The No. 1 Question to Ask to Ensure Your Success

There is nothing I read more about than mindset and habits. And though there are hundreds of thousands of different strategies out there, the majority of what I read share one basic guideline — a single question to ask yourself in order to ensure lasting success.

That question is: “Can I keep doing ______ forever?”

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What “80/20 Clean Eating” Means to Me

Moving forward in my health journey requires having a game plan. I’ve been steadily increasing my movement since the beginning of the year, but my eating habits are lacking in discipline. I may eat super healthy one week, but completely fall off the wagon the next. My issue is deprivation: I do not handle strict diets well. If I tell myself I can’t have some food item at all, then it is all I crave until I get my hands on it. Poor mentality, I know, but it is something I continue to work on and struggle with currently.

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Yes, I Know How I Got To This Point.

This past winter I heard an acquaintance whisper, “Wow, she really let herself go,” as she walked away from me after a friendly exchange near the plus-size clothing section at Kohl’s. Our quick exchange was filled with hugs, smiles, and an introduction to her boyfriend. It was a turning point for me. Only moments before I had a little breakdown in the fitting room as a pair of sized 16 jeans lay on the floor, unable to get over my bum. It took several minutes to stop my tears and pull myself away from the corner where I sat, cringing away from my reflection.

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6 Steps to Achieving Your Goals

I have set and achieved some lofty goals throughout my life. Yet as many times as I’ve achieved a goal, I’ve failed as well. A lot of lessons came from those failings though. First and foremost, that failing does not always mean a definite end to a goal. Failing at something might mean a change needs to happen before a retry.

Many of my failures were not due to a lack of trying, but from lack of planning. With this in mind, I’ve compiled six steps I  take to help me stick to my goals:

Visualize my goal.

Not only do I write my goals down (I love me a list!), but I also design vision boards in my bullet journal to make my goal seem more significant. Mostly motivational phrases, my vision board is something I can refer to daily in order to keep my goals and vision aligned.

Choose a SMART goal.

The tried-and-true approach to creating goals, I always make sure my goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Oriented. I also try to think about why I have the goal by creating meaningful goals. If my goal has more depth and specification, I tend to accomplish it.

Break it down.

Now that I have a SMART goal visualized before me, I break it down into a series of smaller steps. For example, I have a goal to run a half marathon in August 2020, and I have a training plan to get to that goal. However, first I have a milestone goal of running a 5k, 10k, and then a half marathon — all leading to the BIG goal. I like to think of my plan as a strategic stepping stone to my full vision.

Assess my progress.

I love timelines, and they are so beneficial when it comes to evaluating my progress towards a goal! Timelines make measuring success a breeze. As I tick off each milestone along my plan, I tend to stay motivated and push forward towards the finish line. If I tend to be falling behind my plan, I can also readjust my approach rather than giving up entirely.

Hold myself accountable.

The hardest step for me — accountability. I’ve made sure to tell friends and family on Facebook, over the phone, in-person about my half marathon goal in order to hold myself accountable to train properly. I’ve also joined a run training group, a local running club, and paid for the half. Now I’m obligated to follow through on my goal, and this motivates me on those days I’m not quite feeling up to the task.

Organize a plan.

It can be difficult to conquer BIG goals all on my own, so I enjoy finding new methods and better resources to help. Once I commit to a goal, I like to ask: what do I need to succeed? That may mean making a little investment in myself, but that should pay off. For my run training, my husband and I decided to invest in a home treadmill. Now I have no excuses to not train even during poor weather conditions.

It is possible to achieve anything you put your mind to, so don’t be afraid to take the plunge and begin creating your next goal to become the best version of yourself possible!

My Health Journey & Where I Am Now

Before I dive into my past health journey, I’d like to begin by stating my honest feeling about body image, weight, and self-esteem:

The number on my scale is how much I weigh. That number matters in terms of health reasons, but beyond that it is simply a number. That number does not represent my happiness, my joy, how pretty I am, how fun I am, how others view me, or what my God thinks of me. That number does not justify my personality or my identity.

I love who I am as a person. When I look at my life, I am beyond grateful for all my blessings: my husband, my faith, my family, my pup, my home, my career, my tribes, and so much more. I believe I am a good person who cares not only about her loved ones but also those in my world I have never met. I look at Life with a positive attitude and thank the Lord for every second He allows me to experience it.

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