The key to a healthy, low stress, well balanced life is to have goals and a plan to reach them.
Studies show that just merely writing your goals down, you are 42% more likely to reach them. Why? It has to do with encoding. Neuroscientists tell us that when we write things down, a biological process happens, and the goal is stored in our long term memory. This is called encoding. If you refer to the goal each day, by re-reading what you wrote down, your success skyrockets!
I think about this a lot in my profession, because I’ve seen people reach their health goals by being intentional about them. Writing down a goal is the first step of intention. Breaking them down into bite size doable pieces is the next step. That’s why in the Holistic Christian Life Daily Planner, I have a section for goal setting at the beginning of each quarter. You set your intentions prior to the year, and each quarter helps you take the steps needed to reach them. Also, by writing them down fresh at the beginning of each quarter, you are renewing your intention.
There are two types of goals – HABIT and ACHIEVEMENT
A habit goal is one where you continue a practice. There is no end. In the health space, that might be “I will drink 64 oz of water every day.” This habit goal will help you get closer to your achievement goal of “I will lose 20 pounds by December 31st of 2019.” The key to a habit goal is to try to do it for at least 66 days in a row. This is the number of days it has been shown to create a habit. The key to any goal is to make them SMARTER.
An example would be: “This quarter I will write in my journal every night before I go to bed, and include my top three action items for the next day.”
There is no way you will be left wondering when you will write in your journal, how often, what to write, or for how long. Also, this is phrased as an achievement goal, but you may actually want to work it into a habit goal when you see how stress reducing it is!
Do you have goals for next year? If so, write them down! Make them SMARTER. Use a planner to break them down into bite size pieces with actions that you can do each day. It also helps to get support and accountability. Depending on your goals, this may be a friend, a coach, a trainer, teacher, or your priest/pastor.
You may find that the planner I created for my clients is just what you need. After the beginning of the year I will be contacting everyone who purchased a planner to invite them to the webinar I will host to go over how to use it. This will give you time to come up with questions based on a couple weeks of experience with it. We will have a great discussion about goals and I will be fielding a Q&A session. I hope to see you there!