A new year means new goals. But this year, it’s time to try something different by setting ones that can be achieved and followed through.
Shawn Marie Cichowski, the owner of WNY Life Coaching Center, said when goals are more realistic, they’re more likely to be successful.
"People have these big ideas of like losing 30 pounds and then they go gusto and then they can't maintain it, so where we want to break it down [is] to everyday goals, so that long-term, they can be successful," Cichowski said.
She suggested thinking of why a goal has been sent can help a person stay motivated.
"A lot of times, we don't find the intention behind it, they set like 'I just want to lose weight,' ” Cichowski said. “You're focusing on the scale, but let's see what's behind that. What is it you want for yourself? Do you want to feel good, do you want to want to be healthy? Do you want to be more active?”
Once intentions have been established, make visual reminders to help keep those goals front-of-mind. Even if small changes are made every day, those are steps toward keeping those goals within reach.
"Don't underestimate that little small change and sticking with that,” she said. “We create rituals; rituals become habits. We're all creatures of habit, so we try to develop new healthy habits.”
If one day goes by without making a move toward a goal, don’t give up entirely. Finding people to hold you accountable like a partner, personal trainer, or life coach will help keep a person on track.
Progress toward any goal starts with mindfulness and coping with stress.
"Now that we're all interconnected 24/7, there is more of a gravitational pull to take us away from our goals,” she said. “When stress kicks in, most people kind of abandon their goals or what they want for themselves.”
Whether choosing to disconnect and take time out to go for a run, meditating, or even just reading a book, starting simple will help achieve now and in the future.