It's easy to say, "I want to lose 20 pounds," but how? What do you need to do to accomplish that and how long will it take? Are you willing to commit to those steps and sacrifice certain things in its pursuit?
Without analyzing the hows and whys of our goals, we may have unrealistic expectations that threaten our success. If we think we're not making fast enough progress, then we might just feel like giving up altogether. Or at least make ourselves miserable the whole time.
So grab a pen or your laptop and start writing!
Do a Brain Dump
Brainstorm and list all of the specific action steps. Do a complete brain dump, all the littlestuff and all the big stuff, the simple stuff and the complicated stuff, and everything in between. Getting this all down on paper is key. This prevents the inevitable overwhelm and inertia.
When we think of all that we want to accomplish and how long it's probably going to take... aaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!! Believe me, I've been there. I'm there every. single. day. I have things I want to accomplish, both big and small. And the sense of overwhelm can be absolutely paralyzing. Know what I mean?
But one thing that my mentor Jill Coleman of JillFit Physiques is always emphasizing is to take action. Just take the very first step, then the next step, then the next. One step at a time. And the key to that is to write down what all those steps are, so you know what the next step looks like. There is no ambiguity to hide behind or to stop you in your tracks.
Yoda had it right: "Do or do not. There is no try."
Create a loose schedule
Use this list now to create a realistic schedule of how long each task will take and when you'll complete it. The great thing about making this list is that it is all about behaviors, not outcomes. We can't control how much weight we'll lose or strength we'll gain each week, or even that the process will be linear (spoiler: it won't be). But we can control our daily behaviors. And each of those behaviors will bring us closer to or farther from our goals. We either do the work or we don't.
Making this list is super important, because it will help you understand how it will really impact your lifestyle. It shows you just how much you'll need to commit and sacrifice to get what you want.
Ask yourself a few questions:
Why do I want to do this in the first place?
How does this fit in with my current priorities?
What's really involved here?
What's my first step?
Take a look at your list of action steps. Do any of them need to be broken down further? Each task should take one day or less to complete at the most. Break it down, break it down, break it down. Until it's almost ridiculously easy and simple that there's no way you can fail.
Each little step that's accomplished gives you the much needed momentum and motivation to keep going. It's hard to get or feel stuck when you know exactly what the next step is, and that it's totally doable.