WHAT IS YOUR GOAL? What do you want to change?
It is surprising how many people try to change a habit and never stop to think about the goal they are setting before them. Let’s see if we can zero in on what you want to change.
1. Be specific – What is the actual Habit you want to add or take away?
Many times, our goal is too general, for instance, “I want to be healthy.” Okay, what does that mean? What habits does that effect? Exercise, eating, sleeping, reducing stress or nutrition? Be specific and write down your goal.
2. What reasons do you want to drop this habit or start a new one?
This is key. It will help you when the going gets tough. Write down why you want to pursue this goal. What are the rewards you will get from it?
3. Be realistic – How difficult will it be?
Is this your first time? Have you tried before and relapsed? Either way, as you think of this habit you are going to break or new one you are going to add–rate the difficulty on a scale 1-5 (1 = should be a snap, 5 It will be a very difficult challenge).
Circle the level of difficulty 1…2…3…4…5
Do you need to start with a mini-goal?
A mini-goal can help you get going. Here is my rule of thumb. If you are stopping a habit, jump all in! It is difficult to wean yourself from a habit. If you drag it out over an extended* period, it only continues the habit longer and keeps the craving coming. Your habit may be the exception, but most people are better off going cold turkey.
*If you want to progressively wean yourself, then go into it with a schedule and stick to it. Don’t fool yourself.
Where a mini-goal really works is when you are adding a new habit.
When I first started running, my goal was to eventually run 3-4 miles a day. However, I started with a ½ mile on the first day (after all, how far do you need to run to be a runner?). In my mind, the first ½ mile qualified me. So, I began! The first few days, I ran ¼ mile–sat down, and then ran back a ¼ mile! I got stronger every day and since that humble beginning, I have logged over 20,000 miles, either running or walking!
What is the goal you want to add? Start off with small, achievable increments, then increase until you get to your goal.
Here are some of the ways I approached my habits
Running – Started with a mini goal and worked up
Lifting weights – mini-goal – light weight, low reps, built my way up.
Quit caffeine – Cold turkey
Quit sugar and carbs- Cold turkey
Quit biting nails – Cold turkey
Daily devotions – Mini-goal, read one chapter of the Bible a day, worked my way up
What is your goal? What would be a great starting mini-goal?
How long will you give yourself to get up to your goal? _______________________________
4. PreLive it.
PreLive™ is an exercise where we imagine accomplishing the task at hand. We use all our senses. We visualize it, hear it, taste it, feel it, touch it. Whatever senses we can incorporate–we use them to create a vivid and realistic vision of accomplishing the goal.
STOP! Take 3 minutes and visualize yourself accomplishing your goal. See it, feel it.
Feel the excitement and satisfaction of accomplishing it!