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Got Goals? 4 Tips from Real People That Achieved Real Goals

Got Goals? 4 Tips from Real People That Achieved Real Goals

    As an alternative to posting the hackneyed advice of self-proclaimed life coaches and storytellers (e.g. Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, etc…), I thought I’d collect and share advice from real people in the mySomeday community that achieved real goals.  In the past, they admitted to having issues with finishing what they started.  “So, what was different this time?”, I asked.  Although they all agreed that building a detailed step-by-step Plan was essential, each had a unique aspect to that Plan that kept them motivated.  Here are their tips.

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    1.  Break It Down

    Maia was determined to get out of credit card debt but was daunted and occasionally paralyzed by the enormity of the goal.  She decided to break down the path into clear, achievable steps and discovered that checking off smaller to-dos generated real momentum.  These small flashes of progress kept her head in the game and allowed her to continue to believe that the goal would someday be reality.  Maia is convinced that taking the time to break down the path into incremental steps made the difference for her.

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    2.  Picture It

    Globehound turned 40 and decided it was time to go back to the future and get back in shape.  To stay motivated, he strategically placed unflattering pictures of himself in various places next to images of people he’d like to emulate.  This ‘in your face’ approach worked wonders.  Whenever he felt lazy or was eyeing that bag of Doritos, he’d take a quick look at the pictures and the urge was squashed.  Now that he’s back in shape, he posted before and after pictures of himself as a constant reminder of a place he does not wish to return.  Globehound was adamant, this visual anchor located in a prominent place had a profound impact on his ability to stick to his plan.

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    3.  Broadcast It

    Christine wanted to change careers.  She knew it for a long time but it wasn’t until she shared this goal with friends and family that she started to make real strides.  Knowing that others were watching and rooting for her proved to be just the motivation she needed to continue to check off steps in her plan.  She used the ‘Share’ option on the  Someday page and broadcast her intentions to her Facebook Wall.  It profoundly affected the accountability factor by adding social pressure and expectations to the mix and Christine says it was just what she needed to make the move from consulting to fashion.

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    4.  Make It About Something Bigger Than You

    A4S4L4 had run a half-marathon before but she was feeling a bit unmotivated this time around.  Someone suggested that she make someone else the beneficiary of her efforts.  She built a plan to run a half-marathon and included a charitable partner.   Knowing that her efforts would do good beyond personal satisfaction gave her a real sense of necessity.   If she was in a rut, she would visit the charity’s website and suddenly her laziness felt insignificant.   She claimed that adding this one element shifted her entire perspective and gave her massive amounts of motivation.

    Got any stories or motivational tips?  Please share.  We’re always looking to incorporate new elements into our site to increase the motivation and accountability factors.

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    Last Updated on November 18, 2020

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
    Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

    1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
    2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
    3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
    4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
    5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
    6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
    7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
    8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
    9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
    10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
    11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
    12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
    13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
    14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
    15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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