Setting Goals

It’s still early in the year, but many have already kissed their New Year’s resolutions goodbye. This, however, is not an excuse to see those midnight snacks as a failure and wait for next year to start your healthy eating habits. Goal setting, luckily, knows no time constraints. Start today, and even tomorrow is acceptable. The goal doesn’t need to be lofty. Here are a few tips for setting goals:

• Set realistic goals.
• Visualize goals to make them real.
• Break goals down into small achievable steps.
• Create an action plan by defining specific tasks to move you forward.
• Manage daily tasks that contribute to the goal.

Tracking your progress is important in goal setting; a journal is a helpful way to do this.
Documenting progress reinforces positive behavior and will help you reset the goal if you aren’t making progress.

You may think it’s just those homemade chocolate chip cookies that are getting in the way of reaching your goal, but your attitude actually plays a bigger role. When setting a goal make a list of potential obstacles:

• Build a support system of family and friends.
• Create your own affirmations to reinforce positive outcomes.
• Believe in yourself so you have the courage and confidence to achieve.

Goal-setting studies show goals and tasks need to be moderately difficult. Goals that are too easy or hard will decrease motivation. Having a challenge that is also realistic energizes you, leading to greater efforts and pride in one’s performance.

Like anything worth being good at, goal setting takes practice. Don’t let set backs douse your fire to keep going. Each set back is a way to learn and reenergize your spirit. Remember, your goal and its outcome are yours, so you to decide if you have failed or succeeded. With a positive attitude and determination, you are capable of making real and powerful change in your life.

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