Setting yourself up for success


Accomplishing your goals.

It’s true that anyone can succeed in making changes and having personal success in their lives.  But, when it comes down to the numbers, why is it that not many are successful in achieving their goals?

If we are one that wants to make some changes in our habits or activities, what are the things that will help us succeed?

An article in the USA Today about diet and exercise habits presented some information on what it is that leads to success when we’re wanting to make changes in our lives.

1)  Taking control of things that influence our behavior.  Joseph Grenny, author and founder of, studied the attempts of 5,000 people to change some unwanted habits.  His findings?  People who were successful took control of their surroundings.

  • They identified people in their lives who would encourage them make the changes.
  • They changed their environment in such a way that the better choices are easier to make.  For a dieter, perhaps eating off a smaller plate.  Or, keeping sweets out of sight.
  • They developed new skills to support the new habits; perhaps developing better ways to deal with stress or emotions.
  • They rewarded themselves for even small achievements.
  • When the better choices aren’t made (which will happen), learning to analyze what went wrong, and reflecting on how to take control of that situation the next time.  Changes become easier if we don’t give up.

2)  Start with small steps.  Notes health psychologist Jim Annesi, “Starting one healthy habit may help you build other good habits.  A little bit of exercise can improve your self-control, feelings of success and levels of stress.”

  • Make the program manageable.  If it’s exercise, start with a program of two or three times per week.  Once you have control over that and it becomes habit, it may encourage better eating habits as well.
  • Set moderate goals so as to attain them.  Reaching incremental goals assists with long-term success in weight loss.

3)  Deal with the emotional challenges along the way.  Psychologist and author Joe Burgo suggests the following:

  • Think about the reasons behind our unhealthy habits.  What will we do constructively instead of the unhealthy habit?
  • Don’t go it alone.  Go through it with someone you can talk to about it.

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