Plan for a Simpler Life
There is so much information available about achieving goals, but how to determine what your goals are is seldom touched. Life seems so predetermined for some people, but others are just taking it one day at a time. When this latter group finally realizes that life is going to be so much simpler if they have a plan, it can be like an artist without inspiration looking at a blank canvas. It’s easy to say brainstorm, but not if you don’t have an idea of how to begin.
The first way to get an idea of your goals is to sit down with a pad of paper. Yes, they have to be written. Write down different aspects of your life, e.g. family, career, home, hobbies, exercise, nutrition, finances, spiritual, etc. Now, you have a starting point. Pick one where you would like to see change. To realize change, you must currently know where you are. On a fresh sheet of paper, clear your mind and write down everything that comes to mind about the chosen subject, both good and bad. For example, a list for exercise might contain no time, bad weather, gym not close, don’t like, only play team sports, out of shape, feel good after, sleep better, reduces stress.
Sort the ideas into similar categories. The weather and distance to a gym are out of your control. Like going to the dentist or doctor, very few people like to exercise; it is just a necessary part of life. The trick here will be to find an exercise or sport that you can tolerate or learn to enjoy. Perhaps being out of shape is what is really causing the dislike. Scheduling might have to be rearranged, but we all are capable of making time for things that are important to us. The three latter items on the list show that it would be beneficial to all aspects of your life to find the time to exercise regularly.
Beginners may set goals that are too easy because they fear failure, but without a challenge, it is easy to drop a goal that seems unnecessary. Goals should be slightly out of grasp, but still achievable with work. If getting and staying fit is your goal, then it is now a priority. It may mean waking an hour earlier, which will be easier once you establish a routine. Your goal needs to be precise and positive. An out-of-shape person’s goal may be to run a marathon, but doing it next month is unrealistic. Smaller, doable goals such as “I want to drop 15 pounds of fat over the next three months and increase my muscle and endurance level to run three miles” will take work, but is realistic.
Once a person gets into the goal-setting mode, it is easy to want to redo every aspect of life at once, but success comes with integrating small changes into one’s life over a long period of time. Remember, determine the area that you want to change first, make it a priority, and write down a positive and precise mission statement for your goal. By systematically reworking different areas of your life, changes will be easier and more permanent.
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