Set yourself up to avoid failure.

You're wanting to reach all these new goals you've made, but did you make one of these biggest mistakes? People struggle with developing self-discipline by trying to make too many changes at once, or by making those goals way too large. Either of these approaches can lead to failure. Here's four ways you can kick start reaching your goals and be sure to avoid failure.

  1. One at a time, please.

    An example of too many goals at once might be: quit smoking, go on a diet, exercise regularly, build a successful business, and get out of debt. These are all excellent goals on their own. However, if you try to do them all at once, it is overwhelming and you will be finding yourself of the path toward failure long before getting the results you want. This is why resolutions rarely work out. Instead, focus on one goal consistently until it becomes a habit, before tackling new goals.

  2. One step at a time.

    Say you choose to quit smoking, since it has the highest negative impact on both your health and finances. Spend a couple months getting rid of cigarettes by using nicotine patches as help. Once you have quit smoking altogether, move on to the next goal on your list.

  3. Bite-sized, baby steps.

    You may find changing your diet or exercising more to be really overwhelming goals because they are so large. Another tactic, break them down into smaller goals. Instead of just all high-calorie foods at once, you could cut your full-sugar soda intake in half this week. Then the next week you cut it out completely. Make one small change week by week, you may find it easier to stay in control for the long haul.

  4. Watch the speed limit.

    Another way you can break it down is by intensity. You want to exercise more, but you haven't exercised in years. If you start with something like a full-length, high-level workout, you may get too sore or get injured and not be able to exercise at all. Instead of going all out, you can start by doing mini-workouts at a lower intensity for a few days. Then, over time add more minutes or reps to your workout until you reach at least 20 to 30 minutes of activity. You can also increase the intensity and length of your workout as you get stronger and in better shape.

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