Well – it’s March.
We’re two months away from the glow of January resolutions…
How are you doing with your goal?
One of my favourite January (or February) traditions is asking my clients what their goals are for the year.
We (as in, everyone here at LSM) consider it a perk of the job to help you achieve your goal if it’s health or event-related.
It’s way too easy to write down a goal and then never follow through.
In today’s post I’m sharing some super easy tips (because you know easy and minimum effort required are my favourite levels of output when it comes to self-care) for you to keep your goals.
Were you excited about all your resolutions this year?
Was this gonna be the year you…
- Run a marathon (or run for more than 5 minutes without collapsing on the pavement)?
- Meal prep every meal for the week every weekend? (or just try to stop spending so much damn money at Pret)?
- Train every day?
- Finally start taking care of your body?
Whether you’re on track with your new year’s resolution or you’ve already fallen off the wagon before Q1 is over, it’s not too late to actually stick with your goal.
How to Make It Happen
1. Define your goal
First things first – is it possible to know when you achieve your goal?
If your goal is too vague/general, you’ll never know if you did it.
Like, ‘take better care of yourself ‘ (which is the goal I recommend for you, and I’m working on a post to explain why – will link here when it’s ready).
Technically, if you skip a chocolate bar one day after work you’ve ‘taken better care of yourself’, but you probably won’t be happy with that because that’s not what you had in mind.
You need to have a measurable goal to make sure you’ll know if you achieved it.
You know the whole ‘SMART’ goal thing?
(if you don’t, quick recap: a goal should be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-based)
While I’m not going to ask you to get all the colours of the acronym, you’re going to need to get a little more specific, because otherwise how are you going to know that you’ve achieved it?
So, if we go with the ‘taking better care of yourself’ goal, we could say:
- Eating ‘better’ (which should be broken down a little further)
- Engaging in a certain type of exercise that you know will support, not abuse, your body (like yoga, or Pilates, or tai chi)
- Having regular massage for stress, muscle tension, etc.
- Getting a healthy amount of sleep
The list could go on.
Basically, pick one habit that you want to start incorporating into your life that legitimately falls under the goal you’ve identiifed for yourself.
Depending on what it is, it doesn’t necessarily need a deadline, e.g. habits are ongoing so don’t have an end date.
It does need to be an action, because, um it’s something you’re DOING.
It also needs to be realistic.
Don’t say you’re going to meal prep all your meals when you don’t know how to boil water.
Don’t say you’re going to take up running when you know you get injured every time you try (maybe take it back a step and address your underlying imbalances that cause you to injure yourself first).
You get the picture.
Once you’ve decided the best first step for your goal (again, I’m rooting for ‘taking better care of yourself’) you can choose from these strategies to make it happen.
Accountability is my favourite favourite favourite favourite way to stick to accomplishing any sort of goal.
When you know somebody is going to be waiting for you at the gym, you go.
When you know somebody’s going to ask you what time you got to sleep the night before, you go to bed at your designated bed time (or, at least you’re more likely to).
Find a way to be accountable.
Find a buddy to do your thing with or broadcast it in a facebook group or on social media where people will ask you about it.
Don’t forget, we have two free facebook groups – one is for desk workers and the other is for runners/cyclists/triathletes so if your goal is related to either of those, click on each link & request to join!
3. Put your money where your mouth is.
Now, this can be a tricky one and you need to know yourself for this to work.
Common example: you want to exercise, so you sign up to a gym.
The fact that you’ll be paying that money every month guarantees that you’ll show up and use it.
Or does it?
Making a financial commitment only works if you care about losing that money.
In the gym example, if your gym costs £15/month you’re very likely going to think ‘eh, it’s only £15 – I feel like staying home more’.
BUT, if your gym is £75 / month you bet your sweet patootie you’ll be showing up three times a week… IF that’s an amount of money you don’t want to waste.
This is part of the thinking behind our recently-introduced membership offering at the clinic.
For our clients who DEFINITELY want a monthly massage as part of taking better care of themselves, signing up to have the fee for that monthly session come out automatically means they’ll make their appointment and stick with it.
Then, as a bonus the 12th month is free.
But it’s more about the act of committing your money to that session each month, to be sure they have their monthly session (because the money’s coming out regardless).
There are also websites where you can put in some money and if you don’t do what you say you’ll do, it gets donated to a charity you hate.
4. Schedule it in your diary.
This is weirdly effective.
Before I started scheduling things in my diary (like, going for a walk, doing yoga, the tasks I needed to get done for my business), I thought ‘How is this going to make a difference?’
But there’s just something about seeing that appointment in your calendar, especially if it’s electronic and you get the reminders popping up in your phone that make you feel obligated to do it.
I’d say it’s definitely not as effective as committing money or being accountable to a friend, but still a good tip for keeping on top of your goal.
5. Reward Yourself
And, of course, let’s not forget rewarding ourselves for our effort.
If your habit for self-care is massage, I would say that’s a reward within itself – but I might be biased.
For another example, maybe you want to do yoga twice a week.
Every week you do it, get yourself a little treat.
Then, if you do it consistently for a month, or two months, or six months, reward yourself with something a bit bigger – like, a massage, reflexology session, spa day, facial.
Giving yourself something to look forward to is a great way to motivate yourself to stick with your goal.
Now that you have all these tips, take a minute and define your goal/habit, and how you’ll motivate yourself to stick with it (or pick it back up, if that’s where you are).
I hope you’ve found this helpful and maybe inspired you to pick your goals back up. I’d love to hear your goal/habit & what tips you’ll be using – please leave a comment and let me know.
If you know someone who might be helped by this blog post, please do share it with them.