Well, the first month of the year is nearly over and it’s been a good four weeks since vowing to make a change while suffering from yet another New Year’s hangover. We’ve all made a New Year’s resolution at some point in our lives, and even for those who say “I don’t make New Years Resolutions” you probably have made some life goals through the years.
Following Through With Life Goals
Most of us never follow through with many of our goals and end up feeling like failures. For two years I’ve been saying that I am going to get back in shape and lose my “blogging” weight. I haven’t achieved that goal and I beat myself up every day about it. I almost actually convinced myself that as I get older and my metabolism slows down, I am just destined to continue to gain weight.
For more inspiration to achieving your life goals read: How to Avoid the I’ll Do That Next Year Syndrome
But then I stopped to think about everything I have accomplished over the years and realized that when it comes to losing weight, I haven’t planned in the same way that I planned when I achieved my other goals. When it comes to making a life goal, there has to be a lot of thought, preparation and motivation involved. I’m not destined to keep gaining weight, I just have to start making a plan.
Read all about our Journey from a Dream to becoming Professional Travel Bloggers
Intend to Commit
Whatever your ‘New Years Resolution’ (or if you prefer ‘life goal”) may be, I have learned that there is a tried and true pattern to make it work. Whenever Dave and I have sat down and truly planned to make things happen, we have achieved success. But more importantly, we have learned that first and foremost you really have to want to make that change. I have thought long and hard about my frustration with my weight and fitness over the past two years and I realized that I didn’t really have any intention of committing. I had so many other things on my plate, focusing on fitness wasn’t a priority for me. In the back of my mind yes, I wanted to look and feel better. But in reality, I had no intention of doing anything about it. And deep down I knew it.
I have had friends in the past who said that they wanted to quit smoking, but when I watched them light up another cigarette after having a few beers, or after a stressful day at work, I knew they really didn’t want to quit yet. They liked the idea, but the reality was, they weren’t committed to taking action. They kept making excuses as to why they weren’t committing. After a few years of saying they wanted to quit, they finally made the hard decision to quit and they took action. It wasn’t until they were ready that they were able to stop.
So the moral of this story is to choose a goal that you are willing to commit to. Sure, we ladies all want to be a size two, but the reality is, are we ready to give up the wine, the cheese, and put the commitment into working out every day to make that happen? If you said yes, you’re ready and it’s time to commit and make that happen.
For Dave and I, we are finally ready to take back our fitness and health. Before blogging we were uber fit. We cycled the continent of Africa for crying out loud. What happened? Our life goals changed. Cycling Africa was a means to an end. We wanted our adventure lifestyle to translate into a career in travel and it worked. Unfortunately, we didn’t continue our workout routines once our blog started seeing success and we started to look for softer adventures that didn’t really push us beyond our limits. Now, we’re finally feel ready to push ourselves physically again. Now that our careers are feeling secure, we are ready to recommit to a life of health and fitness again.
Want to travel the world? See our Ultimate Guide on How to Get Paid to Travel
Now that you have a goal set that you are ready to commit, to it’s time to make a plan. No life goal magically happens. When we decided to start ThePlanetD, We had a plan of where we wanted it to be in one year, two years and five years. Because we had a clear vision of where we wanted to be (with a timeline in place) we achieved all our goals and beyond. We knew exactly how we wanted to share our travels with our audience and we knew how much money we would have to have in the bank before we could finally leave for India seven years ago. We knew that we could sustain our lifestyle without an income for 6 months or so, and that gave us time to really build our business plan.
Read more about achieving your goals at: In Search of Living an Enriched Life
When it comes to your own life goal, sit down and really plan how long you think it will take, how many hours each day you will need to set aside to make it happen and what will the financial commitment be.
For our weight losing goal, we plan on committing a budget to personal training and fitness classes. We also plan on slowing down our travels for 2016 and we haven’t accepted one trip after the month of March. This is going to be our summer to focus on Dave and Deb. In 2015 we managed to find balance between life and work, now it’s time to add health and fitness to the equation and we are ready to make it happen.
