Welcome to our new “Coach Me” series. Each week, our resident life and career coaches will answer questions from readers. To submit yours, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm 49 and I didn’t grow up learning how to be motivated to do things like make goals in life, [but] I believe it is never to late to start your life. I just don't know how to start doing the goals that I set. How and where do you begin? —Sarah S.
It’s never too late to start…everyday is a new beginning. This is the perfect attitude to get you started. Kudos, you’re already on the right track! Identifying new goals is easy, but turning them into a reality can be overwhelming. Take a deep breath and use the framework below to create what you want.
- Make it inspiring. When setting a goal, make it clear and comprehensive. For example, instead of saying “I want to save money,” ask yourself: “How much money will I save, by when?”, “What am I saving this money for?”, and “How will it feel to see that money in my savings account?” The answers to these questions become an inspiring goal to reach for, keeping you motivated to stay on track.
- Do something small right away. Have you ever set a goal, then done nothing about it? Instead, when you define your goal, ask: “What step can I take right now, that would take less than three minutes?” Quick action will create the necessary momentum to get you on your way.
- Get community. Without support or accountability, it’s easy to get discouraged and make excuses. Whatever your goal is, join or create a community to inspire and motivate one another. Want to run a marathon? Find a running club. Want to build a business? Create a community of entrepreneurs. Community is key.
- Find someone who’s done it. Getting help from someone who understands can shortcut your path to success. If you want to learn to sing, you can hire a vocal coach. If you want to pay off debt, you can speak to a debt consultant. Or, if you don’t want to make the investment, find a book or class that lays out a plan, then use your community to help you stay on track. You can always course-correct, but only if you’re on course.
- Keep it simple. We try to implement too much at once, we get overwhelmed and quit. Instead, integrate just one or two new habits every two weeks. For example, if you wanted to get more physically fit, you might start by stretching for five minutes before bed and taking the stairs instead of the elevator each morning. Make it easy for yourself to “win” each week, and you’ll find the confidence to keep going.
- Savor every step. Let’s be honest — if the process is grueling, you’re more likely to quit. Just because someone wants to lose weight, it doesn’t mean she has to eat food that tastes gross. Find a way to make the process as enjoyable as possible. If going for your goal feels as good as achieving the goal, you win just by staying in action. Celebrate every milestone, and savor every step.
Nisha Moodley is the founder of FIERCE FABULOUS FREE , through which she takes women on incredible adventures to create a clear vision for their future, and design their lives and work to align with that vision.
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