When it comes to Lululemon leggings or upbeat songs on your workout playlist, you can’t have too many. But when you’re setting intentions for the New year, one big idea may be just right. Channeling your efforts into one single ambition whether it be volunteering or planning a trip- helps you tackle it head on. Changes are easier to make when you’re not overwhelmed at the start. If you pick one idea you’ll stay energized and be more likely to follow through. That’s not saying you can’t improve in other areas of your life. A great effect has a domino effect. So, taking that intensive cooking class means you’ll be whipping up dinners in no time and hey that means saving money on take out too! Single out the dream you want to pursue this year, and make it happen with this 3-step game plan.
Find the one. Take a minute to reflect on what change would have a big impact on your fulfillment in the coming year. What would have made your life even more awesome last year? What accomplishment would bring you closer to a future you envision for yourself? At the same time, be realistic.
Seek out inspiration
Pinpoint the right thing to commit to can take time and it isn’t always obvious. Feel stuck? Scroll through your Instagram feed to jog your memory about what you wanted, enjoyed, or missed most last year. Or put together a Pinterest board of images that inspire you.
To ensure you’re thinking broadly create a pie chart divided into 4 areas that matter most to you. For example: relationships, health, career, giving back. Pick one ambition for each then choose the one you’re most drawn to. Or go for the goal you can’t wait to start. A sense of urgency is motivating.
Vague intentions (work out more, spend less) generally don’t get you too far. Instead, determine your target whether it’s training for a marathon or saving for a down payment on a house.
Say it out loud
Part of embracing your goal is sharing it with others. Tell at least 2 people about your goal. Going public creates a level of accountability.
Step 2 Spring into Action
Tap the excitement about your newly chosen mission and start strategizing. The key to following through on any goal is mapping out a clear and simple plan. Break your plan down into mini goals and accomplish one at a time.
Each phase should have a deadline attached to keep you moving forward. If you want stronger abs this year, start by mastering one new core strengthening move every 2 weeks. Remove any obstacles from your way. The easier it is to make progress, the more often you will. So pick the Pilates studio closest to your home or set up automatic transfers to a saving account. This eliminates excuses. Just get into the mindset and leave the excuses behind.
Get a jumpstart
Many aspirations fall apart for lack of planning. Do some prep work now to ensure that you’re ready to hit the ground running. Research classes you want to take, set up accounts, or write your intentions down to make yourself accountable.
Make it social
You’ve already shared your pursuits with friends, family or others who would encourage you. Even better if you have a buddy who will participate with you. Find out if anyone in your network is interested in something like yours.
If you’re looking for motivation to keep you going with your health and fitness goals, join “BXT Community” on Facebook and join in our challenges.
Track your progress
Apps like GoalOnTrack, Mint, and Tipyourself help you stick to the schedule and chart your accomplishments. Visual records let you see how far you’ve come so you have the stamina to keep going.
Go the distance
Once you have momentum built up make it last. When you reach a mini goal celebrate it. Your brain releases feel good dopamine in response to successes and rewards, so absorbing your wins gives you a mental boost as well.
Deviating from your schedule can make it hard to stay on track. Be mindful of the times when this is particularly common like special occasions, holidays, and vacations and plan ahead. That might be as simple as offering to bring a veggie dish to a party or booking a trip early to avoid price hikes.
Learn from set backs
Studies show that athletes who display self-compassion often perform better because they can tolerate losses. It’s the same with goals. See failures as learning experiences not character faults. Then decide the reason behind your slip up. Were you bored with your routine? Switch it up. Remember to be kind to yourself and don’t lose sight of the fact that ambition is meant to make you feel great.
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Toni Sweeney is a Triple Certified Ketogenic Diet and Primal Health Coach and weight loss expert who personally lost 80 pounds while making a total lifestyle change. The founder of TS Transformations, her formulas and plans has helped thousands of women lose weight and keep it off forever.