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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This post was featured on Canadian Budget Binder, thank you!
Mandy @ MoneyMasterMom says
I think I want to try Zumba in the new year, but I’d prefer to find some that is kid friendly. I’ll get exercise, they’ll get tired. Talk about a win win!
Mandy @ MoneyMasterMom recently posted..Getting Better Sleep just got REALLY XXX-citing!
Helllloo Mandy! Have you tried Zumba on the Wii?! Mrs Scot really enjoys that and it is cheap 🙂
Budget and the Beach says
I think for me being less structured in exercise is what keeps me going. I don’t follow a set schedule because things have just become part of my life naturally…like brushing my teeth. My only hope is that I can get back to playing beach volleyball and doing yoga soon…but all that depends on the recover of my shoulder. Totally ous of my control. 🙁 Thanks for writing this series!
Budget and the Beach recently posted..Link Love/What Would You Do?
You are very disciplined when it comes to exercise by the sounds of it! I also really hope 2013 brings you the full recovery you need and you can get back to playing and doing what you love 🙂 Fingers crossed for you! Glad you enjoyed it and Happy new years when it comes 🙂
[email protected] says
Putting things in writing is the only way I will stick to them. I learned that in 2012. Loved this series.
[email protected] recently posted..Can’t Take My Eyes Off These Blogs #19- I’m on Vacation
Thanks a lot Kim! Happy New Year 🙂
Canadian Budget Binder says
I always enjoy writing out my goals and planning as it’s my road map or my bible directing me to the places I want to go to. This year I would like to do more travelling around Ontario but still have to research some of the best places to go and hike and sight see. Cheers Mr.CBB
Canadian Budget Binder recently posted..New Year’s Resolution:Canadian Debt and Tackling Personal Finances
I like calling it a roadmap too! I really want to visit Canada in the next few years for a Ski Holiday! I don’t think 2013 will provide us with the time unfortunately. Have an amazing NYE if I don’t speak to you before Mr CBB! 🙂
K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! says
I definitely intend to improve my fitness level in 2013 with a multiple pronged approach. I was scheduled to run a 5K this past September but I was asked to travel for work on race day so the run was a no-go. I do want to sign up and this time actually run a 5K in 2013 lol!
K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! recently posted..My Weekly T.G.I.F.
Hey KK … Cannot believe that you had to cancel for work… that sucks! Here’s to finishing one in 2013! Happy New Year 🙂
Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank says
Taking the time to review and celebrate in your successes is one of the most important parts in any type of life changing experience.
Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..Looking back at 2012
Absolutely… this series has been as much for myself! Happy New Year Glen!
Darren @ ideasforcash.co.uk says
I stopped smoking last year, cut down alcohol consumption to basically nothing and ran every day for about 6 months while I made the adjustments.
I started up new businesses, improved my design and programming skills and became a better salesman.
I continue to improve in all areas and as a result have a lot more money to spare because I do not feel the need to spend frivoulously. Many who do so do it because they believe it makes them feel better.
I have never set resolutions at the beginning og each new year. Somebody in my facebook network put it quite well:
“If you can’t quit smoking in July or lose weight in October, it won’t happen in January”
Darren @ ideasforcash.co.uk recently posted..5 Tips To Improve Employee’s Attitude
Hey Darren… What an incredible year! I especially love your friends saying…. What are your plans for 2013?
My goals include eating more bacon and drinking more wine!
thestarvingartistcanada recently posted..FOOD: saucy!
Hahaha! That is amazing… You can never beat a good bottle of red wine… especially rioja! 🙂
Jamie Dickinson says
I’m up for eating more bacon!
I’ve really got to pull my finger out! I’ve been far too lazy with my diet and general fitness (apart from daily dog walks). I’ve got a hereditary blood condition which means I naturally have high cholesterol. I’ve sorted out a plan of action for my diet which basically boils down to eating three appropriately portioned meals a day, more fruit, more veg, absolute no snacking, no sweets and no drinking in the house.
Now it’s the exercise…I can’t play rugby any more, gyms bore me, so I’m looking into picking up a martial art again. I did about 4 years of karate as a teenager before I stopped to concentrate on Rugby…feeling quite good about it.
Jamie Dickinson recently posted..Final January Sale Reductions & Voucher Codes
Hey Jamie!! time to get the finger out dude! Good stuff on the diet front – pleased to hear you have taken action. A lot of people just don’t care despite the warnings..
Could you find a training partner that lives close by? What county do you live in?
I used to do Judo which I loved, but have boxed instead over the last few years… that certainly keeps you fit!
We need to change our lives at some point in time. Exercise is one vital aspect. We need to do away with the excess pounds. Monitoring possible changes is necessary for us to know the progress. This is all part of accomplishing personal goals.
Lakita recently posted..My Home Insurance – An exercise in futility
I totally agree Lakita. I think learning discipline via eating healthy and exercise is a fundamental to success in Personal Finance! What sports do you enjoy?
It’s not actually “sports” but I like to do yoga. 🙂
Lakita recently posted..My Home Insurance – An exercise in futility