“Hey Girlfriend, do you want to go on a diet with me?” It was my friend Denise. It was the beginning of the year. We’d both decided we should drop a few pounds, so we set a goal to lose weight. . . kind of.
Over the course of the next few months, we went on a diet-plan frenzy. We’d try one plan for a few weeks, then one of us would find something that sounded better so we’d switch. We hopped from plan to plan. Atkins, the Cabbage Soup Diet, LA Weight Loss, South Beach. If diet hopping was a sport, we’d have dropped pounds in no time.
When it was over, sadly, we’d lost about 5 pounds between us. (I think.) That estimate might be high.
Denise and I knew what we wanted. Like millions of other women in America, we wanted to be thinner. And, we wanted to be thinner fast. We just couldn’t decide how to get there. We weren’t specific in setting a goal, so we got uber distracted along the way.
Setting goals is important. I’ve never found a straight path to anything I’ve ever achieved. Life always gets in the way. And without a plan–a consistent plan–I get off track fast and get discouraged.
About this time of the year, I’ve usually run off the rails with my resolutions. I start off the year all revved up, but without a plan I quickly fizzle out.
I’ve learned a few things about setting goals since the diet debacle. I’ve learned ways to keep my eyes on what I want and to stay focused.
I’m not always successful, but I’ll share what I’ve found helpful when trying to stay on track to meet a goal:
- Make a plan and stick to it
Life is not predictable, so a plan is crucial. Losing weight is a goal, but it’s not specific. I have to determine exactly how much weight I want to lose, by when, and how I plan to do it. Then stick to it.
2. Break it down into parts
It’s great to have the end result in mind, but I need a schedule. Saying I want to lose 20 pounds is the goal, but I need to set milestones along the way. Maybe focus on two pounds a week.
3. Write it down
There’s something powerful about writing something down. Writing down goals helps me clarify them. It also gives me a visual to constantly refer to on the journey.
4. Pray and ask God His will.
My relationship with God should be at the foundation of any goal I set. God already has a plan for my life and my goals need to be consistent with what He wants for me.
Denise and I both eventually lost weight (and gained a little back and lost it again, and. . . ), and now we laugh about the year of the diet dash. I’ve set and achieved more goals since then. Some I’ve successfully achieved. Some not. One thing’s for sure, having a plan is key.
Always trying to be real,
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