Well, it’s now April of 2018 already. Wow! How do the years just keep flying by so quickly?!
So, how are you doing on your health goals? Still focused and rockin’ it?
Maybe you’re determination has dwindled a bit and you find yourself trudging through the motions more and more.
Or, have you just given up completely?
If so, do NOT beat yourself up. I’ve totally been there. In fact, it was just last year around this time when I found myself gaining weight faster than I could keep track! Being 4 months postpartum with a baby whose sole joy in life was nursing, I was starving ALL. THE. TIME.
Okay, not really, but anyone who’s ever nursed a baby before, especially one who loves to eat, will know the horrors of living with ravenous hunger 24 hours a day. That mixed with utter exhaustion and not being able to implement Intermittent Fasting just yet, I gave up on any and all health goals I had for the year of 2017. All of this together lead to a 210+ pound peak in my weight. Ugh! Talk about complete self-loathing. But, if I knew then what I know now about where I’d be in a year and what it took to get me here, I’d have felt so much better about my “failures”, knowing that they were definitely teaching me a lot about myself. And it’s those little lessons I learned that keep me focused on my goals now.
If you’re currently struggling with your health goals – and, let’s be honest, that is more than likely anyone and everyone who made any – then you’ll want to develop a few hacks to help you with refocusing on your efforts. Now, I’ve talked before about how I don’t believe “motivation” can be solely relied upon to reach one’s goals just because motivation is sooooo fleeting, especially when monotony sets in and we have to face the reality of our situation.
Please Note: I use these methods as a means to maintain my focus on my weight loss/health goals; however, they can work for almost any goal you might be working on. Also, these tools are not of my own creation. I have either been told about them or read them somewhere on the world wide web.
5 Do-Now Actions to Refocus on Your Goals
This first tool was something I learned while taking a blogging course, which I will be reviewing here very soon. One of the creators of the course was giving his system for setting and achieving goals and I immediately fell in love with it. However, this is just a very small part of his entire system. But, in my opinion, it’s the very best part.
Okay, so having goals obviously means you are working toward a desired out come. But, in the midst of day-to-day monotony of working toward those goals, it is very easy to lose sight of that final destination. This, quite often, leads to burn out, frustration, or even completely giving up.
When this becomes an issue for you, I suggest you take five minutes or so to have a little daydream. close your eyes and imagine what you and your life will be like when you achieve your goal. How do you feel in this scenario? Will the hard work you’re going through now be worth achieving that goal?
By taking time to visualize your destination, you’re allowing yourself to refocus your efforts on the where and the why of your goal, which are what started you on this current path in the first place. Humans are naturally visual people, so seeing – even if it is just in our own minds – makes it much easier to believe in the future possibilities.
Repeat this little exercise as many times as necessary. Personally, I have days when I have to picture myself at goal weight every hour in order to stay focused. But, I always feel better after my little day dreaming session!
Writing on the inside allows for a quick visual reminder of your goals.
2. Write Goal Keywords/Numbers on Wrists
Another little tool I love is to write your goal on the inside of your wrist. I always use a brightly colored ink when I do this so that my eyes catch it more easily throughout the day.
To be more specific, in the mornings when I wake up, I write the number of pounds to my next goal on the inside of my left wrist and the number to my final goal on the inside of my right. This serves as a reminder to take my goals a little at a time, but to also help me visualize and remember where each smaller goal is taking me.
On the other hand (heh heh, see what i did there?), I’ve also used this with other projects by writing specific words or small phrases on my forearms. Seeing these little quips throughout my day have really helped me through some tough tasks.
The idea of using Mantras or personal affirmations in order to maintain focus on something is not a new one, but for obvious reasons. Words have a very powerful effect on our mental and emotional states. thus, having a positive saying or motivational quote running through our minds like a digital marquee on repeat can provide an excellent source of focus when we need it most.
In my case, I have three sayings that I constantly repeat to myself when I’m struggling to overcome mental negativity. One is an action to keep me moving and proactive; one is a reminder of why I started; and the last I use to push through discomfort. I’ve found that having a few different ones to apply for different situations I face when things get hard really keeps me from glazing over the words in my head. It also helps to get me thinking about what is at the root of my current struggle and what will help me make it through.
4. Word Mapping
When this next refocusing tool was originally presented to me, it was in the form of being used to overcome insomnia. However, i decided to apply it to other parts of my life and have found it to be very effective for working toward a goal.
The general idea is to choose a word that inspires you. Personally, I like to write it down so that I have a little extra visual. Once you’ve decided on the word, take each letter individually and think of 1 to 3 different inspiring words that start with that letter and write then down by it.
Not only is this exercise an excellent mental workout, it’s a great way to refocus your mind on positivity and action rather than the difficulties in your goal.
5. Keep a progress journal (cliche, but it works!)
This last one is my favorite. Because I am a writer and am obsessed with office supplies, I basically keep a journal for everything. When I’m working on a particularly time consuming goal, I always find a cute little notebook or journal to carry around with me. That way, when I’m having a hard day, I can write down how I’m feeling to help me process through.
Even better, when I keep a journal for my major goals, I am also able to write about the good days and major victories I’ve had. Reading back over these entries is especially motivating when I’m having a hard time remaining focused and motivated.
Also, and this could be really fun, if you like to write, think about that little day dream we talked about with Tool #1 and visualizing success. You could take some time to write out a “short story” of sorts describing your life after having achieved your goal, combining visualization and journaling for a double whammy in refocusing.
I have used these methods countless times, sometimes multiple times a day and in combination with each other. With these as tools, I’ve lost 35 pounds and am well on my way to reaching my goal weight before my 30th birthday this summer. They work! At least for me. So, give them a try and, please, tell me what you think! Also, as per usual, if you have any other suggestions, I’d LOVE to hear them. I’ll give them a try and just maybe you’ll be featured in a future post! I look forward to hearing from you.