Throw out your big goal
Last month, I gave you some ideas on how to create a self-care routine that rocks your day. If you took that to heart (which I’ve heard many of you have! YAY!), then you’re going to totally love this. Read on, gorgeous!
Over the past several years, I have completely fallen in love with the process goal-setting, but what most hindered me from achieving my goals was not breaking them down enough. I would have this massive idea, but not act on it, because it seemed too daunting. Have you ever felt that way?
If you breathe air, I’m sure you have.
Please allow me to tell you a little story…
When I was in graduate school, I watched a looooot of Netflix to relax. I wanted to read more, (and read for fun!). Initially the idea of reading for the sake of reading felt, well, torturous, but it was something I knew would be better for me than rewatching Gilmore Girls for the one-millionth time. So grabbed several ideas for good fiction books (especially WWII historical fiction!) to check out from Goodreads, got a library card, aaaand…listened to audiobooks!
Initially, I knew I wanted to actually read the books. You know, to hold it in my hand and actually be able to turn the page, but at the end of each day, I felt exhausted, and I never picked up an actual book.
Audiobooks became the alternative way for me to achieve my goal of reading 10 books in a year. In fact, I was driving so much to my clinical practicum, that I actually listened to all ten books in one semester!
I felt I had achieved something, and I wanted more!
So the following January, I set the goal of reading 20 books that year, to include both audiobooks and hardcopies. I ordered a used copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People, and devoured it. This ignited the flame to read as many personal development books as possible, and ultimately became my favorite genre. (Here are a few of my favorites!)
That year, I read all 20 books. Half personal development, half fiction. Almost all were audiobooks.
The following year, I read 30 books. About ¾ personal development and ¼ fiction. About half were audiobooks.
My goal this year is to read 30 books again, but to make the majority actual books instead of audiobooks.
So what was the point of this story?
I didn’t start out forcing myself to read a bunch of personal development books. I began with something easy, and I loved it so much, it became a habit…one I could build on.
When you break your big goal down to easy, manageable tasks, and develop consistency, you can then build on it, and before you know it, you’ve achieved your goal.
When I set personal goals, I have the tendency to break them into categories. For my personal goals, these tend to consist of the following areas: mind, body, and soul.
Currently, my big goals in these three areas are as follows:
MAIN MIND GOAL: Read 30 books this year: 18 hard copies and 12 audiobooks.
MAIN BODY GOAL: Compete in my first bikini fitness competition in May.
MAIN SOUL GOAL: Journal a bit each day.
What habits or objectives have I created or am in the process of creating to support these goals?
MIND HABIT: I read between 5-10 pages a day of a book, and listen to books instead of music in my car.
BODY HABIT: I prep my food on Sundays, and schedule my workouts for the week, forming non-negotiable “appointments” with myself.
SOUL HABIT: I (try!) to write just one page for 60 days consistently in order to make it a habit. (When I have completed this and established that habit, I will add another half a page.)
So what are your main goals, and how will you break these into attainable habits?
For inspiration, here are 25 things you can do to nourish and flourish your mind, body and soul. You can pick just one to focus on, or one from each area. The point is to simply get started doing what you can with what you have where you are right now in order to create a better you tomorrow.
Not big on goal-setting? I hear you! Try to incorporate a couple of these into your day/week/life for a bit of self-care!
25 healthy habit ideas to nourish and flourish yourself to your bigger goals:
1. Take a technology Sabbath.
Pick one day of the week, preferably a weekend, stay offline. You'll be amazed at how much lighter you'll feel when you completely unplug for a bit!
2. Read a little.
You’ve already heard my thoughts on this! Whether it’s 5 pages before bed, read a bit of something each day.
3. Get up when your alarm goes off.
Instead of reaching for your phone and snoozing (or scrolling through Instagram like I do!), get outta bed! Go wash your face, make your coffee or tea, and voila! You suddenly have time to journal and meditate and read in the mornings, thus starting your new morning routine!
4. Limit screen time.
Similar to #1, you can do this daily by limiting your screen time (the time you spend on your phone or computer). I find this is most helpful in the evenings to decompress after a long day at work. Another benefit? You'll sleep a whoooole lot better, too!
5. Listen to a podcast.
There are so many good podcasts out there, and you'll be amazed at what they can do for your mind! When I do cardio, I turn on a podcast, and have found I'm more motivated than when listening to music!
6. Watch a TED talk.
I'll be honest here, I haven't gotten into TED talks too much yet, but I certainly want to! This will be my next healthy habit to create!
