Category Archives: Effective Goal Setting

Effective New Year’s Resolutions: Sharing Your Goals

Over the last week, I have talked about how to create successful New Year’s Resolutions so that by this same time next year you will be among the 8% who actually accomplish their New Year’s Resolutions and not the 92% who wonder what if.

The resolution I am sharing with you today was created with the same progress I wrote about on previous days: being specific, crafting a plan, and creating a support network.

  1. Living a Healthy Lifestyle
  • Create and Stick to High Protein, High Fiber Diet      (Non-Negotiable)

i.     Modified Bob Harper

  1. Drink only water and one full glass before each meal
  2. Eat a real breakfast (egg whites, no added sugars, no bacon etc.)
  3. Eat protein at every meal (about 60-70 grams per day)
  4. Eat 30-50 grams of fiber per day
  5. No Refined Flours & Grains, Fast, Fried, or late night foods
  6. Limit Carbs after Lunch ( eat ‘lean & green’ at night)
  7. Read labels and know true proportions
  8. Eat vegetables every day.
  9. Go to bed early
  10. Allow one splurge meal every two week
  • Continue to workout at least 30 minutes a day

i.     Sunday:                  P90X Chest and Back (60 mins)                                     [Gym]

ii.     Monday:                 Insanity Pure Cardio (40 mins)/Abs (20 mins)         [Dorm]

iii.     Tuesday:                P90X Shoulders and Arms (60 mins)                            [Gym]

iv.     Wednesday:         P90X Core Synergistics (60 mins)                                   [Dorm]

v.     Thursday:              Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit (45 mins)              [Dorm]

vi.     Friday:                     P90X Leg & Back [40 mins]/Abs (20 mins)              [Gym]

vii.     Saturday:               P90X Stretch (60 mins)                                                      [Dorm]

I shared with you one of my resolutions because the last lesson I want to leave you with is the power of telling someone about your New Year’s Resolutions. For more on why sharing your goals works check out these past articles:

Writing Down Your Goals

Public Commitment 

Exercise:

Share your Effective New Year’s Resolutions with someone.

If you have any comments, suggestions for future topics, or want write contact me at findmymotivation@gmail.com.

My blog is updated daily. Come back tomorrow for another article.

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Effective Resolutions using Support Groups

Over the last few days, we’ve talked about setting effective resolutions, forming plans, and today will want to talk about how to stay motivated. Today’s article will be shorter than most because most the what I want to discuss has been written in the past.

With all of my goals, I always use support groups and networks.Undoubtedly, having support groups have been the key to my success in the past. Having people support me through my goal and keep me on track when I lose focus has made my goals possible.

If you don’t know what they are or want a refresher check out these articles:

Support Networks

Mentors

Getting Feedback

————–

Exercise:

Form your support networks

If you have any comments, suggestions for future topics, or want write contact me at findmymotivation@gmail.com.

My blog is updated daily. Come back tomorrow for another article.

Merry Christmas (and Part 3 of Effective New Years Resolutions)

Merry Christmas everyone. I am on my way to spend Christmas with Tina’s family and then with my own family, but before that, I want to continue our discussion on setting effective New Year’s Resolution.

The main problem is that when people set resolutions (or even better, setting effective resolutions) this is where they stop. They simply think that writing down their goals and having positive thinking will be enough to accomplish their resolutions. The thinking is that eventually they will have time to work on their goals. While writing down your goals and having positive thinking helps, you also need a plan to accomplish your goals (they don’t accomplish themselves).

A good plan for completing your resolution should include

  • Clear Objectives (see yesterday’s article)
  • Plans on how you will accomplish your objectives
  • Deadlines (if you don’t have an idea of what you are working for, you will be easily frustrated)

I will use one example from yesterday, which was to “Spending More Time with Family”

First is to have clear objectives:

  • Spend one afternoon per week with family

Plans for accomplishing Objectives

  • Block out 30 minutes every Thursday before bed to plan activities
  • Turn off cellphone, disconnect Wifi during family time
  • Make sure everyone is there

Deadlines

  • Start first week of January (as soon as New Years Begin)

This is just an example of the type of plans you could have.

For more details about forming resolutions with plans that help you accomplish your goals, click and read on my past articles:

Planning

Planning Fallacy

Exercise:

Start thinking about plans for your resolution

If you have any comments, suggestions for future topics, or want write contact me at findmymotivation@gmail.com.

My blog is updated daily. Come back tomorrow for another article.

 

Effective New Year’s Resolutions

Today is the first article on forming effective New Year’s Resolutions. More specifically I wanted to talk about how to pick effective resolutions. Effective Resolutions should be worded specifically and have clear objectives

Today I will also use three of the most common NY Resolutions and discuss how they could be made more achievable by being specific and having objectives.

  • Lose weight
  • Spend more time with friends and family
  • Learn something new

Be specific. General and vague goals give you no direction and with no direction you will be overwhelmed and easily discouraged. You do not have to be exact to the decimal point, but at least have an idea of what you want.

