3 Non-Negotiables for Reaching (Im)Possible Goals
Reaching goals requires change. But change is hard. Making changes that stick can be even harder. If you aren’t happy with your current wellness and have a strong desire for things to improve so you can serve yourself and your loved ones better, changes that stick are necessary. I have discovered three secret, non-negotiable keys to make lasting change a reality.
Here they are:
- The Right Mindset
- The Right Plan
- The Right Accountability
Non-negotiables are requirements for success. As you read, consider which of these areas may need your attention or implementation. Let’s take a little time to discuss each one in order. Because the order is important. If you don’t have the Right Mindset, nothing else will fall into place.
1. THE RIGHT MINDSET
No change will happen if your mind isn’t set on the right things. You must banish self-defeating thoughts. How you think about your situation dramatically affects your outcome. People can have the same goals, but the right mindset brings success. For example, you could say, “I am trying to lose weight so I can’t eat that,” or, “Eating that doesn’t go with my healthy self.” See the difference in perception? One statement focuses on external drivers while the other declares who you are.
Here are a few strategies to help you change your mindset:
- Move from victim to victor. You have to declare your victory over this already. You are already who you want your future self to be. You just have to go through the process to get there. For me, this is where calling myself a “warrior” comes in to play.
- Reword your language. To help the right mindset stick, speak words that confirm your success and your new healthy life. Be excited. This is your beautiful life!
- Know your true why. Why do you want the future self you desire? This is personal and the thing that will drive you to stay on track. I discuss this in more detail in my blog 5 Simple Steps to Creating Sustainable Habits.
- Surround yourself with an encouraging tribe. Friends, family, what you view on IG and FB, music you listen to, books you read, etc. Get rid of the negative, false, and graceless messaging.
Consider writing down your current mindset regarding your wellness goals. Then, write down the new mindset you need to have. Cross out the negative thoughts. They are no more. Circle the new. They replace the negative. You may have to work on your mindset everyday. Get out of bed with thoughts of victory every single day! You could even put affirming sticky notes on your mirror to read while you brush your teeth.
Once you make a mindset change, the next non-negotiable is establishing habits. But we’re not going to focus on the big goal first, instead, we’ll tackle small habits as part of the Right Plan.
2. THE RIGHT PLAN
If you have struggled with success, it may be that you haven’t been using the best system to set yourself up for victory. The Right Plan focuses on habits rather than goals and taking time to plan and prep. Let’s break down each part of these.
GOALS TO HABITS
Goals are achieved by creating habits that support the outcome you ultimately want for your future self. So, consider your goal... whether it is weight loss, decreased blood pressure, reverse diabetes, feel better, prepare for a sporting event, take more time for self, have more energy, etc… make a list of all the habits you need to develop or change to get you to your goal. Makes these specific.
Here are some example habits:
- Eat 2 fist-sized portions of veggies with every meal
- No snacks after 8 p.m.
- Walk 30 minutes 5 days/week
- Take 1 minute to deep breath daily
- No electronics after 9 p.m.
You may even need to start smaller than those listed above and then increase over time. For example, if working out 30 minutes five times a week is too daunting, you might consider starting with 10 minutes two times a week for the first couple of weeks, then increase.
I don’t recommend starting all your new habits at one time. That is overwhelming. It stresses me out just thinking about it! Pick one or two and focus on those for four weeks. Let them become habits and then once you have mastered them, add something new or increase the intensity of these habits. Again for the next two to four weeks. Maybe longer. Overnight change - it ain’t happening! You must have realistic expectations that take us back to mindset. That may be the one you need to change.
I am a firm believer that there is always room for healthy habits, no matter how busy your life is and the best way to ensure this is to plan and prep.
PLAN AND PREP
Goals, habits, and change don’t just happen by thinking about what you need to do. No matter how much we wish this was the case, we all know it doesn’t work that way. You have to create a plan for it. How will you practically implement these habits into your life?
If you think your life is just too busy, I dare you to make the time in your schedule. Just try it. Refocus your priorities. Your mindset shift will help you with that. If it matters to you, you will make the time. Just like we discussed in the habits section above, you may want to start small.
I have worked with plenty of people who thought their schedule just couldn’t accommodate healthy habits. That is unfortunate because your health is so much more important than your agenda. When these clients took a few minutes to plan and prep for the week, scheduling the necessary time on their calendar and refusing to change it, they realized they had the time. Now, they can’t imagine their week otherwise. So I just dare you! Plan what you need to do. Schedule the time to do it. Every week is different, so I recommend weekly planning to see what you need to prepare in order to establish your habits and achieve your goals.
Here are some ways people plan and prep for the week:
- Take 30 minutes on Sundays to make salads for lunches during the week
- Make sure workout clothes are ready and packed the night before
- Set a phone reminder to take a break
- Look up one new recipe to try each week
Now that you have refocused your mindset, picked your habits, and planned and prepared for a week of success, let’s not let all that effort go to waste. The cherry on top to ensuring success is having a system of accountability.
3. THE RIGHT ACCOUNTABILITY
Accountability can be tricky. Coming up with an accountability plan means you are REALLY committed, you REALLY want the change. Without a system of accountability, you could fall off the horse and not get back on because you don’t have a driver to push you back or keep you where you need to be.
Accountability can come in different forms and you have to pick what will work best for you. Some suggestions are:
- Simplest: Create a calendar or check sheet to mark your success.
- Social: Post your goal on social media along with your progress.
- Group: Get a group of friends and work out together or join a group.
- Friend: Share your goals with a family member or friend who you will support you.
- Hire: Get yourself a coach.
Setting up an accountability system may sound a little nerve wracking. It makes me nervous because I can’t back out of the habits I am trying to create. Although it may seem like you are restricting yourself, you may just find it can be freeing to openly share your challenges and have accountability support.
So there they are - the three non-negotiables for reaching your health goals so you can feel good and overcome your previous struggles and challenges.
If you have tried in the past to create change, which one of these three non-negotiables was missing? Which one do you need to implement now to achieve your goals for your future self?
I have a tool to help you implement these steps. The best tool for creating sustainable healthy habits, The Warrior Approach Guidebook walks you through how to set up these 3 non-negotiables for yourself.
I have a tool to help you implement these steps. The best tool for creating sustainable healthy habits, The Warrior Approach Guidebook walks you through how to set up these 3 non-negotiables for yourself. If you are looking for a coach to keep you accountable with these non-negotiables, I can help you. Schedule a 20-minute complimentary call with me to discuss your goals. We can work one-on-one.
Overcome like a warrior!