GOALS

Pushing boundaries, exploring new areas, and moving forward keep us happy. And while there’s a place for end goals, research shows that the thrill of starting something new and loving the process provides the most fulfillment and is the key to staying motivated long term. 

  1. Think small. Focus on everyday behaviors instead of long term achievements. This will give you an ongoing feeling of success. The problem with long term goals is that success and happiness are on hold until you reach that point. But process goals focus on specific behavior you can achieve today, so you can create more immediate success and happiness. 
  2. Pretend you have already made a change. So, if you want to get fit, ask, How would I act if I was fit? This approach reveals the habits you can work on building. But it also let’s you enjoy taking small steps. Let’s say you can’t exercise one day. If you are working toward a goal, you might brush it off as a bad day. But if you are building the identity of someone who never misses a workout, you might do something- even 10 push ups! You are more likely to to feel energized by taking small steps that add up to a big change. And you are less likely to skip another day and eventually quit. 
  3. When working toward your bigger ambition, take action on the one thing you are doing in the present moment. In fitness, -Focus on this one exercise you are doing right now! Instead of taking on all the work required for what’s ahead of you, deal with the single thing you are doing. Think of each moment as an opportunity for discovery and victory. There is no bad or good; there is simply action and growth. If we are constantly living for something in the future, we will never be fully present. 
  4. Start strong. Embarking on a new project is empowering and exciting. A single bout of exercise lowers insulin resistance- so you improve metabolic health after one session and it gets better from there. Let yourself welcome the feeling of post exercise fatigue and temporary discomfort. These reflect adaptive physiological responses that have been triggered by that first bout of exercise. Over the time they will become more of a comforting reward, knowing that you have started a process that will lead to many health benefits.