  • Lose weight – How much weight do you want to lose?
  • Spend more time with friends and family – How much more time do you want to with friends and family?
  • Learn something new – What do you want to learn (language, online course, real estate, etc.)?

Having Objectives. You need a way to gauge the progress you have made on your resolutions. Below are some examples.

  • Losing at least 20 pounds – How will you accomplish this? Having a Paleo diet? Going to the gym three times a week?
  • Spending Sunday afternoon with family- How will you make sure you have time for this? How will you make sure you can make this weekly?
  • Learn French- How will you learn French (Rosetta Stone? Online course? Books? Pimsleur? Etc.) How will you measure how much French you have acquired?

These are just some things to think about as you craft your New Year’s Resolutions. Be clear and have measuring points.

For more tips about goal in general. Check out some of my older posts:

Tomorrow I will continue with how to form plans to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions (for long-time readers, this will be review; for new readers, be prepared to learn some of the best secrets of successful people).

Exercise:

Start thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions.

If you have any comments, suggestions for future topics, or want write contact me at findmymotivation@gmail.com.

My blog is updated daily. Come back tomorrow for another article.

Starting New Year’s Resolutions

This is my favorite time of the year. It is a period to spend with family and loved ones, celebrate the end of another year, and to prepare for the next.

Aside from the plethora of food, warm hugs, and gifts, I like to take the last week of the year to think ahead to what I want to do next year. Much of what I want to accomplish comes in the form of New Year’s Resolutions.

Having New Year’s Resolution gives you direction and idea of how you want to shape your future. Remember back to the analogy of the motor and the compass: by having resolutions you set flexible expectations for yourself.

The easy part is having resolutions, in fact about 86% of Americans begin a New Year with at least one resolution. The hard part is sticking to them; only about 8% of those who start with a resolution actually completely them by December.

If you’ve read my blog, you know I am about setting goals and seeing them through. Over the next few days, I will talk about crafting your New Year’s Resolution to increase your chance of accomplishing them, creating a plan to complete your resolutions, discuss common problems about staying motivated and how to overcome them, and bringing everything together on the last day by sharing with you one of my resolutions for 2013 using the same method.

I hope you are as excited as I am for the next few articles.

Exercise:

Think about what you want to accomplish in 2013.

If you have any comments, suggestions for future topics, or want write contact me at findmymotivation@gmail.com.

My blog is updated daily. Come back tomorrow for another article.

24 Hour Challenge

One way to see how you feel about a potential goal is to try it for a short period of time. During this trial period, you can determine if you enjoy it, see how important it is to you, and gain experience when you create a plan for yourself.

For today, I have a challenge for you. Create a goal for yourself. It only has to last one day. If you enjoy it, you can continue, if you not, then you can stop tomorrow.

Your goal can follow this format:

  • Goal:
  • Objective(s):
  • Plan:
  • Deadline: 24 hours

See how you feel at the end of the day.

Tomorrow’s guest writer is my friend Kathy, who will talk about how having even small goals and achieving them can make your day better.

Exercise:

Create a small goal for today and work at it. See how you feel at the end of the day.

If you have any comments, suggestions for future topics, or want write contact me at findmymotivation@gmail.com.

My blog is updated daily. Come back tomorrow for another article.

Have You Wiki-ed yourself lately? (Having a Mission Statement)

I use Wikipedia a lot. In fact, Google Chrome lists Wikipedia as my third most visited site (after Facebook and YouTube, but before FindMyMotivation). I guess my fascination with being able to look up anything at anytime in almost any language is one reason why my friends Leandro, Casey, and I created YaleWiki last spring.

One of things I (and most people) like to do is to use Wikipedia to learn more about a place, idea, person, object, or thing without having to search Bing or Google. I particularly find it fascinating to search up people whom I admire and inspire to be.

Reading other people’s their Wiki pages fascinated me so much that I came up with an exercise for myself. I would write my own private Wiki page, one where only I can see it.  The Wiki page exercise is simple, you can even base your page off anyone you admire. Think of it as writing out your own biography, but you are looking forward as well as backwards.

The purpose of this exercise to form my own personal mission statement: how is the type of person I want to be in the future? Things I asked myself were “what do I want to accomplish?” “When do I want to accomplish it”, and “how do I want to be remembered?”

By writing my private wiki-page, I found that certain goals naturally seemed more important to me and I could clearly see (or at least have an idea) where I want to be in the future.

The best thing about Wikipedia is that everything can be edited. So I won’t expect my page to stay the same even from day to day and either should you.

Exercise:

Write your own Wiki-style page.

If you have any comments, suggestions for future topics, or want write contact me at findmymotivation@gmail.com.

My blog is updated daily. Come back tomorrow for another article.

