You pour your heart and soul into your new year’s resolution goals and feel you have what it takes this year to make it happen, only to lose motivation within a week because you’ve already fallen below your expectations. Has this ever happened to you?
This might leave you feeling disappointed in yourself, angry that you didn’t have the strength or will power to carry through with the commitments that you’ve made to yourself and might leave you feeling discouraged from trying again.
Shouldn’t you get points for trying? Well, I think you should, and this method of goal-setting of good, better, best creates the flexibility you might need to overcome your perfectionism and achieve those lifestyle changes.
- provides more specific outcomes to help build your motivation
- gives you a focus with flexibility to beat that perfectionistic streak
- enables you to create goals with different levels of achievement so you feel encouraged rather discouraged
- creates a level of compassion if you aren’t able to be at your best or life happens (because you are human)
So it all starts with an intention, it might be to cut back on your sugar intake. From this intention you create three levels of action that would reflect you progress with that intention as being good, better or what the best outcome given your current lifestyle. Whenever you create a goal set yourself up for success by creating goals that have the qualities of being measurable, attainable and meaningful to you.
So coming back to the cutting back on sugar as an example:
Good might look like not eating that chocolate bar you usually snack on after lunch. I would make your good level super duper achievable, something that you know you can do already.
Better might be not adding any sugar to your tea or coffee in the morning as well as not eating the chocolate bar.
Best might be not having any added sugar in your diet for a whole day.
So as you can see it enables you to adapt what you think you are capable of that day and build your confidence in a compassionate way that allows for flexibility.
I personally like to combine goal setting with systems that set you up for success. So some systems that would support you with cutting back on sugar might be:
- reading the labels on your food so you know the foods you are eating that contain added sugar
- buying your groceries from the farmers market or online so you aren’t tempted to buy chocolate bars or foods with added sugar as you walk down the aisles
- substitute sugar for natural sweeteners like stevia (I know they don’t taste the same, but they do help)
- not walking by your favourite bakery to pick up your morning coffee
- cleaning out your pantry of any foods that you know have added sugar
- keeping healthy, high protein snacks on hand to beat the munchies
- making sure you eat regularly to avoid snacking in the first place!
You can probably see how combining this method with some easy systems removes the reliance on your will power, which I am sure you have experienced tends to be unreliable and usually leads to punishing yourself for not meeting some crazy self-imposed impossible expectation (which in my experience usually leads to developing your inner critic when you fall below your own expectations). This project enables you to see where you are doing well and where there is room for improvement so you can celebrate those small successes which help to increase your motivation. Success really does breed more success.
It also enables you to challenge yourself on good days to shoot for the stars and see if you can have a go at the best level, knowing that whatever progress you are making is progress. Onwards and upwards!