Goals...Why Not Stack the Odds? ~ by Marj Ivancic

photo courtesy of pexels.com
For many years, I subscribed to a variety of health-related magazines because I enjoyed learning new exercises as well as tweaks that I could make to my eating habits and daily practices to improve my overall wellness.

Interestingly enough, the more I read, the more it became clear that those articles weren’t just teaching lessons about weight loss and diet. They were instruction manuals for how to make a change in one’s life and, perhaps more importantly, how to sustain that new model. The principles they shared are guiding tenets meant to keep the practitioner grounded and moving forward.

#1 BE FORGIVING
You are going to have setbacks, times when your plan isn’t working
photo: greatergood.berkeley.edu
or when an unexpected roadblock is thrown in your way. This is not a prediction; it’s a fact. Acknowledge this at the beginning of your journey so that when it happens, you are prepared to some degree. You don’t have to beat yourself up over it. Reflect on it, learn from it, but then check it off the list and move on.

#2 START SMALL
Very few things compare to the feeling you get from achieving a goal. It’s a rush of pride and excitement that thrums throughout the body. So why make them impossible to capture? You know yourself better than anyone else does. You know what you can and cannot handle. Break up your long-term goals into pieces that are realistic and attainable for YOU. Short sprints of action can be daisy-chained together to become long-running success. And even if one of these links break, the setback is significantly less of an impact because it’s just one tiny piece in a larger effort.

#3 HAVE A PLAN, BUT BE FLEXIBLE
Go into the journey knowing what you’re getting into. Plan out
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those small steps and set goals within goals. Understand the dependencies between them all. And remember guideline #1; think about potential failure points and have a plan B workaround for when surprises happen. Aim to be a step ahead of yourself and your environment.

#4 MAKE IT VISIBLE
When something is in front of you, it’s pretty hard to ignore or forget. Keeping your goals where you’re reminded of them keeps you accountable and reinforces both your successes and the work yet to do. Some folks like to go public with their goals; friends and family can be great motivators. But that approach doesn’t work for everyone nor is it the only step to take. Little things, like putting inspirational pictures, articles and quotes where you’ll see them on a regular basis—the fridge, the bathroom mirror, above your bed—can make a big difference between success and failure.

photo courtesy pinterest
Obviously, nothing can guarantee success. Life is one big poker table, and each goal we set is a gamble. But if the four steps listed above can help hundreds of people lose weight and eat better, why can’t they push the odds in your favor for the other bets you make in life?

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