Setting Yourself Up for Success - Key Habits to Meeting Your Goals and Dreams
Do you have personal or professional goals, but there always seems to be a barrier preventing you from achieving them? If so, an evaluation and reset of your daily habits may be in order.
When it comes to reaching your goals and living a fulfilling life, you have more control than you may think. If you’re feeling stagnant in your pursuit of your goals, not to worry. The power is in your daily habits, decisions, and routines that fuel you.
And once you have healthier routines established, everything else falls into place.
Read on to learn the 4 key habits to push past any perceived barriers, and how you can set yourself up for success in achieving your goals.
Habit #1 - Optimize Your Nutrition
It’s no secret that diet plays an immense role in our physical health. But a poor diet can also affect your mental health and your motivation to achieve your goals.
Have you ever had to do a work presentation on an empty stomach, or after eating a processed meal like a fast food sausage biscuit? Chances are your confidence and focus was much lower than it would have been if you had a balanced meal and were well hydrated. Or, if you ate something that was not right for your body, it probably had you feeling less than optimal.
To set yourself up for success, balance your plate with plenty of fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, or whole wheat bread. Include lean proteins like chicken, fish, tofu, eggs, and dairy with every meal and a healthy unsaturated fat source like avocado or fish.
Choosing the right foods for your body can help with the production of key neurotransmitters we need to keep our brain performing at its best (like dopamine and serotonin!). It also helps prime our body’s natural ability to fight stress by lowering our heart rate, addressing cortisol levels, and boosting our immune system to fight harmful invaders.
Once you balance out your plate, you’ll notice a huge difference in your motivation in work and in life. Plan your meals ahead of time to make sure you always have nutritious meals at the ready.
Habit #2 - Engage in Joyful Movement
Movement works wonders in improving your drive towards meeting your goals. Whether your goal is to organize your bedroom closet or prepare a sales pitch, you’ll be much more productive in doing these things after a solid workout.
When we get moving, our body responds in beneficial ways that can support our immune system. Activity helps blood circulate oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and pulls glucose out of our bloodstream and into our muscles. This is a very helpful process that can help us metabolize our food and strengthen our mood, focus, and most of all - reduce the lingering effects of sugar in our blood after a meal.
It’s important to find physical activity you enjoy so it doesn’t feel like a chore. Then, you’ll want to keep doing it and will reap even more benefits from that consistency.
Habit #3 - Prioritize Your Beauty Rest
The majority of us don’t get enough zzz’s. And ironically, maybe you’re losing sleep because you’re spending extra time working towards your goals. But when you chronically lack sleep, this defeats the purpose and actually just wastes your time.
Our body needs rest to activate certain functions that help heal our body from damaged cells. Known as ‘autophagy,’ this process is our body’s natural recycling mechanism that breaks down old, dysfunctional organelles and proteins in a cell and refreshes it with new ones to keep it happy, healthy, and living longer!
And when you’re trying to function on limited sleep, your brain, body, and digestion don’t work as effectively either. So instead of getting more done, you’re working at a reduced capacity. If you just went to sleep earlier and started fresh the next day, you’d get more done in less time and thus will reach your goals faster.
Habit #4 - Find Your Zen
If you’re stressed, it’s harder to process the steps needed to achieve your goals. Even if you feel short on time, it’s well worth your time to find 10 minutes of zen in the form of a self-care practice.
Whether it’s journaling, meditating, yoga, or a morning walk, engaging in a stress-reducing activity every morning is essential. All of these activities help clear your head and set an intention for the day. So instead of jumping right into things, take 10 minutes to practice one of these habits so you can hit the ground running faster.
This is a subtle way of naturally lowering cortisol levels in the body. Studies have shown that meditating or slow activity can help regulate your heart rate to an even flow, which naturally reduces the impact of our main stress hormones.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to adopt these new habits all at once. Start by gaining an understanding of the biggest habits getting in your way, and take it one step at a time. Remember that most barriers to our success are perceived, not real, and you have the power to reach your goals faster through your habits.