Take Your First Step to Achieve Your Ultimate Goal

At some point in our lives, we’ve all set out on a path to reach a goal. Whether it’s to lose weight, complete a project, or simply spend more time with family and friends, we’ve all had a desire to achieve success. Some goals may be more difficult to attain than others, but all goals, whether short term or long term, start by actually wanting to achieve it.

We fall into habits easily, and struggle to change them. If transforming a bad habit into a good one was easy to obtain, you’d likely already be doing it. To reach a goal requires extreme determination and focus, as well as support from yourself and others. Remember back in high school how difficult it was to study for exams? That’s because most of us would have prefered to be doing something else more fun with our time. Studying was something we were forced to do, which made it a task we didn’t necessarily want to do in the first place. It made it difficult to stay focused on the task.

The same concept holds true when we’re thinking about changing habits. If you want to quit smoking, you need to truly commit yourself to wanting to change your current lifestyle or you’ll set yourself up for failure before you even begin. Once you take that first step, you’ll start to feel more confident with yourself, and with each day from then on as you inch closer toward your goal this confidence will continue to increase.

Remember, don’t do it for nothing

Regardless of the goal you’re trying to achieve, to increase the success rate of sticking to it, remind yourself why you’re doing it in the first place. A healthier lifestyle will give you the opportunity to continue going out and doing the things you enjoy doing. Becoming more socially connected to others will give you greater joy in spending time with your family. If you’re doing it simply for the sake of doing it, you’ll lack the motivation to stick to a plan and lose sight of your goal along the way.

Don’t risk health to achieve your goals

Many overachievers tend to run on the treadmill of workaholism. Someone trying to receive a promotion might be the first to arrive at the office in the morning and last to leave at the end of the day, going above and beyond to impress their superiors with an end goal to further advance their career. But what do these extreme circumstances do to our health? Overworking ourselves increases stress and anxiety, while making us more vulnerable to physical health concerns like high blood pressure and poor eating habits. Our actions also affect others. We may sacrifice social connectivity with friends and family, a necessity for our well-being, creativity, and health. If you find yourself in this situation, take a step back to examine your plan and processes. Are your milestones too aggressive? Can you achieve the same effects in a different way that doesn’t sacrifice your health?

Find support from others

Those who set out to achieve their goals with the support of others are often more likely to stick to them and succeed. At some point, you’ll have a bad day. You may want to give up, and throw all your hard work away because you’re frustrated with your results. But having someone stand beside you, whether a friend, a spouse, or an online support group, will give you the encouragement to keep going. They’ll put you in the right mindset to stay positive and help you pull through when you’re struggling. Finding the right person for this role can be challenging, since we all look for different ways to cope. This person not only needs to support your goals, but be willing to dedicate the time and effort to help you archive them.

If you feel like you’ve failed, don’t be harsh on yourself. We all make mistakes, but it’s how we rebound from them that makes all the difference. It may take a little longer to reach your goal, but it’ll be worth the wait. It’s all right to dial things back if they’re getting out of control but don’t lose sight of the reward. Remind yourself again why you set out to achieve this goal, and how these negative thoughts you’re experiencing now may affect your overall success in the future.

Need some help turning negative thoughts into positive ones? Try Thought Tamer, a Total Brain exercise to help reframe the way you think and challenge negative thought patterns.

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