“People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking.”

Marie Kondo

‘Tis the season for goal-setting, making New Year’s resolutions, and refreshing our mindsets for yet another brand-new year ahead.

But before you announce from the tallest building, “This is the year I…!” (Fill in the blank…), take some time and think back on the goals you set the previous year. What goals did you achieve? What goals didn’t you achieve? And why? Be honest with yourself.

There are many reasons why we don’t achieve our goals, but here are some of the most common:

  • We procrastinate and lose motivation
  • We run into roadblocks or challenges that overwhelm us
  • We lose our focus
  • We forget the purpose of the goal, to begin with

6 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Goals

When questioning your goals, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Where is my life going? What is the direction where I’m headed?
  2. Does this goal still make sense?
  3. Will the end result or output add value to my life?
  4. Am I making progress? (Even a small amount matters!)
  5. What have I learned from the progress I have made?
  6. Is this still the right goal?

Whether it’s due to a lack of time, understanding, focus, or just life, we all lose sight of our goals from time to time. And that’s okay. This is why it’s important to take time to periodically pause and revisit your goals. This will allow you to make sure the goals you are working toward, or that you once made are still relevant to you, your life, and where you want to go. If they aren’t, it’s time to switch gears and possibly make new goals. This doesn’t mean you are giving up, it simply means shifting gears and adapting to life’s changes and challenges.

“The 5 Whys”

Above all, the most important question to ask yourself is WHY? The “5 Whys” is a common root cause analysis technique used in business, however, it can be applied to everyday life as well. After answering the six questions above, ask yourself WHY five times. Here’s an example:

Goal: I want to lose 5 lbs by January 13th, 2023.

  1. WHY: Because I have a photo shoot on January 15th, 2023.
  2. WHY: Because I want to add to my dance portfolio.
  3. WHY: So I can get more dance performances in the future.
  4. WHY: Because I love performing.
  5. WHY: Because it keeps me mentally and physically healthy, it serves as my creative outlet and release, and I feel good doing it.

Of course, I used somewhat of a trivial example, but you can apply this framework to anything. This technique will allow you to drill down to the true purpose of the goal.

11 Things You Can Do Every Day to Stay Motivated and Goal-centric

Whether you periodically perform a goal “check point” and you are working toward the right goals, or you revisiting your goals, you won’t be able to make any sufficient progress if you don’t stay motivated.

Here are some things you can do to adopt good, healthy habits to retain your focus and stay motivated so you can crush those goals:

1. Change your environment.

Surround yourself with positive and healthy things, such as motivational quotes, plants, and a lot of natural light. This also includes people and engaging in healthy relationships. This might also mean changing your expectations of others. It’s up to you to define what that your healthy relationships look like and who they involve. Your environment changes your thinking, and you need to change your thinking before you can change your habits.

2. Eat the right things.

Stock your kitchen with healthy food. If you don’t have salty or sweet snacks to grab, you won’t eat them. It’s that simple. Don’t buy them from the start. Like I always say, a healthy body is a healthy mind.

It’s also helpful to meal prep at the beginning of each week. You will be more likely to eat the food you have already made in your fridge, especially if you organize it into individual containers, making it easier to grab your food and go.

3. … Or DON’T eat.

Experiment with intermittent fasting or a periodic cleanse or detox. And, no, detoxing doesn’t necessarily mean starving yourself or drinking some disgusting, random concoction you would find in a chemistry lab. There are many great detox recipes you can try. This is especially helpful if you feel overtired, bloated, or sluggish. Your body—and your mind—will thank you for it.

4. Treat yourself.

Reward yourself with a treat at the end of each week for sticking to good habits (but don’t go overboard to avoid ruining your great progress).

5. Read, write, and recite affirmations.

Take the first few minutes daily to read or write down some affirmations. If you aren’t a writer, then you can automate this by enabling a “routine” using Alexa or your Google Home or Echo device to recite affirmations each morning while you make your coffee, breakfast, or get ready to take the dog out.

6. Think and live minimistically.

It’s a great time of year to go through, organize, and get rid of… well, crap you just don’t need. And that could be in your physical world and environment—and your head. We all carry around stuff—from experiences or events from our past to that old china platter set your grandmother gave you (that you literally have never used). Rather than throw it away, why not donate it to a local church, charity, or a family in need? You will feel better having done it. Trust me.

7. Live a life of gratitude.

Start a gratitude journal. It’s the little things in life that matter most. Take the time to slow down and enjoy the sunrise, that warm, fresh cup of coffee, or your beautiful home and family.

8. Don’t stress about things you can’t control.

We can’t control it all. And why would we want to? Learn to spend productive energy on what you can control, and opportunities where you can make things better and make a difference. We all have problems. That’s just life. However, hyper-focusing on problems won’t necessarily make them go away.

9. Be present.

And perhaps above all, remember that your challenges, difficulties, and decisions brought you to where you are today. Be present, because today is all that matters.

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