I originally posted this December 1, 2014, but I thought it would benefit a few to read about how I have changed my thinking about goal attainment and changed my life! This is the “formula” I use to achieve any goal in my life. I hope it helps you too!
I have talked in previous posts about the unspoken “laws” of the universe. That if you determine what you desire and ask for it, determine what you are willing to sacrifice to achieve, have faith, persevere, get organized and execute, you can reach any goal and live your dream(s). I know this formula works because I have experienced it for myself. And now I need to apply it once again.
In recent months I have not been as mobile and I’ve been a little lazy, which has resulted in me carrying around a few extra pounds. So I decided to use my recent weight gain as an example of how to take action to bring about change. For many people, starting with something easily attainable is the first step in creating positive forward momentum.
Imagine a homeless person. They may dream of living in the penthouse of a luxurious downtown high-rise, but achieving that dream probably starts with getting a bunk in a permanent shelter and finding steady employment. For some, the first step might be getting your finances in order and stop wasting money in order to pay down debt (and the one I recommend if you are frivolous with your resources)!
For others, it might be learning to read and write. For others maybe learning a second language. You get the point. Start with something that will help you get the ball of positive energy moving. Okay here goes…
- The first step is to determine what I desire and to state it with exactness. “Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything”, Napoleon Hill. So my desire is to lose 15 pounds by January 31, 2015. Losing 15 lbs will put me in my target weight and is an attainable goal. It is specific and has a specific timeframe assigned to it. To simply state that I want to lose weight is not good enough, not specific enough and sounds too much like a hope or wish. On the other hand, to say I want to lose 45 pounds by December 31 is not only unattainable, but also unhealthy. In this step it is crucial to state exactly what you want while also being fair in the timeframe.
- Step 2 is to determine what I am willing to sacrifice to achieve my goal. As we learn in life, nothing comes free and so it is with achieving goals. So for me to reach my goal I know I have to give up sweets, soda, fatty foods, junk, etc. Also, I must sacrifice some of my time and add to my daily schedule some element of physical activity. So I am willing to sacrifice eating sweets, drinking alcohol, miscellaneous junk food and will sacrifice time twice per day to walking to what distance I am able. It does not matter if I only walk a tenth of a mile, twice daily. It only matters that I do it. You must know what you will give up in order to get.
- Now, having faith in this instance is a little easier than most as I already understand the science that if I burn more calories than I consume my body will do its job and burn fat. Faith is not hoping, believing or wishing, but knowing beyond doubt that somehow things will come to pass. You may not know how, when or where, but you know it will happen. So even though I don’t know all the particulars about physiology, I do have faith that if I burn more than I eat I will lose weight. And I know this no matter what anyone says to me and I focus on the process and know that my body will do its job. In other instances, with more lofty desires, faith will be of utmost importance. Imagine if your desire was to become a millionaire or own a home and live in the Caribbean or travel to outer space!
- Next is perseverance. Dictionary.Com defines Perseverance as “to maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.” As we have all experienced it can be difficult to make good food decisions when you are not at home. When I am out-and-about and Wendy’s is calling my name to stop and buy a #3 Combo Super Sized with a sweet tea, I must persevere. When the donut shop has the “hot and now” sign flashing, I must keep on driving! Developing an all-consuming, persevering attitude can be a challenge for some, while it may come easier for others. Nonetheless, having a burning desire to achieve your goal and persevering is a must to finding success.
- The next step is crucial: get organized! To help me reach my goal I have determined that I am going to consume 1600-1800 calories per day and use an app to track my intake. I am going to use SkinnyTaste recipes to ensure that my food is well-balanced, low in fat and healthy. This will also help me develop a shopping list so I avoid buying the wrong types of food. These recipes will also help me cook healthy meals that taste good. My research revealed that tasty recipes will be crucial to my success. I have determined through online research that I need to eat three meals per day and have 3 snacks per day, with nothing consumed after 7:00 pm. I also need to drink between 7-8 bottles of water per day. My exercise schedule will consist of 2 walks per day, one in the morning and the other in the late afternoon. I have decided that I will clean out the refrigerator on Sunday evening and fill it with the items from my shopping list. My plan will be implemented on Monday, December 1. I gathered all this information by simply using search engines. Once I had the information to help me reach my goal, I formed it to my needs and wrote it down in the family log book (Evelina had the idea to have a book with a pen, so that we could write shopping lists, cleaning lists, thoughts, etc. for the family. It is kind of like our family sticky note). If you notice, the “get organized” part takes a lot of background research and work. During the planning stage I must anticipate any obstacle and determine a way to overcome. This is the part that a lot of people are too lax and it plays a major part in failure. Ever heard the old adage, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail?” I would dare to say that most failures can be traced right back to the “get organized” stage, followed secondly by “perseverance.” So during this stage of work, take your time, do not rush through, cover all grounds and leave no stone unturned. Do not begin to try to reach any goal until you have a specific, well researched, well-developed plan.
- Now that all the prep work is done, it is time to execute! Now I take all my planning and I write it down in a short paragraph and I will commit to reading my mission statement every single day. This step is vital! It will become my personal mantra for the next 2 months. It reads as follows:
My desire is to lose 15 pounds by January 31, 2015. To reach my goal I will sacrifice eating sweets, junk food, fatty foods and sodas. I will also sacrifice my time twice per day and commit to walking around my neighborhood. I will eat 1600-1800 calories per day, consisting of 3 meals and 3 snacks and will never eat after 7:00 pm. I will track my caloric intake each time I eat with a mobile app. I know that if I execute this plan and consume fewer calories than I burn that my body will do its job and burn fat. I will commit to this plan no matter how bad the junk food cravings get nor what other people say; I will persevere!
This mantra becomes my mission statement for the next 2 months and I will read it everyday until then. In order to achieve your goal you must develop a burning desire for what it is you want and refuse to quit no matter what!! Remember, “desire is the starting point for all achievement.”