Friday, January 18, 2013

Setting Your 2013 Goals, Part II

Last week, I talked about setting SMART goals for yourself.
But, as everyone who's ever made a New Year's Resolution knows, setting a goal (even a really SMART one!) isn't enough to ensure you'll ever achieve it.
Here are some tactics that have worked for me in making consistent progress on my goals and resolutions.  I'll stick with the "3 servings of veggies a day, 5 days a week" example, but obviously you can use these tools for any goal.
  • Explore - Probably the reason you aren't eating enough veggies is because...well, you really don't like veggies that much. This was my story.  I tried a bunch of different veggies (and different prep thanks to a husband who cooks well) and in the end found a lot of veggies that I love!  Be willing to try things that you aren't familiar with, or haven't liked in the past - you may be surprised at what you end up enjoying!
  • Get real - No matter how great your willpower, it's REALLY tough to motivate yourself to keep doing something you hate.  In the midst of finding out I loved bell peppers, asparagus, and brussels sprouts, I also realized I will basically always hate mushrooms, broccoli, and eggplant.  For a while I would try to make myself eat these veggies out of duty, but I realized I could focus instead on the ones I DO like now so I'll be excited about what I have on my plate.
Chipotle salad? Yes please!
Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus - YUM
  • Break it down - Every goal requires a lot of mini steps.  To eat have to buy veggies and prep veggies.  I found grocery stores I liked and in the summer went to farmer's markets on the weekend.  I had a loose meal plan of how I'd work the veggies into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or snacks.  When I could, I would pre-prep veggies on the weekend so they'd be easier to eat during the week.

  • Get help - Tracking down recipes or reading tips on blogs made a big difference for me.  I also realized that some weeks were busier than others, so I would pay a little extra for pre-cut celery or sweet potatoes or squash.  This cut down on stress and energy and was so worth it!
A lot of great pizza recipes can be loaded with veggies
  • Write it down - Track track track.  I have a Google Docs Spreadsheet I've been using for 2.5 years to track my workouts.  I added a section to track how many veggies I was eating.  It's motivating to see consistency!
  • Phone a friend - And don't pick that friend.  You know.  The one who's kinda in the same boat you are and so "keeping each other accountable" turns quickly into making each other feel okay that you decided to slack off on your goals.  Find someone who's a few steps ahead or who can show you some tough love.
  • Don't be a perfectionist - Miss a day or two?  Think big picture and remember the point.  Don't feel like you're a failure...recognize that it will be tough to keep to your goal, but ultimately the point is all the progress you've been making.  Celebrate your successes!

Do you have tips on sticking to your goals?

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