Below are five goal setting tips that will help you achieve your goals, whether your goal is to lose weight and get healthy, get more done, or organize your home. You can read about my weight-loss story below, or skip ahead to what I learned from setting and achieving a weight-loss goal.

5 Tips to Achieve Your Goals

When I handed over my credit card, I was infuriated.  

Mad. Angry. Pissed. You name it. If it’s an anger-filled emotion, I was probably feeling it.

Surely I could figure out how to lose 20 pounds without paying all this money, right?

In theory, sure. But in the real world, that’s not what was happening. Instead, in the three months since I had set my goal to lose 20 pounds, I (and my scale) had done nothing to move in the right direction.

This, coupled with the fact that in the four years since I had returned to a full-time job in the corporate world I had gained 5 pounds per year, made me doubt if I truly could do it on my own. Those twenty pounds along with the big 5-0 being just around the corner (at the time) made me realize that this trend simply couldn’t continue.

But it wasn’t just about losing weight.

Aside from the extra 20 pounds, I was also sleeping horribly and having other fun hormonal issues that come during midlife. (Night sweats, anyone?)

The lady processing my credit card assured me that with her program I could lose those 20 pounds (in just 30 days!) and I would sleep better and stop waking up in a puddle of sweat every night. Plus, I would be eating very, very healthy. All of these were goals I had set 3 months earlier and had made no progress on achieving. I either didn’t know how (how does one stop sweating in the middle of the night?) or I wasn’t motivated, as in the case of eating better and moving more.

And that my friends, is why I handed over my credit card.

I invested in something just for me, at a price point that made me mad.

And guess what? It worked! I lost the twenty pounds (and then some!). I now sleep better than I’ve slept in years AND night sweats are a thing of the past. And if all that wasn’t enough, I learned some pretty powerful things about achieving goals that will help me reach my next how-in-the-heck-do-I-do-that goals. Want in on some of those secrets? Read on!

5 Tips to Achieve Your Goals

1. When you invest in yourself at a level that makes you uncomfortable, your commitment goes through the roof. As I said, I wasn’t the slightest bit happy about spending the money I spent on my weight-loss program. But I did it anyway because I was ready to make my health a priority. And boy was I committed. The program wasn’t easy. It required me to give up things I love — alcohol, bread, eating out, enjoying snacks at Bunco, etc. It also required me to create new habits overnight, things like packing healthy lunches, cooking new foods, and shopping at three different stores each week to get all the things I needed for this diet, to name just a few. I felt like I was constantly shopping for food, preparing food, or cleaning up. And I was often hungry. But, there was no way I was going to cheat, not a single bite here or a little sip there. I was fully committed! And that, my friends, is the power of investing in yourself at a level that makes you uncomfortable.

2. When you are committed, you’ll discover you have goal-achieving superpowers! I’m not kidding. I discovered superpowers I had no idea I had, the most notable being this: I have the power to resist fresh guacamole with homemade chips. No joke. I did this in the first week of my diet, while at dinner with business friends, and honestly, I can hardly believe it either. Who had I become? After all, chips and guac are two of my mostest favorite foods in the whole wide world and I said no to them. And that was just the beginning of my super-power discovery. I also said no to all the cookies at the cookie bake-off, and the free Chipotle lunch (which of course included more yummy chips and guac), and free bagels, and pizza. You name it, if you love it, and I love it, and it’s a food, I probably turned it down during my diet. I was hellbent for glory. I was not going to fail. And it’s all because I invested at a very high level, and my commitment followed suit.  

3. It’s hard in the beginning, but it gets easier in time. If you go into achieving a goal knowing that it’s going to be hard, you’ll be less likely to give up before you create momentum. Think about the first time you did anything new, like learning how to ride a bike, becoming a parent, starting a new job. It was hard, right? Of course it was, you were doing something new. But you did it! Which means you know how to do hard things! Remember this next time you set a goal that involves doing something new. It’ll be hard in the beginning, but remember, you can do hard things.

4. Preparation is the best way to stick to a plan. The diet plan I signed up for was very different from the way I had been eating. I had to eat much more protein, which meant more meat. In the beginning, I also had to measure everything. I could have a specific number of ounces of fruit, veggies and protein per meal. Friend, this was hard! In the beginning I felt like I was constantly at the grocery store or at home chopping veggies and packing them up for the next day. I would not have made it through the first thirty days had it not been for planning ahead. Making a big batch of an on-plan meals, and freezing them for emergencies. Having the deli pre-pack the right number of ounces of deli meat. These simple tips felt life changing when I was in the midst of adjusting to my new way of eating. Planning ahead, and preparing ahead are critical to success regardless of the goal.

5. Nothing is forever. At the start of my weight loss program, I was hungry. Really hungry. And I was angry. I felt I had no control over my life. I had given up something really important to me — the decision about what I put in my body. On top of all of that, I gave up a very important creative outlet. I love to cook and it truly is one of the ways I express my creativity. Giving that up was much harder than I expected. Yet, as hard is it was in the beginning, it was only temporary. I got used to doing all the shopping, and I became really efficient at meal prepping. As I started to see progress on the scale, it made all of the effort and discomfort completely worthwhile. I hit my weight-loss goal, and I’m not hungry (or angry) anymore. That was just temporary. Remind yourself of this as you hit difficult points on the journey to your goal.

Alright friend, there you have it — permission to invest in yourself plus five bonus tips to help you achieve your goals. Remember, these tips will work whether your goal is to lose weight, make healthier choices, get more done, or organize your home. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

What goals are you working on right now, or planning to start soon? I’d love to hear! Let me know in the comments!


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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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