Choosing a new goal is never the hard part. This might be why the changes you want to make feel just out of reach, despite appearing easy to accomplish. Many times we set goals that are so far beyond our comfort zone they’re too distant to work toward. But if you didn’t reach for a habit or action outside your comfort zone, it wouldn’t be a goal for change, right?
Here is where the delicate art of goal setting comes in. Luckily there’s a tip for turning around any failed diet nearly 100% of the time.
Set goals you’d be embarrassed to miss.
Imagine your goal as a foundation upon which you’ll build more and more good habits and, more importantly, a feeling of accomplishment. The easiest way to build this foundation is to set goals that will actually happen.
Take, for example, the “Five-A-Day” mantra that’s been promoted by various health organizations for nearly three decades. You’d think that eating enough vegetables and fruits to satisfy it would be easy, right? Not so fast – a recent report by the CDC concluded that only 1 in 10 Americans gets the recommended daily serving, and that INCLUDES potatoes prepared as chips and fries.
With that in mind, how confident are you that you could start eating five servings of fruits and veggies a day? It’s only 3 cups worth of food, so what’s the big deal? The answer depends entirely on how far that goal sits beyond your comfort zone.
If a goal you choose is close enough to your comfort zone that you’d be embarrassed to tell a friend or family member you failed to hit it, you’re in the right place!
The biggest benefit to these goals is the immediate feeling when you DO achieve them. That’s the kind of motivation that will keep you going. Here are some great examples of “too-easy-not-to-hit” goals:
Eat 1 piece of fruit every day • Walk 5 minutes before work • Pack a lunch • No pizza for a week • 1 meat free dinner a week • 1 serving of veggies before every meal • No take-out Tuesdays • Switch to 0 calorie drinks • Grocery shop and cook 3 times a week • Buy groceries in bulk • Keep a food diary for 3 days • No eating in the car • Substitute healthier cooking oils • 1 strict day per week • No carbs after 7pm • Skip alcohol on weekdays • Learn and cook 1 new recipe per week.
So what’s a too-simple-to-miss goal you could set today? Tell us about it! It only takes 21 days to make a habit stick, so even if you’re starting from zero today, you could be standing on top of your newly built foundation before you know it.
Up Next – Mastering Meal Planning Part 7: Keep Chugging Along! (Tips to Make It Work)