Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Goal Setting

I am a big believer in setting goals in order to accomplish something you want to accomplish or to change something you'd like to change. I've been setting goals since I was a little girl in gymnastics. Sometimes, I look back and can't believe how much I learned as a 6, 7, and 8 year old that I still apply to my life today.

Today, I just want to mention a few tips for setting successful goals. Lots of people set goals but fail to ever reach those goals and grow discouraged. Over the years and through some helpful resources, I have discovered some very beneficial principles when it comes to setting goals. I will share a list of resources at the end of the post, so you can check them out!

Tips for successful goal setting:

1. Pray about them.

I believe this first step is crucial. Psalm 37:4 says: Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. I don't think this verse means that if we seek God, He will give us whatever we want like some sort of magic genie or something. I think it means that if we seek God and His will for our lives, He will put specific desires in our heart. His desires for us will become our own desires. The things He wants us to accomplish will become the things we desire to accomplish more than anything else. He will give us the desires. Because of this, I believe it is essential to pray about our goals before we set them.

2.Write them down!

I mentioned that I began setting goals when I was in gymnastics. My coach would have us write down our goals at the beginning of our competition season. Then, we would look back over them throughout the year to see what we needed to do to accomplish the goals we had set for ourselves. My track coach had us do the exact same thing.

I learned that there is something powerful in writing down your goals. It's almost like it makes them "official" or something. Typing them out is ok, but there is just something about taking a piece of paper and pen and really writing them down.

3. Make them specific and give them a deadline

It is important to make your goals as specific as possible. I've heard people say, "Vague goals = vague results," and I believe that to be so true. Our goals need to be specific, so we know exactly what we want to accomplish.

For example, if you want to lose weight, don't just say, "My goal is to lose weight." Instead say, "I will lose X number of pounds." If you want to get out of debt your goal shouldn't be "to save more money." It should be "I will save X amount of dollars each month," or "I will pay X amount of dollars on my outstanding debt each month."

Get specific, but don't stop there. Give yourself a deadline. Have a specific date of when you'd like your goal(s) to be accomplished. Giving yourself a deadline requires you to move yourself into action. You know you won't be able to accomplish it by your specified date if you don't start doing something today.

4. Have a plan to start with.

In The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson says, "You have to start with a plan, but the plan you start with will not be the plan that gets you there." Basically, you just have to get started, but you don't have to start with a grand, huge plan. It is actually best to start small. Take one small step in the right direction. Master that step, do it consistently, and then take the next small step in the right direction. The plan that gets you started will not be the plan that gets you there. Your plan will change and grow as you change and grow. Be willing to start with small efforts and to see small results. Your small efforts will eventually compound to form the big results you desire.

5. Look at your goals every day.

Yes, I said every day. Looking at your goals daily helps you stay focused. You can carry them with you. Post them in different places around your house. Create a dream board with pictures that inspire you, motivate you, and remind you of the goals you're trying to reach. Then, place your dream board in a place where you will see it on a regular basis. There is even a website where you can create an online dream board: I created a digital dream board through this site, and posted it as the screensaver on my computer. This way, I see it every time I walk by the computer.

Posting little reminders around your house, in your car, in your office, or wherever you'll see them throughout the day builds your vision and helps you see exactly where you're going.

Have you already given up on some of your New Year's resolutions? Have you decided you'll wait until next year to get back on track? I hope that these tips will help you get going again or even get started on working toward something you'd like to accomplish. Set your goal, then break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks you can do consistently. Over time you will see results.

Here are a few of my favorite resources on goal setting and achieving success:

The Slight Edge - Jeff Olson

Success is Not an Accident - Tommy Newberry

The Exchange - Keith Kochner

Do you have any books about setting goals or achieving success that you really love? Anything you've found helpful when it comes to setting and achieving your goals? I'd love for you to share them in the comments!

Monday, January 7, 2013

30 Day Challenge (Prizes involved!)

Happy New Year! We are already one full week into 2013. How's it going? Have you made your resolutions? Did you set goals for yourself for the coming year? I have sort of a "rough draft" going, as far as my goals are concerned. Theron and I are planning to sit down and discuss our goals soon, and we're both reading Success is Not an Accident this month. I'm planning to do a post on goal setting, along with some helpful resources later this week.

