Be it with your fitness, weight, health, career or relationships the New Year is a great time to get rid of those excuses which might have stopped you making changes in the past, and bringing in the New Year with a bang.
Now I’m going to give you some ideas on how you can make your goals and hopefully achieve them. 🙂
You can do anything you want to do
and be who you want to be,
all you need to do is choose to take action.
Now for my guide on how to achieve what you want to:
Step 1: Think about what you are doing now, and what you might want to change
Sometimes it’s hard to know what to change, and in what order you should address your desired changes.
I made up the Super Human Test which you can do to find out which areas of your life you can improve on to be more happy in your life.
The Super Human Test asks you to score 8 areas of your life: 5 being very happy, 1. being very unhappy with that area of your life. 3 is neither happy or unhappy. Once you have scored all of the areas in the test, it will give you a result.
In February 2012, my Super Human score was 91%, and now, after a few tweaks here and there over the year, I’m scoring 250% (out of a possible 1,000,000%).
Once you’ve completed the test, you can save as to your computer and come back and retake the test after 6- 12 months when you’ve made the changes you wanted to. A great way to track your progress and look for other areas you can improve upon.
Step 2: Decide what you want to change and in what order
Once you’ve taken the test you might have an idea of what you want to change to improve. Lose weight? Change your career path? Improve your health? Deciding what you want to change is one of the first steps to making the changes you want to.
a: lose weight,
b: increase your activity levels,
c: stop smoking
d: eat healthier
First off, write down all of the things you would like to improve. Then decide which is more important and address that first.
In the example above, I’d think:
1. For health reasons, giving up smoking is most important,
2. Then either eating healthier or increasing your activity levels is next – maybe join a gym or get PT sessions.
3. As a result of eating healthier and increasing your activity levels, you’ll most probably lose weight as a result of it. (So perhaps no real need for a specific goal to obsess about, but rather it might be a good idea to have a weight target that you’d like to get to if the improved nutrition and increased activity works for you.) 🙂
Step 3: Maintain your motivation to change and make it into a habit
It might be to improve your health, or so that you can be there for your kids more, or so that you can spend more time doing the things you want to do. Whatever your motivation is, remember it as you make the journey to changing your life.
This is where making it public might be a good idea… it’s easy for me not to do an early morning run if I haven’t told anyone, but as soon as I post it on my blog or facebook, I feel obliged to do it. 😉
Once you’ve made the change, if you continue to do it enough, you can make it a habit or part of your life. Be consistent, keep going and make your actions into habit. Eat well, play well, exercise well, sleep well and recover well.
Step 4: Be positive
Always try to think of goals in the positive sense… so for example… you might want to stop smoking, but that in itself ‘stopping’ something, could be seen as negative to you… so instead think of the positive goals you want to get from stopping smoking. Instead of stopping smoking, set your goal as becoming more healthy, or saving the money you spend on cigarettes so you can go on a brilliant holiday instead.
The same goes for weight loss, don’t put the emphasis on the weight loss, but the emphasis on how you want to be when you get your goal: fit, healthy, happy, back to how you used to be (size 10/12 or whatever). The weight loss will just be a way for you to get there, the journey towards your goal. Sometimes journeys are bumpy, but you usually get to the destination (goal) just fine. Be positive, believe in yourself and your motivations and you will succeed.
Instead of thinking about ‘removing’ something from your life (ie sweets, cigarettes, sugar) think about replacing it with good stuff. See my Super Lean Regime which could help you to improve your nutrition and activity levels, or see here for 10 food substitutions you can make.
Step 5: Make a plan and pace yourself
Once you’ve decided on what you want to change, make a plan and stick it on your fridge, or make it public on facebook or on a blog. Set up a facebook group if you want and get others involved too.
You may have a lot you want to achieve, but don’t go crazy all at once. Make small changes to some of the habitual things you do, say one or two changes a week, and soon you’ll see the improvements. It’s good to work hard, but don’t over do it all at once.
Don’t punish yourself if you fail, pick yourself up and start again the next day.
Step 6: Find out how to make the change
You might want to learn a new skill, take up a new activity or change direction in your career. Whatever it is, research how you can learn to make the change, and take steps to succeed in making the change. Talk to people, do a search on the internet, read books. Find out how to make the changes you want to make and find out how to do it successfully.
