Physical Activity

How To Create An Action Plan To Achieve Your Goal (Even if you failed in the past!)

Change sucks. Whether you’re trying to build in more balance, boost your business, or stop binging on brownies, we can always find reasons NOT to take action. In my work with clients (especially women), I find that activities relating to self-care and prioritizing one’s own needs are often the most challenging. For most, we’ve been conditioned to put others’ needs ahead of our own. Carving out time for ourselves can feel scary or like we’re a selfish slacker.

It’s easy to find a million reasons not to take care of ourselves. Our excuses often outweigh our motivation to create change. So today, I’m going to walk you through a common self-care goal and show you the exact system I use to create any type of lifestyle change. This system not only addresses the obstacles that held you back, it also helps you to create a motivating plan for change. So, let’s get to it.

GOAL: MEDITATE FOR A MINIMUM OF 5 MINUTES EACH DAY.

Step 1. Get clear on the benefits of your goal and what you’ll achieve.

This step is all about your “What & Why.” In other words, why is this change important to you? What do you want to achieve and what will that feel like? It’s not enough to focus on the textbook benefits, you need to go deeper and find what it means to you. For example, meditation has A TON of well-documented benefits including:

  • less stress
  • better sleep
  • improved physical & mental health
  • more energy
  • better memory

But that’s not going to get you to meditate. Why? Because it doesn’t create a clear visual of what you’ll achieve and how you’ll feel. Take it one step further and tap into what you’ll use those benefits for. For example, “Adding in 5 minutes of mediation each day will help me to (decrease my stress which will help me to) not flip out when my boss asks for a project update.”

Step 2. Address your personal obstacles.

These are the internal reasons that held you back in the past.

  • I stopped meditating because it’s frustrating. I couldn’t get my mind to stop wandering, so I gave up.
  • I don’t like being still. Feeling my feelings makes me want to reach for my phone and distract myself.

Writing out what previously held you back will stop the amorphous, unnamed fears from sabotaging you. And, it will help you to create a plan that addresses these challenges moving forward.

Step 3. Block out time to take action.

This step is crucial. It isn’t enough to focus on the internal obstacles that keep you stuck, you need to focus on the external. Why? Because we tend to procrastinate the things that are new and uncomfortable. We wait until we magically “find time,” rather than actively making time.

When a client tells me “I want to meditate, but I’m too busy,” I know their time management skills don’t support the life they want to create. The key to making a habit stick is to determine when and where it will happen in your routine. For example, if you’re committing to adding 5 minutes of meditation in the morning, visualize how it fits in with your current routine: “Every morning I brush my teeth, wash my face, meditate for 5 minutes, eat breakfast, etc.”

Step 4. Create your action plan.

To do this, draw on step #1 to get clear on your EXACT goal and why it matters to you. Look at the obstacles from step #2 and figure out how you’ll respond to each. Block out time and space (using your calendar or alarms as necessary) to incorporate it into your current routine. Go into as much detail as possible to ensure that when the time comes to take action, you aren’t scratching your head.

 

Step 5. Track Your Accomplishments.

Whether it’s creating a chart or using an app, celebrate each win. Be sure to acknowledge your progress and how far you’ve come!

 

To Review:

  1. List the benefits, how you’ll feel, and what you’ll achieve.
  2. Get clear on the personal obstacles that previously held you back
  3. Mange your time
  4. Create a detailed action plan
  5. Track and celebrate your success

The Takeaway:

To achieve new goals, you must be willing to try new things. Rather than using the same methods you used before and then beating yourself up for getting the same results, create a plan that draws on what didn’t work to propel you forward. Remember: how we do anything is how we do everything. Use these steps to troubleshoot the changes you struggle to make. And if you need support, I’ve got these 3 options for you. So go out there and take action!

How to Stay Motivated When You're Not in The Mood To Do Anything

January is my busiest time of year. Yup, there is a “busy season” for those of us in the self-help world. Why? Because over the holidays individuals either:

a. Take stock of what isn’t working
b. Eat themselves into a coma
c. Something in between

Then the New Year rolls around and people have a sudden I-want-to-kick-ass-at-life type attitude that floods my inbox and warms my soul.