For now, I'm sticking to my goal to blog more frequently about healthy living. I wrote a little bit of my background in this post. You can go back and read it to understand a little bit behind my passion for living a healthy lifestyle.

I wanted to tell you all about a 30 Day Challenge I am starting today with my Arbonne team (and anyone else who wants to participate). It's no secret that I'm an Arbonne independent consultant, and I absolutely love my job! I chose Arbonne because I love and believe in their products and in the company itself. All of their products are totally natural, botanically based, and free of all of the yucky stuff (that's a technical term). Their nutrition products, specifically, are certified vegan, gluten-free, GMO free, and contain no artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives, and have no cholesterol, saturated fat, or trans fats. Whew! That was a mouthful. Despite being free of virtually everything, the products actually taste good!

I'm sure you've seen about 100 different 30 Day Challenges floating around the internet, and you're wondering why this one is better. just is? Actually, I'm sure there are lots of great plans out there and plenty of great 30 Day Challenges, but I know this one is awesome because I've done it. I've never done it for weight loss, but I know a lot of people who have been very successful in using this plan to lose weight. I use this plan to get back on track after lots of not-so-healthy eating over the holidays. It helps to cleanse my system, gives me more energy, and just helps me feel better. In case you're interested here's the plan:

1. Replace one meal a day with an Arbonne protein shake. You can choose the meal that works best for you, but the shakes make a very quick, easy, on-the-go breakfast. They come in chocolate or vanilla, and they come in ready-to-go drink boxes or powder that you can mix with water, your favorite milk (soy, almond, rice, 1%, etc.), or you can blend it into a smoothie. We love the smoothie option at our house!

2. Eliminate either gluten, dairy, processed sugars, or all three of these things from your diet. These are all highly allergenic/addictive foods that our bodies don't always process very easily. This can cause digestive issues that can actually effect weight loss, energy levels, and often leave us with that yucky bloated feeling (again, another technical term). I have struggled with digestive issues in the past and learning how my body responds to different foods has helped me tremendously!

3. Focus on eating whole foods for the rest of your meals and snacks. To the very best of your ability, eliminate processed foods. What does this mean? If a product contains ingredients you wouldn't (or couldn't) cook with in your own kitchen it's probably processed. See this post for a great definition on eating "real food." Fill your fridge and your pantry with foods that don't have ingredient labels: fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and lean meats.

I know, I know. It's so inconvenient. Some nights you just need fast food, or something you can take on-the-go. That's where your Arbonne products come in. They are simply there for your convenience, not to replace the real food you should be eating most of the time. That's what I love about this plan! It is centered around eating real food, not around the products. The products are just there to make your life easier when you're in a hurry and living real life.

Want to hear the best part?

If you join my challenge, you'll have the chance to win $500 in Arbonne products. That is A LOT of stuff! The person who has the highest percentage weight loss out of everyone participating will win the grand prize of $500 in Arbonne products.

As an added bonus, there are other chances to win even more prizes! I will be having a weekly drawing for everyone participating on my team. You earn entries by posting in our facebook group or sending me an email, facebook message, or text about your experience and your progress. You can also earn entries by attending an Arbonne event with me, hosting your own event, or getting someone else to participate in the challenge with you.

What do you have to lose? Even if you join the challenge and don't win any of the prizes, what do you really have to lose? At the end of 30 Days you will be healthier, you may have lost a few pounds, and you will have more energy and feel better than you have in a long time. Where's the downside to that?

If you're telling yourself, "I can't do that. Even for 30 days." Let me just tell you this. That's ok. Don't be afraid to start something just because you're not sure if you can finish. As Keith Kochner always says, this is about progression, NOT perfection. You don't have to be perfect. You just have to take small steps in the right direction every day. If you mess up, so what. Don't focus on the fact that you messed up. Focus on all the good decisions you've been making every day. Progress may be slow, but slow progress is still progress.

So, jump in! Start taking those small baby steps. The baby steps will eventually add up and equal great results. Let me know if you'd like to join the challenge ASAP. It starts today, but that doesn't mean it's too late to join us!  If you don't have any Arbonne products, that's ok. Like I said, the focus is on eating whole foods and eliminating allergenic and addictive foods. If you would like to order any of the Arbonne products to help you along the way, just let me know. I'm offering a great discount on all of the Nutrition products this month and would love to help you get exactly what you need.

Hope you'll decide to join us!