Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Breathe Strategy - Don't Break the Chain!

I haven't been great at making and keeping goals lately and felt like if I had some good goals and a way to really accomplish them it would help me feel better and move forward.  So I got online and did some research on tips for accomplishing goals.  I found a lot of articles on the usual tips, but also found a few different ones that I really liked. 

One thing I had been looking for was a good visual and way to break down my goals.  As I looked at different things online, my favorite was this chart made with sticky-notes from the What is a Goal Chart/How Do I Make a Goal Chart article on http://www.positivethinking-toolbox.com/goal-chart.html website.  I created my own version on my computer using a table in Word.  This really helped me break down my goal into smaller steps.  For example, my main goal is to lose weight which I broke down into smaller steps such as exercise, eating better, food journal, etc.  Then under each of those I have broken them down even more.

Speaking of exercise in my research I found these tips from and article entitled "4 Tips for Accomplishing Fitness Goals" by Alice Burron:

"Before beginning your new exercise program, think of exercise as: a break from a stressful workday, a way to boost energy and mood, the only time you'll have to yourself all day, a chance to get totally physical and let your mind rest, a chance to reward your body working so hard for you all day, a way to improve your quality of life immediately."

 I especially liked how she suggests to think of exercise as a break from your stressful day and to have some time to yourself.  A couple other tips I found really inspiring were from "8 Tips for Achieving Your Goals"  by Ray Kelly.  These were my favorite tips:

" . . . Keep a success journal. . . .  In it, you can write down your achievements and successes. You can include pictures or whatever else is inspiring to you. This success journal is not only a testament that you achieved what you told others you would, but it also provides an instrument in which you can look back to when you are achieving new goals to help inspire you. It is a message to yourself that you can achieve anything you set you mind to and the journal is proof of it. . . .  Keep before you, at all times, the benefits of attaining your goal. . . .  When you set out on a trip, you may have a map. On that map are two important items, where you started, and where you are going. Create your own map of your goal. Keep it where you can see it daily so that you do not forget where you are going or forget how far you have come."

Both of these tips inspired me to create a goal journal.  In it I have my "map" which is really my version of the post-it note chart shown above, pages to journal on and add pictures for my "success journal" and my favorite tip of all that I found is in an article titled, "Jerry Seinfeld's Productivity Secret" written by Brad Isaac.  Here is a small portion of that article:

"Years ago when Seinfeld was a new television show, Jerry Seinfeld was still a touring comic. . .  I had to ask Seinfeld if he had any tips for a young comic. What he told me was something that would benefit me a lifetime. . . . He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day. But his advice was better than that. He had a gem of a leverage technique he used on himself and you can use it to motivate yourself—even when you don't feel like it.  He revealed a unique calendar system he uses to pressure himself to write. Here's how it works.  He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.  He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. "After a few days you'll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You'll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain."  "Don't break the chain," he said again for emphasis."

This was my favorite tip of all and the easiest to have as a daily visual.  I put a calendar in my goal journal with the most current goal I am working on as the focus, and all I need to do is put my X's on it and remember, "don't break the chain!"

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