When it comes to managing your health, the weight of what you "should" be doing can be exhausting.
It took me a long time to figure out which rituals work best for me (daily exercise), and which I just needed to let go (meditating for longer than 60 seconds). I've tried more times than I'd care to admit to master a daily routine that resembles the who's who of wellness: meditation, journaling, cooking every meal myself (with every component made from scratch), 45-60 minutes of exercise, not sitting at my desk or staring at my screen for more than an hour at a time, staying perfectly hydrated, treating everyone around me with utmost empathy and compassion, and, of course, getting a full eight hours of sleep every night.
I don't know about you, but after a few days of trying to do it all I feel more chained to these routines than inspired by them. The burnout is real.
I see it in my clients, too. They want to stand behind these sweeping goals and go from being someone who's never run one mile to a becoming half marathoner in three months. Or they're committed to going from a steady diet of takeout to cooking every single meal from scratch. The desire to be healthier, to create big change, is so intense that it causes them to leap beyond the most vital aspect of goal-getting: the process.
When you dive into big change without a proper process in place, it's not just more challenging to begin, it can be nearly impossible to sustain. Meaning you're more likely to get discouraged, give up on the whole thing, and go back to whatever you were doing before. You've got to take one goal at a time, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps, and then layer these small habits into your daily life — allowing you to achieve sustainable, lifelong change without having to slam yourself into a new routine all at once.
Think about a goal you've been focusing on recently. Now I want you to ask yourself:
What can I do to make this experience easier?
Is it a plan? Is it a particular set of resources? A time frame? What needs to happen to ensure you have all the tools you need — logistically and emotionally — to transform this goal into reality?
For example, one of my consistent goals is to cook 80-90% of the meals I eat. I know that for this to happen, each week I have to dedicate a certain amount of time to planning, shopping, and batch cooking. If those things do not happen, neither does my home cooking. And one of the questions I ask myself at the beginning of each week is "What can I do to make this experience easier?" Some weeks it's spending a good portion of Sunday afternoon in the kitchen, batch cooking all our meals for the next seven days. Others, it's about coming to terms with the time constraints of a busy schedule and committing to cook simply. These weeks, getting dinner on the table and into our bellies in under 15 minutes is the win. There's a reason we had avocado toast with fried eggs twice in a row this week.
To help you move through this process, I've designed a downloadable Goal-Getter Worksheet (click the link!) In it I lay out a super simple process for helping you determine which steps you need to take to accomplish a goal, complete with moments of reflection on either side. As a bonus, there are also two pages of my favorite Goal-Getting resources, featuring books and websites I turn to when I need motivation, or wellness and home-cooking inspiration.
Step 1: Articulate your goal
Step 2: Dig deep
Step 3: Break it down
STEP 4: ASSESS AND REFLECT
At the beginning of every month, I light a candle, sit down with a glass of red, and go through these steps with each goal I want to accomplish over the next four weeks. I cannot tell you how much more manageable my goals feel now that I've started doing this. Throw in the added boost of success because you're actually achieving what you set out to do, and it's a pretty feel-good system. When you're done you'll be all: get, that, dirt off your shoulder.
What's a big goal, hope, or desire that's been looming over you recently? Shoot me and email and let's talk it out. Let me know what you think about the worksheet, and whether or not it brought clarity to any of the goals you've been mulling over recently. I'd love your thoughts!