Did you know Optimistic people tend to be more productive than their counterparts? They also tend to be more flexible, resilient and focused on others versus self-obsessing. While we all have a natural inclination towards optimism or pessimism, you can do things to promote a happy outlook.
In Born to Win, Zig mentions the areas of goal setting and creating a well-round idea of success. Part of that comes down to knowing what you want and why you want it. Once you know “what’s in it for you” – you’ll be more likely to take action even when your motivation is low.
Just because we want a specific goal to happen, doesn’t mean it’s going to be realistic. If you say, “I’m going to lose 50lbs in 3 weeks” – that’s not realistic or going to serve you well. If we break down our goals into mini-goals, we’re more likely to accomplish them, celebrate and keep going towards the bigger goal. For example, you might say “I am going to lose 2lbs this week by working out 3x a week and tracking my food daily.” Then each week, you can celebrate your accomplishment and move to the next week’s 2lb goal. That way you don’t feel like you’re working towards this huge monumental thing. Plus, it reminds us to take a moment and pat ourselves on the back. You should celebrate losing 2lbs each week as much as that big 50lb goal – it’s hard work, and you rocked it!
Another thing I am guilty of (as well as a lot of our clients) is being too critical of ourselves. Just because you’ve set a goal doesn’t mean your life slows down. On top of that, a lot of goal setting tools will have you set 10+ goals at a time! That’s a lot of extra stuff to add to your plate! We often compare ourselves to someone’s outside success or appearance of perfection, but that is a mirage. Being kind to yourself instead of your #1 enemy will help you gain strength and momentum. So while it would be great to workout 3x a week, you might only have room for 2 or maybe you need a shorter program like T25 or a 30-minute P90X3 routine. Honor yourself for taking that action towards your goal at 2 instead of criticizing yourself for not being “perfect”. You might also like How to Organize Your Life: 17 Keys to Living Better and Happier.
The Harvard Business Review found that 40-45% of what we do is based on habits. I think it’s pretty scary that almost half of what we do daily is basically us on auto-pilot. Sure it’s great that we know to brush our teeth, but bad habits can take over without a thought. One way to break bad habits is to make behaviors towards your goal easy (and bad habits hard). For example, I don’t keep junk food in the house. If we have M&Ms or something, it’s in a single-serve package so I don’t eat more than a portion. I also know I will eat entirely too much if I miss a meal so I pack snacks when I go out.
We all know the power of groups. Immediately I think about AA and Weight Weighters. Both have helped so many people turn their lives around. Studies have shown over and over again that a group is the great source of success and persistence. We host a healthy living group year-round with daily posts, and we also do a weekly email with tips and free meal plans. This has helped over 4,000 people get healthier! Plus, the motivation and support from them has helped me lose my own weight. You can join our group by applying for our 21 Day Challenge here. We work with every budget and goal. Having a support system can help you be kinder to yourself and stay on track after a tough day.
I went back and forth on what to call tip 7. I want you to know self-compassion isn’t an easy way out. It’s powerful. It’s powerful to celebrate your success and to be able to practice some self-love. To hit these big goals, you’ll need time and energy. Remember, that whatever you’re going after is going to make your healthier, happier, stronger, and that is going to benefit those around you as well. Whether it’s retiring happily with your spouse or keeping up with your kiddos because you’re healthy. With that said, it’s okay to take some time for YOU. By putting yourself first, you’ll be doing everyone you love a favor. Make the time to hit your goal. Celebrate your small and large successes. Be open to taking a break or making a change if you feel like you’re burning out.
Staying positive can be tough when you are starting a new topic, or if you get caught up on a difficult problem or assignment. But try your best to think positive! Getting frustrated or making yourself upset over school work will only turn your brain off more. Take a small breather, and think of all the amazing goals you are working towards.
As a way to remind yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing and why it is important to you to proceed and get it done. Getting your mind off the current step you’re stuck in through your plan and instead focusing on your end result will give you the push you need to start tackling those tasks.
Getting involved in your classes and coursework will keep you motivated. In class, sit in the front and ask questions to the professor. For online coursework, utilize the online discussion boards and don’t be afraid to email the professor after the lecture to ask lingering questions.