Now that you know your reason, or reasons, for setting out on this journey, and you know where you stand today at Square One, it’s time to set goals. Real goals, specific goals. Just waking up one morning and saying, “I want to be healthy,” or “I’m going to start eating good,” won’t cut it. If you don’t take that next step of formulating exactly what you intend to achieve, and how you’re going to go about it, then you’re aimless and less likely to succeed. Because you won’t have defined success for yourself. How will you know when you’ve arrived?
Formulate not just one goal, but several: long, medium, and short-term goals. Your goals don’t have to focus on the number on the scale – it can be your blood pressure, your pants size, or completing an event like a 5K race. A great goal could be: this month, I will work out at least three days per week. I will skip the Mountain Dew and drink water instead. These baby steps add up to your larger goal. Do you have to overhaul your entire life, throw out all the food in your pantry, get a new job, buy a new wardrobe, rewire your entire brain right away? NO! But you can take small steps and create interim goals, now, to build toward your Ultimate Goal.
The more thoughtful and mindful you are at the outset, the easier time you’ll have of it. You don’t want to wade into the water without a plan. I wasn’t always mindful – that came later, after I tripped over a bunch of stuff, suffered setbacks, got lucky and figured things out the most backwards way possible. But without the early stumbling and fumbling, I wouldn’t have learned what I did, how I did, so it turned out okay. I wasted time, though, along the way.
Learn from my mistakes, then, and plan your journey, step by step. Know that you’ll change direction, so you’ll want to be flexible. You’ll discover new things, and the old priorities might not apply anymore. Be ready for surprises, and take every day one step at a time.