There’s this two-word mantra I once heard that I am now using daily to help keep myself and my clients on track with health and life goals.
That inspiring mantra is: “Always something.”
Sounds super simple, I know, but nonetheless incredibly motivating for me. The way I look at it is that I should at least accomplish one small feat every day. That usually is just something that is on my daily “To Do List,” and is usually something pretty mundane and small, such as cleaning out the junk drawer. Even still, it feels glorious to set something as a small goal and accomplish it by the end of the day.
As a Holistic Health & Lifestyle Coach, I get paid to help people set goals around their health and wellness. One thing I see time and time again is that many people set their initial goals too high, and consequently don’t achieve them, and so end up feeling discouraged and defeated in the process.
For example, I commonly see people—who haven’t even signed up for the gym yet—set a goal of getting there to exercise five times every week. While that isn’t impossible, most people don’t come close to reaching it—ever—because they are missing one key ingredient.
The real failure is that they did not break down their lofty goal into more doable, achievable steps, and commit to that “always something” mindset.
That might look something like:
- Signing up for the gym, scheduling specific gym days and times in their calendar, and setting phone reminders.
- Packing a gym bag the night before and placing it by the door so they can grab it on their way out to the office that next morning.
- Starting to take 15 minutes to stretch daily or do mini workouts in the comfort of their own home.
The key is to break big goals down into smaller steps so that they aren’t so overwhelming that we FAIL to even START working on them. Then, when we conquer these bite-sized goals, it builds our self-confidence and helps to keep us motivated.
I know what you might be thinking: but *GASP* what happens if you fail to achieve even one of those small steps? What, oh what, will you do then?!?
Welp, just go ahead and break down that step into an even smaller goal, such as:
- Try 2 minutes of stretching today.
- Do 5 jumping jacks before dinner.
- Do 10 sit-ups—right now.
- [Insert whatever bite-sized goal works for you.]
Yup, that’s right. It’s kinda like a version of the Matryoshka nesting dolls, allowing space to be a smaller version of the whole, but still connected in essence.
What tends to happen with this approach is that when we break things down enough for ourselves, we not only meet the goals—we actually exceed them.
So those 2 minutes of stretching transforms into 10, or those 5 jumping jacks turn into 30 every day, etc.
In another example, you want to start eating healthier so you decide to start cooking at home more often. If you’re having trouble attaining a goal of meal planning for the upcoming week, break that sh*t down even further.
So instead, the goal might be:
- Just carving out some time to create a grocery list.
- To pick up some healthy snacks at the store to take into work.
- Find a couple new recipes to try over the next few weeks.
You see how easy that is? You’re still working towards your goal of weekly meal planning, but you’ve just turned down the volume a notch. And if you don’t hit your small step, ya keep breaking it on down until you do! Now doesn’t that take some of the pressure off? (Phew!)
If you really want to make healthy lifestyle changes by creating goals that stick, this is a great way to do it, folks. So go ahead and start small—hey, even exceptionally small, no judgment—but start TODAY.
And when you have a bad day or get a bit off track with your goals, instead of beating yourself up about it, just remember two magical words:
So now it’s your turn: what goals are you wanting to focus on at this time for your health or life? How might you then break that down into smaller steps so it’s more doable? Leave a reply below!