in my exercise.

Let me know if you have more questions!

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Alifiyah! There was only one when I downloaded it, but I'm guessing it's the guided one. It's full of guided meditations that I can choose from. I love it! Here's the link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/zen-timer-meditation-timer/id337472899?mt=8

I use the free version.

Related Posts with Thumbnails