Planting Seeds: The Beginning of Goal Completion

Planting Seeds: The Beginning of Goal Completion

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You might have already forgotten your New Year’s resolutions, but it is early in the year, and there is time to get back at it. Whether your goal is to maintain sobriety, become or stay physically fit, or master a new hobby, there is always a critical starting point.

It Isn’t Too Late to Start Your Goals

Even though it is already March, it is not too late to start your New Year’s resolutions. Many might feel discouraged because they slacked on goals they established earlier in the year, but there is still plenty of time left in the year to accomplish what you set out to do. Since many New Year’s resolutions and goals focus on bettering yourself, it is a fantastic idea to hop back on that wagon and get started—after all, getting started is the key.

Taking that first step might feel intimidating, especially if you struggle with fears of failing or your standards for success are too high. Do not expect your first attempt at your goals to be perfect. Starting in the first place is a significant step.

Breaking It Down Into Baby Steps

You may put off following through with your goals because you are overwhelmed with the steps you need to take to succeed. The starting and progressing points sometimes appear too messy or vague. Breaking down your goals into smaller steps can help you visualize your journey ahead.

For example, if your goal is to quit smoking, it might feel like too big of a task to accomplish. You might want to create an outline on how you plan to quit smoking. You might start by identifying what triggers your cravings and create a plan to avoid those triggers. Or, you might decide to cut down on how much you smoke a little at a time over an extended period, eventually reaching your goal of total smoking cessation.

Start Small

Breaking things down into baby steps means taking small, tiny steps. You might feel tempted to start larger, even if you are a beginner. There is no harm in being a beginner in something. Consistent practice will help you become more experienced and capable of attaining the goal you have set out to do.

If you are new to weightlifting, you probably should not try to lift something super heavy right away. You will have to start with the smaller weights and work your way up over time. This method helps to keep you from injuring yourself or getting burned out right away. It can also help keep you from getting discouraged early on when things feel too challenging to continue.

Begin With Step One

While it might seem obvious, start with the first step. Starting at all is one of the most complex parts of completing a goal. You might resolve to become more physically active. To achieve your goal, you need to physically work out. This achievement involves completing the first step—going to the gym, and completing an exercise.

A part of you might want to put off finishing the first step, but beginning your journey involves bravery and determination. Yes, you might not complete your goal or meet the milestones that you want to, but the fact that you tried and started step one is something to be proud of on its own.

Make It a Daily Goal

If possible, find a way to incorporate your plan into your daily life. Whether you add it to your routine or fit it in your schedule, including the work needed to complete your goal as an everyday activity can give you the space you need to reach it. If you want to become more physically active, set aside thirty minutes a day for exercise. Suppose you are wanting to eat healthier; set aside some time to plan meals in advance.

Get an Accountability Partner

Once you have started on your goals, you will need to keep at them. Having someone in your life to check on your progress can keep you on track. An accountability partner can help remind you to stay focused on your goals. In 12-Step spaces, your sponsor works as an accountability partner. Your therapist can serve as an accountability partner for mental health exercises in therapy. If you have a friend who is also completing a similar goal, you can schedule weekly meetings to check on each other’s progress.

Having an accountability partner also helps keep you on track because you will both share your progress each time you meet. This tactic can prove to be very motivating as you may want something positive to look forward to along your journey of progress.

Resolutions can be a great starting point for thinking about what you want to achieve during the year, but the real work starts with completing the first step. Sometimes people might overthink the initial stages because their goals feel too massive before actually breaking them down. The first step to completing a goal is getting started, which can be the hardest part. Fear of failing before you have even begun can hold you back from achieving your dreams. Do not be afraid to take healthy risks and strive for the things you want out of life. Your goals matter because they help you take control over your life and give you the power to do anything you set out to do. Do not worry about failing at first because that is a part of the journey. Take the plunge and go for it. To learn more, call us today at (866) 529-9255

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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