When you’re trying to reach a goal (or considering getting started on one), it can be challenging to get yourself in a positive frame of mind. It’s easy to get bogged down in regrets about what you should have done differently, that you should have started sooner, how long it’s going to take, or how hard it’s going to be. I have gone through all of those excuses (and more) in my journey towards self-improvement. It’s easier and a lot more comfortable to stay the same, but remember that doing nothing is also a choice and a risk.
My two biggest goals are continuing my wellness journey (eating healthy food, getting fit and strong and becoming healthier), and pursuing traditional publication for my debut novel, Twist of Fate. Today I’m sharing another cottage sunset picture with you because nothing inspires me and puts me in a more positive frame of mind than nature. And underneath the picture, I’m providing my best strategies to reach a goal!
What is a goal that you are currently working towards? Is there a goal that you are considering adding to your list?
Strategies to reach a goal
Set a deadline. If you want to publish a novel “one day,” then chances are that day will never come. If you choose a realistic time frame and hold yourself accountable, then you’re making your goal tangible and are a lot more likely to be successful.
Seek inspiration. Tony Robbins wrote an amazing book called Awaken the Giant Within and I highly recommend checking it out for some goal seeking motivation. You can also try meditating and networking with people who already are where you want to be.
Break your goal into small, measurable achievements. Imagine you want to lose 100 pounds. That’s a big, overwhelming goal. However, if you break it up into 5 pound increments, it feels a lot more manageable. My best advice is not to focus on how long you think it will take to reach a goal. Be realistic when setting a deadline for yourself, but also remember the time will pass anyway. If it takes you two years to lose the weight you need to lose, so what? It’s gone and you’re healthier – that’s what counts.
Remember a setback isn’t an excuse to quit. If you’re trying to lose weight, chances are that you’re going to eat “bad food” at some point in your journey. However, one bad meal doesn’t have to mean a bad day, let alone a bad week or month. If you get a flat tire, do you get out of your car and slash all the other ones, or do you fix the tire and keep driving? Treat reaching your goals like that and don’t sabotage your own success. Remember, friends, don’t sweat the small stuff (this is one my favourite mindfulness books ever and I use the strategies every single day) .
Celebrate your success. Keep yourself on track with rewards every time you reach a goal milestone (though it’s a bad idea to reward your weight loss with unhealthy food). If you lose four dress sizes, then buy yourself that new dress you’ve been eyeing. If you finish your book, go to a conference and network with other writers while you work towards the next steps in your journey (I’m heading to one in September and can’t wait!).
PS: I love creating delicious recipes that taste decadent without the damage, which helped me lose the 60 pounds I’m down so far. Check out my healthy recipes, especially the healthy dessert section where I feature lightened up versions of treats like donuts, peanut butter cookies, banana cookies and protein balls (chocolate chip and oatmeal cookie). Yes, you can eat cookies and lose weight – I’m living proof!
Avoid distractions. If you’re trying to complete a task that will help you reach your goal, say writing a chapter in your book (check out chapter 1 from my novels The List and Twist of Fate), then keep everything that distracts you in another room (yes, this means you need to part with your phone). Stay present and don’t give yourself any temptation to procrastinate.
Tell people you trust. Sometimes it’s scary to say your goals out loud because then they become real and others will know if you fail. However, if you share your plans with supportive people in your life, they can be your cheerleaders and motivate you to keep going when you have hard days and hit roadblocks. Don’t be an island or afraid to reach out for help if you need it. That’s what friends are for, right? Here are some of my favourite friendship books. Have you read any?
James’ photography essentials
- James shoots with a fancy (and expensive) camera, but highly recommends the Canon Rebel as a great entry option
- A sturdy tripod and carrying case are crucial accessories
- If you’re often out and about on adventures like we are, you’ll also need a cleaning kit
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