Yet as January rolls into February, most of us start to get a case of the “fuck-its.”

  • Bootcamp turns into beer night.
  • Saving money turns into spending freely.
  • Meditation turns into masturbation.

I get it. I’ve been there.

Most of us have a hard time of maintaining the motivation we started the year with. That once shiny feeling of stepping into our potential often becomes a feeling of dread, destroying both our self-trust and our gym membership.

As a coach, it’s my job to hold clients to their highest vision. That means in those moments when their fears, self-doubt, or Netflix account are calling their name, I remind them of the reasons why they wanted to stop playing small in the first place.

Today, I want to share the tool I use with clients to make things stick. The tool I personally use every time I want to make a change that requires me to step out of my comfort zone. It isn’t fancy because like all the best tools, it’s simple, quick, and foolproof.

I’ve attached a free worksheet for you to download. But before you skip ahead, there’s one key thing you need to know:

YOur chances of achieving Your goal are only as strong as Your reasons to do it.

What does that mean?

If your goal is “to eat healthy,” you’re not going to do it. Why? Because that is a lame-ass boring goal.

But, if your goal is: “to eat healthy so that you feel great, have more energy for fun things, stop wasting money on takeout, and save money for your upcoming vacation” you’re way more likely to achieve it.

Why?

Because your reasons to push through your discomfort are compelling, time-sensitive, and motivating.

When you have good reasons, you're armed and ready for when the couch calls your name, you’re scared of failure, or your old fears pop back up. All you need to do is review your list of why your best self wants you to get off the couch.

The time to motivate yourself isn’t when you’re feeling shitty. It’s now.

It’s simple:

  1. Come up with reasons why achieving your goal gets you to where you want to be.

  2. Come up with reasons why not achieving it so far has held you back.

  3. Look at your list often.

The Takeaway:

Get good reasons and then build your motivation muscle.

Download the worksheet here

Are you struggling to motivate? What's getting in your way?
Share with the Community in the Comments Section below!

Q & A Thursday: How Do I Stop Comparing Myself to Others?

comparison.jpg

Question:

Hi Amita,

"As unhealthy as it is, I can’t seem to stop comparing myself to others. Whether it’s how successful they are, what they look like, or even how many “likes” they get on Facebook. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t seem to help myself. How do I stop?"

 

Answer:

They often say "Comparison is the thief of joy." In actuality, it's an act of violence.  We choose to believe that we are in lack and that others are living these amazingly abundant, kick-ass lives. But the truth is that we have no clue what’s going on behind their trendy Facebook check-ins and perfectly put together outfits. All we see is what others show the world, which is rarely their truth. 

Generally, we put forward only the parts of us that we feel others will validate or think is best. (This is why you never see a Facebook picture of what people look like first thing in the morning!) We continue to propagate a vicious cycle where everyone fears vulnerability, comparing our real lives to the fake lives of others. We even go so far as to internalize “likes” as validation of our unreal life, telling us to “keep up the act.”

And it’s no different in our professional lives. We tend to feel that if one person gets an opportunity, it has removed that possibility for us. Our feelings of lack make us believe that there is only a finite amount of resources to be had. Looking at others who have what we want, we compare our works-in-progress to those who are further along.

But it’s time to stop all the emotional cutting.

 

Here are 3 tips to stop comparing:

1. Stay Present & Honor Your Journey.

There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Everyone had wins and losses that brought them to where they are right now. Make a list of your big wins that you never thought you could achieve (leaving a job you didn't like, creating a website, starting a business, etc.) Whenever you feel self-doubt, go back to that list and see all the amazing things you achieved that you never thought you could.

2. Dare To Be Vulnerable.

People want your authentic self, not your photo-shopped selfies.  What is one thing you can share with the world that is your unique and true self? Do it. Be known for being real, not perfect.

3. Use Comparison To Learn.

Realize that the comparison is not about the other person, but a tool to tell you what you want in life.  It isn't that you want that person's life, career, etc. Don’t confuse inspiration for jealousy. Why not reach out to the person and tell them you admire them? Ask them to tea and learn more about their journey. You'll be surprised at what you'll find.

 

How do you stay present and stop comparing? Share your story in the Comments section below!