By Sunny Simon

     Time to review our progress on goal. That’s right, the first quarter of the year is history so let’s assess how much you have accomplished. What? Not an exercise you relish doing? Your goal to get to the gym five times per week has somehow fallen by the wayside? The 2,000 words you vowed to write on your novel daily lacks about 90,000 words? Okay, I get it. You began the year with great intentions, were highly motivated to make positive changes in your life and somewhere around early February your enthusiasm waned. Well, keep reading. It’s time to suck it up and get back on track.

     Let’s approach this from a counterintuitive perspective. The first thing I recommend is lowering your standards. That’s right, give yourself permission to adjust your master plan. For example, if the gym goal was five times per week, make it four or even three. Cut the word-count on your novel progress down to 1500.  Why would I suggest such a thing? Because I want you to win. The mere thought of failing on a difficult goal can prevent us from making progress. Once you prove to yourself you can hit the gym according to plan your confidence will be restored.

     Now, let’s carefully manage your calendar. On your appointed gym days note: Gym Workout. Whether you’re using an app on your phone, or a paper binder, make sure you have the ability to cross it off or provide a checkmark on completion. One of the most satisfying feelings is the ability to cross gym-time off your list once you get home. Your brain will register success.

     Use the carrot more often than the stick. Find a quick, small and inexpensive way to reward yourself for goal progress. I’m hooked on a Lumosity (online brain training website) game called Train of Thought. When I accomplish something on my daily list I allow myself some much coveted time to play the game. Notice the operative  word here is “smart.” Your reward for gym time should not be a triple dip at Ben and Jerry’s.

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     Lastly, use your mind tools. Make use of that incessant mind chatter. Ply your head space with positive self-talk. Motivate yourself with reminders of what success will feel like. Utilize positive affirmations. Run success videos on your internal theater screen. That’s right. Daydream in vivid Technicolor scenes of you reaching successful goal completion. Now, move forward and make the second quarter of the year epic! Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com

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