As the first red maples are starting to turn on the road to Homeplace, I am reminded of a summer filled with Outward Bound alumni – returning to school, work and new ambitions. With that transition comes another season of setting goals, and maybe or maybe not, achieving them.
I wanted to shout out some encouragement as you chip away at nailing your post-course goals. Remember, the hardest part is now. Every day is a chance to do better, even if it is not going perfect.
When I started a new exercise goal – and was finally SUCCESSFUL, I learned to pack my gym bag the night beforehand, fill up my water bottle, throw in the fresh t-shirt, and then — Here’s the KEY PART: I put the bag right in front of my bedroom door – so I’d trip over it on the way to the bathroom and run into it again on my way back to bed. I made going to the gym first thing UNAVOIDABLE.
What structure can you put in place to make Pursuing Your Goal the EASY PATH??
Here are Ten Tips For Greater Success:
- Before bedtime, make a prioritized list for tomorrow. What are the TOP THREE things I must do no matter what? Other stuff I need to do and finally, the tiny reward — ie reward for getting a daily list completed 2 or 3 days in a row. Use the smallest reward possible, ie one piece of chocolate – not the whole bar. One square puts the day’s accomplishment in perspective. Discipline. Plot what it would take to earn the whole chocolate bar.
- Exercise first thing in the morning. This will jump start your metabolism and give you more energy for the day. Exercise will also change the way your body processes sugar – so you will continue to stay healthy and fit. Positivity attracts positivity.
- I will do today better than I did yesterday. This is a great mantra for accepting the past and building success for the future. Remember portaging a canoe the first couple of days? Hard, right? And then, you crushed it by the end of course. Make one simple promise to yourself: To do tomorrow better than yesterday. Identify what you need to strive on, and go after it. Positivity is your strength. Use It.
- Eliminate “Ahscrewit” Moments. When you’re ready to throw in the towel and quit — stop and take a look at what’s going on that keeps you from “getting started.” Write this down and then figure out how to wipe it out. For me, it was learning to repack my gym bag right when I got home from the gym and I felt great; I could feel the difference working out made and I wanted to make sure I would have that feeling again. I’d repack the bag, put it in front of my door, and then, I would have eliminated 30 minutes of procrastination and distraction the following morning which invariable led to downward spiraling motivation, excuses, procrastination and, “ahscrewit”— not going to the gym.
- Engage People Around You. Two parts here: Inform your friends of your goal and see if anyone wants to do the goal with you, ie, getting a running buddy for those 2 mile morning runs, or to train for an athletic event together. Secondly, let your friends and family know what you’re working on so they can morally support you. Yup, Assertive Communication in action.
- Eat the Frog! “Eat a live frog first thing every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark TwainProcrastination is real, particularly if you’re facing a project that scares or overwhelms you — like eating a live frog. The more you think about avoiding swallowing Kermit, the bigger and scarier and more impossible that task becomes. Get over it, get in, get ‘er done! Once you have “Swallowed the Frog”, you will feel like you can do anything. That’s momentum to crush the rest of your day. I Guarantee—everything else will be easier than swallowing the frog!
- Give Yourself a Deadline. Period. This is a huge life skill that relies on discipline, time management and self-leadership. Hold yourself accountable, to you.
- “You can do it.” The positive self-talk strategy – is proven more impactful internal dialogue than “I can do it.” There is something about seeing yourself from the outside makes it easier to separate emotional and rational approach.
- Voyageur Start!! You do remember the magic of early morning starts; cruising past campers who were still asleep while you had knocked off five miles before sunrise. When you’re behind the eight ball – it is probably time for an early morning attack. Turbo-charge your day and get more done before lunch than you’ve mustered all day on your slow starts.
- Track Your Success. For me, I draw big colorful stars on a wall calendar. Who doesn’t love to see colorful stars on a calendar? Or, get a marker and put a big X on every day that you complete your daily goal. After 2 days of success, you have started an XX Chain. The brain becomes motivated not to break the chain. Visual Progress is Powerful Progress.
What positive strategies are working for you? Give us a shout out and let us know how it is going.