7. Learn a new language.
There are lots of great apps that make learning a new language into a game! It's a fun way to challenge yourself and grow!
8. Play Sudoku or do a crossword puzzle.
I really enjoy doing crossword puzzles when traveling, but I know so many people who do these daily to challenge their minds!
9. Read the news.
So perhaps this one isn't always the most uplifting, but it is important to know what's going on in the world. I subscribe to TheSkimm, which delivers me a condensed version of the news to my inbox each morning!
10. Read an inspirational blog.
11. Prep your food for the week.
do all your grocery shopping (or have your groceries delivered if your store offers!), and pick a day to prep your food for the week. Cook your meats, cut up your produce, and put in convenient to-go containers to make staying healthy throughout the week easy-peasy!
12. Go for a walk.
One of my most favorite parts of the day is walking to check the mail after work with my husband and my dog. I often enjoy walks alone, too, when I can either be with my own thoughts, pray, or listen to a podcast. You could also go for a jog…or if you’re anything like me, “wog” (walk-jog…or a veeeeeery slow jog!). Want to amp it up a bit on the treadmill? Try this 20-minute burner!
13. Get in a quick workout!
This year, I’ve began incorporating stretching in the mornings, as I often sit for work. It helps get my body limbered and prepared for the day ahead!
15. Dance, dance, dance!
Nothing beats dancing around your house like a fool! Give it a try! I even dance when I vacuum the house (which, trust me, isn’t too often, but it makes it so much more enjoyable!).
16. Try a yoga challenge.
Whether this is doing a couple of sun-salutations in your living room for 2 weeks, or a 30-day yoga challenge at a studio, give it a shot! You’ll feel ahmayzing afterwards!
17. Get in a little non-running cardio.
Hate to run? I hear ya! Plyo, Zumba, spin, or HIIT are some great alternatives to try in your routine. Need some inspo? Check out this 15-minute HIIT workout, as well as read about some of the benefits.
Everyone from Oprah to Time Magazine is talking about this one lately, and that’s because of its proven effectiveness at calming your life and excelling at your goals.
New to the whole “meditation thing”? Set your timer for one minute, or pick one song (I use my "Keep Calm and Meditate" playlist on Spotify) and sit still. Say nothing. Do nothing.
I often combine my meditation with prayer and visualization, as well as internally stating gratitudes and affirmations. I realize this isn’t technically “clearing” my mind, but it is a great way to center and get focused on what fuels me most.
19. Give thanks…more than just one day a year.
Thanksgiving isn’t the only time of year we need to be thankful. Start your day off on a happy note by listing off at least 10 things you are grateful for. Need an extra challenge? Write them down, and come up with 10 different ones each day for a month!
20. Get to writing.
If you’re like me, you’ve got a collection of blank journals you bought because they’re so darn pretty and irresistible. So get to writing! Even just a couple of lines each day to start out can help you gain clarity and focus in your life.
As I mentioned above, I often turn to prayer during my meditation time. I used to have a hard time praying, as I would become distracted and lose focus, and I didn’t feel like I was connecting with God. So I began incorporating a more “interactive prayer”, where I use visualization and meditation with my prayer, visualizing myself walking in a garden or along a beach with God, telling him about what I am most thankful for, what my goals are, and asking for guidance and direction.
22. State affirmations.
I was not much of a believer in stating daily affirmations until about a year ago, and while I am not extremely consistent in stating them each day, I notice a huge difference in my attitude toward myself and the world when I incorporate them. Being consistent in stating my affirmations will certainly be a future goal!
23. Visualize it to actualize it.
I’ve touched on this a few times already, but I firmly believe utilizing visualization to gain clarity and get focused on your goals. I recommend creating a “vision board” or “action board”, and placing it somewhere you can see it each day, and making sure your take time to really visualize with all your senses what it feels, looks, smells, sounds like when you achieve your goals.
24. Get outdoors.
Whether it’s for a brief walk for a few minutes each day, make time to clear your head and liven up your soul by spending time in nature. Instead of checking your mail from your car, maybe try getting in the routine of walking to get it each day.
Helping others is good for the soul. Plain and simple. So perhaps your small objective could be to volunteer with people or animals just once a month or once every other month. Spending time helping others allows you to walk in more and more gratitude each time you do it.
What are your new goals and objectives?
I would seriously LOVE to connect with you and hear them. Message me or comment on Instagram, and let me know!
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