INTELLIGENT BEGINNING: 5 STEPS FOR MAKING SUCCESSFUL GOALS
Throughout my life, New Year's Eve and my birthday have always been significant goal making days for me. Since my birthday is in July, it is a great time to assess my New Year's goals and to see if I have maintained growth and development in those. I wish I could say that I am always successful in my goals, but I am not. Through my journey, I have learned several lessons in intentionally making and keeping my goals. In this post, I will be giving you five practical steps for making successful goals as I share my seven month journey to achieve my New Years goal of being able to fit into a dress from college.
Back in December of 2014, I was trying to figure out what goals I wanted to achieve in 2015. As I was analyzing my current state of life, I stumbled upon a picture of me from 2007 when I was a bridesmaid in my college roommate's wedding. I started reminiscing about college and how healthy I was and realized that I wanted to have a health goal for 2015. I started thinking through what would be an achievable goal and it hit me that I still had that bridesmaid dress that I wore in the previously mentioned wedding.
I dug to the back of my closet and got the dress out of the bag. I started to try on the dress and then I had a horrible realization of how much weight I had gained since the last time I put on that dress! Feeling slightly depressed, I asked my husband to help me zip up the dress and then reality hit me: I could only zip the dress to a little bit above my hips. At this point, I just wanted to cry and eat away my sorrows!.
Instead of crying and numbing my feelings with endless food (which would just make matters worse), I decided to take a picture of myself in the dress. I then told my husband that I wanted to be able to fit into that particular dress as one of my New Year's goals. After making my new goal, I put the picture of me from 2007 as well as the current picture of me on my phone. I did this so I could have a visual reminder of what I wanted to achieve.
It was great that I had a new goal of being able to fit into my purple bridesmaid dress from my college days, but I realized I needed to have a deadline so that I could have a measurable goal. I have learned over the years that if I have goals without a deadline, I very rarely achieve those goals. With this in mind, I decided that I wanted to be able to fit into the dress by my 30th birthday at the end of July. Now that I had a set deadline, I needed to come up with a plan!
With my personality, I am more prone to making a plan... so this part was easy! I made a plan to not focus on my weight, but rather to focus on making healthy lifestyle changes. One change that I decided to make was to drink at least half my body's weight in ounces of water daily. The next part of my plan was to be more active while doing the things that I enjoy! I generally do not enjoy exercising, so I needed to find something that I would actually want to do. As I did some research, I came across exercises that involved a rebounder (aka mini-trampoline!), so I bought one and fell in love! The final step to my plan was to eat a plant based diet. This was overall easy for me because I had already been vegan since February 2014.
Now that I had achievable steps to help me reach my goal of fitting into my dress, I needed to make my intentions known! Thankfully, my co-workers had already planned a declaration dinner, since it was the beginning of the new year. The purpose of a declaration dinner is to declare your goals to your friends, which creates accountability in an atmosphere of celebration to help you achieve those goals. At the declaration dinner, I had a few things that I felt prompted to declare. Two declarations that I made were fitting into the bridesmaid dress by my birthday and to start DanielleHelson.com by the end of the year! As the dinner came to an end, we instantly had accountability to succeed in our goals since we had all been vulnerable and shared our goals with the group. I loved that we had the dinner with everyone at work, because even now, seven months later, I have friends and co-workers checking in on me!
I am proud to announce that not only I am able to fit into my dress from college, but this is my first post for DanielleHelson.com! I am completely excited that I have worked towards these two goals and achieved them. While I was thinking through my story of fitting into the dress, I realized that I had taken five simple steps to achieve my goals. I hope that my story will inspire you to chase your dreams and set a goal!
5 STEPS FOR MAKING SUCCESSFUL GOALS
- Have a visual reminder
- Set a deadline
- Make a plan
- Declare your goals
- Have accountability
CHALLENGE: Choose a goal and follow these 5 steps! Document your journey on social media by using the hashtag #faithfultomypurpose