I wanted to devote my next several blog posts to motivation and achieving goals, but then other ideas popped in my head that I found a lot more interesting so I’m going to shift gears and put a bunch of ideas together in one.

Here are some tips you can use to reach the goals you want to achieve this year.  Hopefully something will inspire you to take action.

Use the S.M.A.R.T. Technique

Make sure your goals are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Remove friction

Change is hard. So what you want to do is make it as easy as possible. Want to move more? Instead of thinking that you have to come up with a new exercise routine, or go to the gym, find the fastest way to move. How about going up and down on your toes 10-15 times a day while you brush your teeth?  Nothing stops you from doing it and it’s an activity you can easily add to your schedule.

Bundle your habits

Author James Clear calls it “habit stacking”. It’s the idea of stacking a new habit on top of an old one. For example, if you want to read more and you already meditate you can say, “After meditating/lunch/coffee I will read twenty pages.”

Don’t focus on changing bad habits

Focus on doing what you want. If you want to eat more healthful foods focus on the joy of the new smells and colors of trying different foods, the recipes you’ll try, the new tastes and flavors. Make it an enjoyable pastime. That will also help you stay with the shift longer.

Replace ‘I should’ with ‘I want to’

It’s a brain game. We’re all big kids inside and will rebel with the adult (us) in our head who tells us what we should do. So change up your message. Instead of saying “I should study more” say “I want to study more.”

Think about who you want to be

That’s the next motivator. Think of the person you see six months from now. What do they do in their day? I’ll give you an example. I tend to overbook my schedule by trying to do too much in a short period of time. So, one goal, for me, is to make time for down time. I want to be the kind of person who creates a list that is manageable so that I don’t become overwhelmed. By reducing my list to three key goals or projects, each day, allows me to not get over stressed. “No. A 16- hour-day seven days a week schedule is not sustainable!”

Remember you’re not broken

We can all improve ourselves, but that doesn’t mean berating who you are now. Just taking the steps you need to is good. But, remember, you’re going to stumble. You’re going to make mistakes, expect that. Put it into your plan. You’re human. That’s what humans do. So be kind to yourself as you go on your journey.

Forget about the past

Focus on now. I don’t care how many times you’ve tried and failed to reach a goal. That doesn’t matter. If you want it bad enough you’ll keep going until it happens. I kept sending my work out for thirteen years before a publisher said yes.  A former basketball player entered rehab six times before he was able to become sober.

So those are some ideas that hope will inspire you to take action. Mix and match, or make one up. It doesn’t matter, as long as you are taking the steps/actions you need to.

Each day is a chance to take you where you want to go.

Seize it!

Image copyright Danielle MacInnes/Unsplash