Need More Motivation? Read our 10 Easy Tips for Finding Work Life Balance
Tell the World
We have said this on more than one occasion and we will keep saying it again. The minute you decide that you are ready to commit to a goal be it changing careers, getting in shape or finding more time for travel or family, tell your everyone what you intent to do. The more people you tell, the more you are obligated to follow through with your goals. When we decided to leave our jobs in the film industry we told everyone our plans; including our bosses . We said, “By this time next year, you’re going to have to find a replacement for us.” It was scary and a very big commitment, but it forced us to follow through. There was no going back once the decision was made. Believe me, many times we wanted to chicken out or give up on our training for Africa, but because we told our friends, families and co-workers, we couldn’t give up. We would be embarrassed if we suddenly said “Oh, sorry, we changed our minds.”
That really takes me back to the first point when we said, “Intend to commit.” If you over commit to something that you know you really can’t or won’t achieve, don’t make the life goal. It just won’t work. If we decided to start a travel blog, quit our jobs and cycle Africa without any travel experience we would have failed. But we had spent 7 years already traveling extensively and at least 4 of those years had been actively looking for ways to have a career in travel. The foundation for our goal was already set.
Achieve Your Life Goals – Take the Enlightenment Challenge
Once you had made the intention to commit, told the world your plans, and have a plan…get yourself organized. What tools do you need to make things happen? It’s time to eliminate all the noise in your life and focus on what’s important. Are you binge watching too many TV Shows? (I know we do and that has to stop) Cut yourself off and put your time to better use. Is your life cluttered? Hire a professional organizer for a day to give you pointers on how to clear out your house. If there is one thing we’ve learned over the years is that a little investment can pay off ten fold. You can’t do it all yourself.
For us, it’s about cutting back on travel. We haven’t been able to get into a routine because we are flying 10 times a month. We’re crossing time zones and dealing with wasted time on airplanes. This month alone we flew 55 hours! That’s a lot of time that could be put to better use.
We use the TripIt app to organize our travels and when we looked at our past trips, it was all right in front of our eyes that we fly too much. It’s unhealthy. I love this app because it amalgamates all our travel plans in one place, but it also was an eye opener for us. To really see it laid out in front of our eyes made us see that even though we thought we were living a balanced life, it is still out of balance. Travel is fun but it has to be in smaller doses. When looking at our screen shot of travels, we realized, no wonder we couldn’t really concentrate on health and well being, we are working or traveling every single day!
A Snippit of Our 2015 TripIt Schedule
We’re looking to apply the same principals to our life as TripIt does to travel. It helps make life easier by organizing everything into one place and letting you see your past and future travel plans. TripIt, you gave us a snapshot into our lives and helped us make a change.
Check out TripIt to see how it can make Your Travels Easier
Create a Support System
It doesn’t matter who you choose for your support system, just make sure you have people there to lean on. Dave was just talking to our friend Matt Kepnes of Nomadic Matt and he said that his mastermind group has helped him immensely. I’ve had friends see great success joining WeightWatchers because they needed someone to motivate and encourage them to stay on track. Family and friends can be great motivators, but sometimes you need to look outside that circle and get professional help. There are many clubs and organizations that help people with different goals, problems, or challenges.
When Dave and I were training for Africa, we joined a cycling club because we could be around like minded people. They kept us motivated more than our family or friends could and encouraged us to join rides several times a week. When we take time off in March and April, we plan on joining an organization in our community to stay active. I remember a few years ago I was really into fitness and I joined an online fitness program that helped track my progress. There were chat rooms and forums, it was an excellent way to look for support when I needed it.
Need Inspiration? You’ll love these travel quotes in photos for motivation
Achieving life goals is about making plans and commitments. Everyone has dreams and aspirations, but how many people actually follow through? We’ve followed through many times and we know it is possible. We’ve achieved success beyond our wildest dreams but life is always about evolving. Each year we enjoy making new goals and taking stock of where we are today while making plans for tomorrow. We’ve made the commitment to living a healthier and more active lifestyle for 2016, what are your going to commit to this year?