Have you ever set a goal for yourself and not completed it? Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution and given up a few months in? Have you ever set out to change something but then given up?

I can answer “yes” to every one of those questions and I’m sure many of you can, too. Recently, after falling short and getting discouraged by another missed goal, I found myself wondering what happened. What caused me to lose my motivation? What did I do wrong? What kept me from achieving my goal? In talking with several friends, I discovered that many of them were asking themselves the same questions regarding failed objectives. In listening to their frustrations and assessing my own, I discovered a common thread – we all bit off more than we could chew. We went in wanting to accomplish these big tasks and make huge changes and jumped in 100%, expecting the changes to happen over night. You can’t set out to run a marathon and expect to step outside and run 10 miles tomorrow morning. You can’t expect to eat healthy every day and lose 30 pounds in 2 months. You can’t sit down and decide to write an entire novel in a weekend. You need to make small changes to get you to your big dreams.
For example, if you’re looking to live healthier, you may cut out soda and sweets one week and replace them with fruit. Then, the next week, you can drink more water and add veggies. After that, try getting to bed earlier and getting a full 8 hours of sleep. Next, try limiting your carb and/or salt intake and see how you feel. Don’t forget mental health! Make sure you use a week to add in some “Me” time. Also, don’t fall into the trap of wanting to workout more and starting at 60 minutes a day. Start small and slow. Week one add 5 minutes of exercise a day to your starting workout time. Week two, add 10 minutes. Week three, 15 minutes. And so on until you reach your workout goal.
Wanting to take more time to write, draw, paint, sew, knit, sculpt, carve, etc? Start out with a couple minutes a day to just sit down and work on yourself (or your project). It doesn’t have to be long – maybe just 5 minutes to start. Then, the next week, carve out a few more minutes in your schedule. The next week, a few more. Eventually, you will end up cutting out the things in your life that don’t mean as much to you to make more time for the things that do! And let me tell you, it feels SO great when you look at your calendar a few months down the road and say to yourself, “I’m so glad I’m not sucked into do that for so and so any more! Now I have time and am able to write and share my story with others once a week!!!”