First time visiting the Change Your Life Series? No problem – catch up on the previous nine articles below:
Part 1 – Exercise
Part 2 – Eating Healthily
Part 3 – Get Knowledge
Part 4 – Your Appearance
Part 5 – Learn New Skills
Part 6 – Fix Your Wardrobe
Part 7 – Improve Your Social Life
Part 8 – Become Better with Money
Part 9 – Find Yourself
Realising Your Goals and Achieving Them
Over the last nine articles we have looked at various small changes that can combine to make one BIG change. We have discussed how a combination of a healthy diet with regular exercise can do wonders for your brain and confidence and how following a path of lifelong learning can keep your mind young and active. We identified that first impressions count and looked at various ways to improve appearance, before considering how learning real skills can change your character. We considered the importance of having a social life and various techniques that even the shyest among as can use to make new bridges. Lastly, we talked about finding the ‘real’ you.
I don’t expect that anyone will have followed this series close enough to make a change in every area, but I hope that some of you have taken something from at least a few posts. After all, several small changes amount to a significant change!
Planning the Change
Start by writing down your goals. Make as big a list as possible and then divide them into various categories such as: Financial, Relationships, Health, Fitness, Career, Learning, Other etc. Ensure that you take sufficient time to do this and that the list is extensive! You should make sure that the goals are achievable within a given time frame; perhaps a few months. If it takes longer than six months, maybe leave it out for now. Work on smashing the smaller goals just now and save the bigger ones for later.
After you have a shortlist of your near term goals, write out the steps that you are required to take in order to achieve them. Some of the earlier posts from this series may provide a useful template for doing this. Ensure that you have clear and concise set of actions.If necessary, extrapolate more and create a set of sub-tasks that are required in order to fulfill each action.Simply stating ‘Get Fit’ will NOT work.
Make a plan of how you will get fit. Start with the different sports / activities that you will be doing. For example, Cycling, Gym, Running, Swimming. Take each heading and set out a clear set of instructions for yourself. Gym: Three times per week; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Monday – Cardio on crosstrainer for 20 minutes, Wednesday – Upper Body Weights, Friday – Legs. Break it down even further and give yourself exercises and sets if you need to.
We all have different levels of discipline. Personally, I need to give myself very definite set of sub-goals for the week ahead, in order to be effective in achieving the primary goal:
Monday – Cardio at Lunch, Chest and Triceps Evening?
Wednesday – Circuits
Friday – Back and Biceps
Saturday – Legs
I find this hugely more effective than setting myself a target of exercising three or four times! You know yourself and you know what is best for you! To Recap:
Write out the goal
Break the goal into tasks
Notice The Change
One of the best motivators for achieving goals is realisation of the results. Take time out to assess your progress and give yourself some kudos along the way. Some need this reinforcement far more than others; perhaps if you do, consider additional methods of tracking progress. For fitness this could consist of tracking lifting, weight, reps, distance etc.
For other goals it may be harder to track progress, but it is important that you do! If you are learning a new language, try and hold a conversation with someone else, for financial goals – review your progress weekly/monthly through spreadsheets and graphs, for health – measure blood pressure, heart recovery rate, BMI etc. It doesn’t matter exactly how, but make sure you can record progress…. This matters for when you are having a ‘down day’ or questioning why you even bother.
Good Luck for 2013 guys… Although New Years resolutions are usually a disastrous flop, a new year bring a new beginning which give us a new opportunity. This opportunity is the perfect foundation to start a fresh. Start small and aim high.
I would be particularly interested to hear if anyone has any fitness goals / challenges planned for 2013? Perhaps a marathon, a swim, a 5K?
Best of Luck… SS
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