Thursday, 22 January 2015

How to Stay on Track with Your Goals by Using a Daily Practice.

The majority of our New Year Resolutions, goals and aspirations fail because of a number of reasons; a lack of planning, not being fully committed or setting ourselves unattainable challenges.

It’s like we purposefully set ourselves up for a fall.  We don’t have to operate in this way.  Setting a challenge that may test us can be liberating and life changing.  Writing my book, How I Changed My Life in a Year taught me that.

Yes, we all scribble down a list of changes we want to make each year, and yes, be the end of the third week many of us have abandoned them.  I heard on the news this morning that today is the day our weight loss ambitions are discarded and we attack the biscuit tin!  If we looked at that list for a moment, we might see the reason:
·         Run a marathon

·         Lose two stone

·         Write a book

·         Go to the gym

I don’t know about you, but I get chills just reading that list.

If, however you were fully committed to running a marathon this year, then there are ways to stay on track and achieve your goal.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to share my tips to stay motivated to succeed in whatever goal, challenge or resolution you’ve set yourself. 

This week we’re looking at ‘Daily Practice’.

When I set myself a goal, I normally do so when I’m in a positive frame of mind, feeling calm and balanced and safely cocooned in my happy place.  I go to bed with a satisfied smile, knowing that I’ve made an important decision – then morning arrives!

Day 1 – What do I do now?

The idea has mellowed slightly, and the initial sparkle has made way for reality, but I DO want to achieve this goal.  Sound familiar?

Let’s use running a marathon as an example.  If this were my goal, I would need to ask myself three questions:

1.      Why am I doing this?

2.      When am I doing this?

3.      What do I need to do to achieve success?

The first question may be easy to answer; to boost my health or raise money for my chosen charity.

The second question will be even easier.  Various societies set the dates, so I just need to sign up for the one I want to run and pop it in my diary.  The London Marathon, for example, is on the 26th April 2015 (booking has closed for this event).

Now we move on to the third question; what do I need to do to achieve success?

For a ‘daily practice’ I could do all/any of the following:
·         10 Minute daily mindfulness meditation (I would need my head to be in the zone to complete 26 miles!)

·         Journal/Morning Pages – I could spend 5 minutes writing down my feelings about doing this.  If I were running for a charity, this would include the people I would be helping.  Writing down thoughts and feelings can also help as a training diary/record.

·         Breathing exercises – I could find a yoga DVD or YouTube Podcast to follow.

·         Run!  To run a marathon I would need to train – lots – and this needs to be done correctly with the right support.  That could be a personal trainer, gym coach or running buddy.

·         Image inspiration – I would flick through a running magazine or search online, and find a favourite picture of a runner crossing the finish line or a marathon runner in fancy dress.  Whatever makes me smile and fills me with determination every time I look at this image is a perfect choice.  I could frame the picture and place it on my desk at work.  Surrounding myself with positive images of what I want to achieve will help me to believe it has already happened and that this success is mine. 

You don’t have to do all of these daily practice’s, you can pick the one that resonates the most with you, but whatever you choose, it’s important to stick to it.  If you are fully committed to your goal than doing this regular task will become as much of a habit as brushing your teeth.

Look are what you want to achieve this year.  Why do you want to succeed?  Have you started or are you procrastinating?  What small step can you take TODAY?
Here are a few examples for you:

·         Search online for local 5K or 10K races and sign up.

·         Join a weight loss group or find yourself a buddy to work with.

·         Open your laptop, click on ‘new document’ and start typing…congratulations, you’ve started writing your book.

·         Join a gym, don’t just search or talk about it – JOIN and become involved in the classes they hold.  Fun, fitness and meeting new friends, what a great start to your day.

Focus on one day at a time.

Next week we will take a look at weekly intentions.

 Do you have a daily practice that fits perfectly with your schedule and keeps you motivated?  Please share it with us in the comments below, or join us on the Facebook page.


  1. I think It's all about turning thoughts into actions. It's so easy to say 'I'm going to write a novel,' but wishing does NOT make it so. Instead, a small daily goal -'Today I shall write for 10 minutes' - is much more achievable. I'm working hard to start each day by setting an intention, and, 23 days into the year, it's going OK.

    1. You are so right Julia, unless we action our thoughts they stay safely tucked away inside our head. Well done with your daily intentions, that's such a great idea :-)