How do you enjoy the summer, accomplish all that you want to do and maintain control over those areas you struggle with most? As always, to achieve goals you need to start with a plan. Whether you want to maintain your weight, tackle a sport, or begin a new relationship, summer success is possible with these six steps.
Step One: Re‐evaluate the previous summer. How did it go last summer? How did you handle things? Did you maintain the way you wanted to? Using the following areas we typically struggle with most, answer the following:
- Nutrition/Healthy Eating: How did you handle yourself with food? Did you do a lot of social/binge/emotional or mindless eating?
- Fitness/Exercise: How was your fitness? Were you motivated, did you enjoy your workouts and did you get the results you wanted?
- Stress Control: How did you handle stress? Who or what was stressful for you and how did you handle it?
- Emotional Health/Mindset: How was your emotional outlook? Were you as positive or optimistic as you would have liked?
- Relationships: Take a look at your relationships. Were they supportive, loving, nurturing or toxic and destructive?
- Personal/Spiritual Development: Did you grow personally and spiritually? What did you learn and were you living with passion and purpose?
- Business/Finances: How did you do with your business and finances? Did you reach your goals as far as the growth of your business, finances and career?
Step Two: Based on your re-evaluation, what do you want to achieve within those same categories this summer? Ask yourself the hard questions necessary for overcoming specific obstacles in your life.
- Do you want to lose excess weight?
- Do you want to eat healthier?
- Do you want to cook healthier meals?
- Do you want to food shop more effectively?
- Do you want to take more time to pre‐plan your meals and snacks?
- Are you ready to end binge or mindless eating behaviors?
- If you realize you didn’t take time for fitness, what do you want now?
- Do you want to create a more exciting workout?
- Do you need more motivation?
- Would a workout buddy or new exercise program help?
- Do you need a more effective outlet for better stress control?
- Do you want to learn to journal, meditate or to do yoga instead of eating or doing another destructive self-soothing behavior when you’re stressed?
- Do you want to become very familiar with the signs and signals that let you know that your body is under stress to prevent the wear and tear stress can cause?
- Do you want to become more optimistic, positive, change your perspective, become less serious and have more fun?
- Do you need to reset boundaries?
- Would you like a closer connection with your partner?
- Do you want stronger, more fulfilling and rewarding friendships?
- Did you reach your business goals last summer?
- Are you satisfied with how much money you earned?
- Do you need to make changes within your business, your team, your marketing, your services, products or strategy?
- Are you ready to commit to a daily habit such as reading something inspirational, leaning a new skill, starting your day with gratitude or meditation?
Be as specific as you can when answering so that what you want becomes clear and feels real – down to the very last detail. The more clearly you can determine what you want this summer, the more effectively you can create your plan to get there!
Step Three: Consider every obstacle you may encounter. This next step is crucial but often overlooked. Beyond money and time, delve a little bit deeper to see what might threaten your progress this summer. You may find fear, self-doubt and your current mindset to be the biggest obstacles of all!
Step Four: Create a strategy to overcome every single one of them. Once all obstacles are considered, give some thought to what may derail or sabotage you, then when faced with those obstacles for the first time you won’t fall off the track so easily. If you do get derailed, it won’t be the end of your success with a strategy in place for getting back on again!
Step Five: Set small, manageable goals based on what you want to achieve and the strategy you created to get there. Breaking it down into small, manageable goals will prevent feeling overwhelmed and encourage success. Each time you set a goal and reach it, you are building the confidence and motivation to continue. That’s not to say the goals should be small… make them huge! Just break them down so you will enjoy a sense of accomplishment along the way.
Step Six: Finally, how will you measure and track your progress? Will you monitor progress daily or weekly? What will be your reward? Will you reward yourself when you have reached a specific goal or handled something in a way that made you proud?
It is important that you determine, set up and implement your tracking and reward system, because this practice:
- Maintains motivation
- Validates progress
- Enables you to see what’s working
- Provides opportunity to “course correct”
- Creates the focus necessary for remaining on track
Ultimately, summer success is up to you!
While many things may be out of our control, the reality is this: our thoughts, behaviors and actions are things over which we have complete control.
Destructive behaviors only lead down a path that doesn’t work, while taking the steps toward creating new, positive behaviors brings one closer to becoming the person that’s been patiently waiting to be unleashed. As always, the choice is yours!
How do you plan to make this your most successful summer yet?
Photo from here, with thanks.