How to Start Doing and Reach Your Goals
Have you ever counted how many, “should’s” you utter in a single day?
Friend: I’ve been going to yoga twice a week!
You: I should get into yoga!
Friend: I gave up coffee this month.
You: I should cut back on caffeine.
Friend: I make my toddler homemade snack bars.
You: I should find a recipe and make my own, too.
Friend: I started meditating 30 minutes every morning.
You: I should get up earlier to meditate.
It’s an automatic response that adds to your ever expanding to-do list, and the stress that you could be doing things better. Then, there’s the fear that your actions won’t be perfect – the optimal workout, best morning routine, perfect desk organization, healthiest recipe, etc. – so you wait until you have it figured out.
Fun fact: There is no perfect action OR better time to start!
It’s time to should up already and take action! Easier said than done, right? Plus, you probably have a gazillion things you feel you should do and no idea where or how to start. First, we’ll tackle your I Should reflex, then determine small actions you can actually implement.
Cut the Should
You are likely immune to the Should’s you dole out, and are not taking them seriously. After all, it’s easy to say you should do something, but entirely different to say you will. Take notice of all the actions you say you should do, then ask yourself if it’s something you actually want to incorporate into your life. More often than not, your should’s are not truly important to you. And that’s OK!
Real Life Examples
You’ve been running with a run group once a week, and enjoy the environment and the friends you’ve made. You haven’t entered a race, but crave the consistency and social outlet and me-time it provides. Each week your new friends tell you about a marathon they signed up for, are training for, or just ran. “I should run a marathon!” you exclaim!
But, do you really want to run a marathon? Just because it’s something another person enjoys, does not mean you need to do it, or will enjoy it. A marathon is a huge commitment. It requires a lot of your time and is a big physical and emotional challenge. Ask yourself if that’s a true goal of yours, or if you simply feel like it should be.
Another example is meal planning. We all see moms who post beautiful images of their meal prep on Sundays. And, I used to think I should be prepping my family’s meals that way, too. In reality, that style of meal planning just doesn’t jive with my life right now. Instead, I found a happy medium in my meal planning that looks different from what I thought I should be doing.
Read This: 5 Grocery Hacks for Busy Moms
Your friend does yoga every morning so you feel you should, too. But you don’t enjoy yoga. Why on earth do you think yoga is something you should do, then? My favorite quote from Amy Poehler’s Yes Please! is, “Great for her, not for me!”
The next time you’re about to utter, “I should…” stop and think if it’s a good fit for you, or if it just looks better on someone else.
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Now that you’ve cut out your unnecessary should’s, it’s time to take action. What stops so many of us from starting something is the overwhelming feeling that there’s so much you need to research and learn, and that you have so far to go to get where you want to be.
It’s time for a shift of focus. Instead of obsessing over where you want to be – whether it’s making your toddler finger paint from scratch, running a half-marathon, or going Vegan – make your goal to start. Take one small action towards that thing you want to do.
Real Life Examples
You feel yoga would help with your stress level and flexibility, and want it to be part of your routine. But, you don’t know the best studio in the area, how much time you can consistently commit, or what type of class is best for you. An action you can take, is looking up the schedule of the studio closest to you, and signing up for a beginner class.
That’t it! No waiting until your baby is done nursing, until you get a new yoga mat, after reading up on different styles of yoga. Just go to one class.
Another example: You decide that smoothies would be a great way to ensure your family gets healthy breakfast during hectic mornings. But, you don’t know if you need a new blender, what type of smoothie will keep you full until lunch, or if it will logistically work with your morning routine.
A small action step, is asking a friend for their favorite recipe and making it for any meal that week. It may not end up being your favorite, but you’ve taken the leap and tried it for yourself.
By taking one small action step, you are miles closer to your goal than thinking about idealized version of these actions in your head.
If something is important to you, you will do it. Being more conservative and honest about what you say you should do, will not only cut down on your “should’s”, but will make them more likely to happen.
Remember, it’s progress NOT perfection you are aiming for. Doing SOMEthing is better than NOthing, no matter how small the step!
I work with new moms and moms to be as a sounding board and recourse for improving their nutrition, fitness, and mindset. Together, we will set meaningful and realistic goals, and help you get there by holding you accountable. Schedule your FREE Discovery Call below to see if you’re ready for the next step!