Have you met with a consultant? (Getting Feedback on your goals)

Credit to taylorpad212 of Flickr

One of the biggest favors you can do for yourself before you begin a goal is to get feedback. One of the worst feeling in the world is when you start something and half-way realize your foundation is wrong. This is like a business starting without a flawed plan, working out without stretching, or taking a class without having the right textbooks.

You can prevent foundation problems by creating a plan for your goal and then seeking advice. Before I begin a goal, but after I have developed a plan, I almost always ask for expert opinion to see how realistic my goal and how well thought-out my plan is; I use the term expert to mean anyone who has experience in what you want to do. The person who looks over your goal can be a mentor, a friend, or someone you trust to give you reliable, objective, and critical feedback on your plans. Sometimes I even crowd source my goal plan online to different forums.

I find there are three benefits to seeking feedback about my plans:

I discover holes in my plan

I don’t get everything right, sometimes I leave out details in my plan that would later come back and cause headaches. When I was organizing to start my Nigerian book drive, I forgot the detail of shipping costs, but luckily one of my supporters found a non-profit that handled that.

I receive realistic feedback

People suffer from the problem of sometimes being overconfident with their goal. This could involve underestimating how much time you will need to complete a goal, putting too much burden on yourself, or not tapping into a resource that might make your plan better.

I gain a future supporter(s)

The people who help me with my plan, often times will want to know my progress. In this way, I gain more supporters who will help me back up when I am down. I think of it as having one foot in the door. Since this person has helped me in the past they will be more willing to help me in the future.

Exercise:

Get feedback for your goal plan.

If you have any comments, suggestions for future topics, or want write contact me at findmymotivation@gmail.com.

My blog is updated daily. Come back tomorrow for another article.

The Compass or the Motor? (Work Smarter not Harder)

Consultant Steve Lawson likes to ask the following question:

“Picture yourself in the middle of the ocean in a small boat. You have four days worth of food, and you know an inhabited island is four days due north, but it is too overcast to navigate by the sun, moon or stars. Would you choose a motor or a compass?”

Although his question is meant for business professionals, it can also be applied to achieving goals.

When answering, most people will choose the compass; what is the point of having a motor if you don’t know where you are going? But, the same people when they set a goal, choose the motor. They work constantly to achieve their goal. When a problem happens (they lose their way), they keep going. Then they are disappointed when they don’t reach their goal. I am sometimes guilty of this as well. Sometimes I am impatient when it comes to starting my goals, I just want to get going. I think that if I take the time to plan, research, and talk to mentors, that it will take away time from working on my goal. And I miss out on potential progress.

This is the wrong mentality. My most successful goals have been the ones where I chose the compass: I listed obstacles, researched solutions, and took the time to slow down and analyze my progress. By choosing the compass, I was able to create a map of the goals I wanted to accomplish. But in the long-run you will take yourself. The motor will give you a head start but the compass will ensure you are going in the right direction. Work smarter not harder to accomplish your goals.

Tomorrow’s Featured Writer is Alex La Pierre, who will talk about working smarter not harder to accomplish your goals. Her article might be of interest as final exams approaches for those still in school.

Exercise:

For your current or the next goal, choose the compass. Take the time to plan your journey.

If you have any comments, suggestions for future topics, or want write contact me at findmymotivation@gmail.com.

My blog is updated daily. Return tomorrow for another article.

Happiness from helping others reach their goals

In a happiness experiment, psychologists gave two groups of participants $5 each. The first group was told to spend the $5 on themselves and the second group was told to spend the $5 on someone other than themselves. The experimenters then recorded how the participants felt after spending the $5, a week afterwards, and a month afterwards. What they found was that the people who spend the $5 on someone else were on average happier than the people who spend the $5 on themselves. The second group had higher levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that when released makes you feel good, in their brain.

When we achieve our goals, our body also releases dopamine, You will recognize dopamine being released when you near your name being called for an award or when you get a runner’s high. Dopamine makes you happy and when you see others being happy, your dopamine level increases even further (for proof, spend an hour playing with toddlers, see how you smile when they smile).

In a study conducted at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Carolyn Schwartz, a research professor, wanted to see if multiple sclerosis patients who receive monthly phone calls from fellow others with MS were happier. What Schwartz found was that while those receiving support were happier than those who didn’t receive a call, the real beneficiaries were the MS patients who made the call. In fact, those who called experienced dramatic increases how happy they felt about their quality of life—several times more so than those being helped.

Luckily, you can accomplish the same effect when you are helping people achieve their goals. As much as I enjoy accomplishing my own goals, when I see someone else realize theirs, I cannot describe the happiness we both feel. I talk a lot about using a support network to accomplish your goals, but by being apart of someone else’s support network you can also increase your own happiness. Later this month, I will talk more about how to help others achieve their goal by being a mentor, being a goal buddy, or being a supporter.

Exercise:

Do you know anyone currently working on a goal? How could you help them achieve it?

If you have any comments, suggestions for future topics, or want write contact me at findmymotivation@gmail.com.

My blog is updated daily. Come back tomorrow for another article.