Here are some examples:
Increase your activity levels: the energy you use
Don’t go from doing no exercise and partying for the month of December, then go full steam into it every day for the first 4 weeks in January, burn out and lose your motivation to continue. If your goal is to improve you activity levels, why not enter an event in March and train for it? Or join a run club (like Kaizen Run Club) so you can run with like minded people and get some chat from them?
Remember to take your rest days, and remember to get plenty of sleep and recovery time. Ideally you should aim to make activity an every day part of your life, something you need to stay well and sane. It doesn’t need to be running marathons, or doing triathlons, just activity that you enjoy. Going out for walks, taking the stairs, classes at the gym. Or if you want to train to run a marathon, then do. 🙂
See here for how to improve your activity levels: Super Lean Regime
Improve your nutrition: the energy you consume
Same thing applies to what you eat… change little things in your diet each week, and in the long run, those little changes will build up to great changes. Look at what you eat and drink, and aim to improve it’s quality. I used to drink lots of diet coke and I made the change to water. I used to eat mars bars and swapped them out for fruit or a protein box instead (chicken, cottage cheese, veg and nuts).
Think about what you eat and aim to get the most nutrition from it. You get more nutrition from natural foods like veg, fruit, meat, fish, eggs and nuts, than you do from bread, processed foods, sweets, potatoes and pasta. So for improved nutrition, up your natural foods, and reduce or eliminate your not so natural foods.
See here for how to improve your Nutrition: Super Lean Nutrition
Change your career path
Are you stuck in a dead end job, or is your interest in your job waning? Is your work changing or are they making people redundant? Time to move on? Why not think about what it is you would really like to do? Think about what you enjoy and use your skills, knowledge and the people you know to get you closer to doing what might make you happy in life.
I’ve never really had direction in my career, but in 2012 I decided I wanted to change things. I changed my full time job at the BBC, and learned how to become a running coach. Already a part time swimming coach, I now have three jobs that I love.
All I did was sit down and think about what I was doing, what I wanted to do, and how I might get there. I spoke to lots of friends who pointed me in this right direction and that direction and secured a good full time job and part time running coach job with Kaizen.
Take small steps to do what you want to do, but make sure you talk it over with close ones, and don’t give up your current job if you don’t have another opportunity to go to.
Achieving your goal may take months or even years. Make sure your goals are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time based. Give yourself time to achieve your goals, and get friends and family to support you and be there for you.
Step 7: Review your progress, reward yourself and continually improve
As you go along your journey, constantly review your progress and see if there are any other changes you want to make. If you are failing by doing something you’re not meant to, then decide what you are going to do. Stop, regroup and make the choice to continue with the journey to your goal.
Be positive and don’t let one slip up let you ruin all of your hard work. Start each day afresh and make that day a better day than the one before.
Once you have achieved your goal, review what happened and reward yourself. Did everything go to plan? Would you do anything differently next time?
Rewards: a new pair of trainers usually does the job for me ;-), or a meal out, clothes, a great night out with friends; a new watch or jewellery or perfume… a holiday! 🙂
Embrace your lifestyle change, and continually look to improve. I’m always looking for the next way I can improve. Be it physically, or in work or in my personal life.
Step 8: Be happy
I recently read The Happiness Code by Domonique Bertolucci. It’s a great wee book, take a look here to see what it’s about and how it might help you.
Happiness begins with a choice: you can unlock the secret to living your best life.
Q1 : Are you happy?
A1: Yes – Keep doing whatever you are doing.
A2: No – go to Q2.
Q2: Do you want to be happy?
A1: Yes – Change something which will make you happy.
A2: No – Keep doing whatever you are doing (and don’t complain about it!) 😉
I’m going to be writing about my plans for 2013 soon. My current challenges are already on the right hand sign column of my blog…for starters:
- Continuing with my Intermittent Fasting,
- Training to complete the Glasgow Marathon,
- Fasting, Fuelling and training to Use Fat on the Run.
These are just a few of my goals for the start of 2013… and who knows what else I’ll come up with. 🙂
What are your goals for 2013? Let me know what they are and how you get on with them.
See more links / info here:
Be who you want to be
Super Lean Regime
How to give up smoking
How to run and enjoy it
Fatter Lorn and how I got to where I am now
So this is Christmas, and what have we done? (my achievements in 2012)