The most effective way to start each Sunday morning is to set goals and strategize for the week. What is it that you want to accomplish? What actions can you take to get there? How can you improve yourself, your health, and your happiness in the upcoming week? By mapping out your goals and the specific actions you can take to achieve them, you’re setting yourself up for not only a successful week, but a you’re setting yourself up to realize your dreams. Just thinking about things you want to accomplish in life is incredibly uplifting and creates positive energy. Who wouldn’t want to start their week on an inspiring note?
How many times have you spoken with someone who is talking about something they're passionate about and you can literally hear the excitement overflowing in their voice? How did that make you feel? Happy? I spent the first 23 years of my life wishing for that kind of desire, that I could find that niche that would fill me with such passion and powerful energy and for me, it's health & fitness, but it can take many years before you realize what it is you want to do, let alone act on it.
My goals make me excited to wake up each day; I was never a morning person, but now I cannot sleep past 6 A.M. because I know I have milestones to meet and big, big dreams that make me genuinely ecstatic to begin each day. My entire life I’ve generally had the same goals in mind, be healthy and have a successful career. But what does that even mean? What did that look like for me? Those are great questions because the truth is, even I didn’t know the answers to them. When envisioning my future, it was so unclear, and I didn’t act on my goals because I hadn’t even figured out for myself what it is that I actually wanted. This is not a productive way to live your life and will not move you in the direction of happiness, or move you at all, really. Merely thinking of things you want will not get you the end results.
Here are my top guidelines for setting goals that motivate you throughout the week:
Decide Exactly What You Want
Goals are not wishes. Goals are not illusions. Goals are not fantasies. A goal is specific and clear. A goal is something that is broken down into bite-sized, obtainable fragments. When asked about their goals, people often respond with wanting to be successful in their career, fitness journey, etc. But what do you mean by successful? What does this ‘successful’ life look like? An example of a bad goal is simply to lose weight. Okay, great, you’ve identified a desire of yours, but you’re setting yourself up for failure by not specifying how much weight you want to lose, when you want to lose it by, and what you’re willing to give to get there. A better goal would be, “I want to lose 5 pounds this month by exercising 3 times a week.” By breaking it down into smaller pieces, you’re more likely to hold yourself accountable because you have specific intentions and specific milestones to meet by specific dates.
Determine What You’re Willing to Give to Achieve It
Success does not form overnight, and it most definitely does not form on accident. Achieving your goals takes time, hard work, patience, and maybe even some emotional breakdowns here and there. You will have good days and you will have bad days, after all, we are all human, but when setting your goals, you must 100% commit to them otherwise your goal really isn’t a goal at all, it’s merely a wish. Persistent hard work is key.
Your Sunday Homework:
Envision Your Dream Life. In 5 years, if you were living your ideal life, what exactly would it look like? What about your career? Your health & fitness goals? Your relationships? Dreaming is fun, especially once you realize that you have the potential to make it your reality.
Write It Down. What are your goals, specifically? What is it that you want to achieve? Put it in writing. You never know, you may find yourself writing things that you’ve been meaning to accomplish for years, but keep putting on the back burner. For each goal, write down exactly how you’re going to achieve it. Depending on the depth of your goals, there might be a 2-page list of actions to take just to achieve that one thing. I can’t be the only one who loves being able to cross things off of my to-do list; it’s especially satisfying when it’s a milestone you’ve surpassed and are inching closer to realizing your passions.
Set Deadlines. This is crucial. Mapping out the blueprint for your goals will dramatically increase the likelihood of you following through with them. Deadlines will serve as an accountability factor. But, be sure to…
Be Realistic. Setting goals that are far-fetched, like losing an obnoxious amount of weight in a short time period, is just setting yourself up to fail. And what happens when we fail? We get discouraged. And what happens when we get discouraged? We stop putting in effort and ultimately give up. Failure to meet your goals is inevitable at times; we have to try things in multiple ways to find what works for us. Especially when taking your first steps, it’s so important to be realistic about what you’re working towards. That’s why I highly recommend breaking your goals up into milestones instead of focusing on that one end result.
Organize & Prioritize. Remember that list you made of your goals? Now organize it! Those goals should be put in an order determined by the priority level you set. If you could automatically achieve one thing from your life right this second, which would you pick? Start with that one.
Take Action. You’ve set your goals and have determined the price you will pay to achieve them. Now take action. Ready, Set, Go!
A great rule of thumb to live by is to never let a day go by where you’re not moving closer to your goals. Time is precious so each and every day should be utilized to its fullest potential. Make it a habit to go to bed satisfied with the strides you’ve made in the past 24 hours.
Now, this list is not all-inclusive, but I can tell you that these guidelines are a great place to start. Writing down your goals is tremendously inspiring. This list is something you must keep up with each week by checking off completed action items, adding milestones, and making appropriate adjustments as needed. Find what works for you. Each Sunday, start your morning with a big cup of coffee and assess your goals.
Remember, you are the architect of your own life. Everything that you do or don’t accomplish is the result of your own actions. If you are willing to build on and improve yourself and work systematically every single day towards your goals, you will experience change and create an exceptional life.