How to Set Goals That Stick

January first is just a few days away, and if you are anything like us you are probably sitting down and celebrating what went well for you in 2021 and what you want to improve in 2022. But before you start making that list check-out our tips below so that the goals you have for 2022 actually stick around for the long term. 

Start Small

What often happens is we dive into too big of goals with too many restrictions, and we get overwhelmed and quit before we start making any real progress. Instead, we encourage you to think on the smaller side when it comes to your goals. This does a few things. First, it helps you get a win under your belt which gives you motivation to keep going! If you change your 30 pound weight loss goal to losing 5 pounds, when you hit the marker you will feel excited and motivated for the next 5 pounds. Second, it helps show you that you have what it takes, and to just keep going! Diving into something too big too soon can feel daunting, and then we give up and then don’t ever want to start again because we failed the last time. Instead, when we start small we get motivation from the tiny wins and accomplishments. 

Start Where You Are

Starting where you are goes hand in hand with starting small. The tiny habits that we choose everyday add up to who we become weeks, months and years from now. So, if one of your goals is to start eating healthier, but right now you eat fast food twice a day and enjoy a nightly ice cream treat, going straight to weighing and measuring everything you eat or doing a Whole30 may be too big of a jump. This is again so that you can feel like your goals are something you can accomplish. When you start to set your goals, first take an honest assessment of where you are actually at. You can even loop in a friend, spouse, or your coach to help you honestly assess where you are. Do you want to get in better shape for 2022 but only workout one time a week? Focus on upping it to two times a week, and then when that starts to feel easy you can bump it up to three. Remember, when it comes to fitness and nutrition, slow and steady wins the race. Consistent daily habits add up quickly and can change your life forever! This idea can be put to use in other areas as well. Want to get more reading done in 2022? Instead of blocking out an hour in your calendar, simply read for 10 minutes instead, then you can add more time as the habit becomes more ingrained into your everyday life.

Focus on the Process

We like to help our athletes focus on the process, rather than the outcome. So for example, if someone wants to lose 30 pounds, while that is their ultimate desire, we encourage them to focus on the daily habits that will help them achieve that goal. So instead of having a big looming goal of losing 30 pounds, they have small daily goals that they know they can accomplish in order to get to their desired end result. We can use this mentality by switching from, “I want to lose 2 pounds every 2 weeks, “ to, “I am going to workout every weekday and measure my protein intake everyday.” This also helps us not get too bogged down when we don’t have a great day. We can move on and do better tomorrow, because we are just focused on what we are going to do today rather than the looming end result that we desire. We can also apply this to wanting to have a more tidy house. Rather than say, I am going to keep my house clean and clutter free in 2022, set some daily habits you can do to achieve that goal like, “Everyday I am going to do one load of laundry and do 10 minutes of pick-up when the kids go to bed.” This way you have daily habits that will add up to your end goal. 

Find support!

This may be the most important part of successfully achieving your goals–to find a community of people to support you when the going gets tough. For some of us this may just mean getting our spouse on board. For others it may mean telling a few friends and getting a team of people to do it with you. For others, it may look like talking to your coach, hiring a 1×1 nutrition coach, joining a gym community, etc. Whatever it looks like for you, you need to find your tribe. Being surrounded by like minded people will help you when the going gets tough and give you more motivation to keep the habit going long term. 

BONUS: Change Up Your Environment

This concept comes from James Clear in his book Atomic Habits and is also something that we have found lots of success with in our own lives. Ever heard of the expression “you are the product of your environment”? Well, it is so true! Changing up the way your kitchen is rearranged, what is in your pantry, where you eat your dinner, where you keep your books, or what grocery store you go to can have a huge impact on your behavior! If you always stop at Starbucks on your way to work and know that stopping that habit will benefit both your wallet and your waistline, change the route you drive! If you want to stop the after dinner snacking, turn off the TV and go upstairs to read instead of binging your favorite show. If you want to read more, move your books to a more accessible chair or add a reading lamp to turn that dark corner into your happy place. These examples could really go on and on, but the key thing is that if something isn’t working for you–change it! Mix up your daily environment to help make achieving your goals easier!