Anyone can set a goal, but being consistent, showing up day-in and day-out is what really separates success in the long-term.
The Secret to Radical Consistency: 2 Simple Steps to Reach Your Wellness Goals
This episode is about how to set better goals and actually work toward them for success in the long-term.
We’ll talk about the biggest mistakes people make in goal-setting, the secret to radical consistency, and two simple steps to reach your wellness goals.
A couple of years ago after I taught a yoga class, one of my students came up to me, looked me right in the eye, and told me, “I have a goal”.
This particular yoga class was the first of the year, and his goal?
To take a yoga class every single day for the entire year.
That student was actually able to stick to his goal for about a month and a half, but then he got an injury and a few days off turned into several days, and I actually never saw that student in the studio again.
It’s kind of an example of goal-setting gone terribly wrong.
He started with great intentions and was incredibly motivated; he wanted to commit to something and be consistent
Where he went wrong: mindset and routines.
Anyone can set a goal, but being consistent, showing up day in and day out, is what really separates success in the long-term.
In real-time, I timed this episode to come out on January 15th, which is the day (plus or minus a couple of days) when most new years resolutions start to fail.
(I like to call it January-syndrome).
It’s a phenomenon when people set goals or resolutions, they make a couple of mistakes, and then, because they aren’t taking into account mindset, routines, and habits, those goals don’t last.
Trying to reach them requires too much willpower and over-reliance on discipline, them when real life comes up, the motivation and discipline just aren’t enough to carry it through.
But here’s the thing: it’s not your fault!
If you’re setting goals but not reaching them, it’s because you’re not using the right tools, the right strategies, habits, and mindset to get you there.
“Mindset and routines are the building blocks for success toward your wellness goals”.
You can use this free downloadable and printable worksheet that goes along with this episode.
Take the Feel Good Archetype Quiz to understand the wellness mindset blocks that stand in your way.
After you take the quiz, you’ll get a free resource guide.
I’m all about how mindset, habits, routines, and strategies work together.
After years of studying behavior change and wellness, I realized that you can’t really have one of those without the other.
When we’re talking about reaching your goals, we can’t really talk about habits without mindset, and we can’t talk about mindset without routines.
They go together to build the structural support to help you get where you want to go.
It’s like the foundation of a house: if you set goals without mindset, routines, and habits, you have nothing to support you along your way.
When you use the frameworks that we’re talking about here, you have something to support you and fall back on when things don’t go as planned.
The biggest mistakes we make in goal-setting:
1 | Having the wrong mindset
2 | Not establishing routines
Mindset is like the bottom pillar if you’re trying to think about reaching your goal.
If you’re not working on mindset alongside your goal, it’s likely not going to work out for you.
The biggest mistake people make when it comes to goal-setting and mindset is falling into the striving mindset, which is: all or nothing thinking, comparison, and/or perfectionism.
Back to the yoga student: his big mistake had to do with all or nothing thinking.
All or nothing is that on-the-wagon off-the-wagon mentality, all in or all out, dichotomous, black or white.
“When we don’t allow for the grey and the wiggle room, it keeps you from that radical consistency”.
Similarly, when we talk about mindset, comparison can be tricky.
Sometimes, it’s a comparison to what other people are doing, other times, it’s comparing yourself to the past.
The problem with that is that you’re not looking at your strengths or your abilities at this moment, so you’re not able to get an accurate picture of what your goals should really be.
The last part, perfectionism, is the impossible standard.
It’s expecting your entire life to be a perfect endeavor toward your goal, and when things don’t go right, we don’t have a back-up plan.
Our biggest mistake when it comes to wellness goals is getting tripped up on these mindset blocks of all or nothing thinking, comparison, and perfectionism.
The second big mistake when it comes to goal-setting is not establishing or building routines to support your goals.
There is a ton of research on how routines can help with reaching goals and well-being.
I like to say that habits live in routines– if you’re trying to develop a new habit but you don’t have a routine, it’s going to be really hard to make that work.
Within this routine mistake, there are two places where people go wrong.
1 | You didn’t build it into an existing routine.
Maybe you set a goal like to eat healthier or work out more.
If you don’t build that goal into an existing routine, it’s going to be really hard to implement on the day today.
2 | You didn’t take into account your current context of life
Sometimes when we set goals, we forget about what our life is currently like.
Unless we actively work to change it, your life isn’t going to be different just by setting a goal.
Know your phase, know your season, and then look at how you can create routines into ones that already exist or create new ones.
Don’t fight against what’s actually going on.
Two steps to successful goal-setting:
Now, let’s talk about the two simple steps to reach those goals.
Step 1 | Flip the script on mindset.
If you take the Feel Good Archetype Quiz, you’ll see that most of us fall into one area of a mindset block.
Some people are more dominant in all or nothing thinking, others are more dominant in comparison, and others are more dominant in perfectionism.
If you understand what area you need to work on, you can be really strategic and specific.
Seekers (the all or nothing thinkers):
Tip #1: The two out of three rule.
This is a direct way out of the black and white thinking.
It allows more freedom and agency to pick back up when you miss a day.
If you miss a day, try to get the next two.
If you miss a week, try to get the next two.
It can be as micro or macro as you want.
It’s knowing that everything counts, that you haven’t messed it up if you miss a day, a week, or even a month.
You’re not off the wagon. You always have a chance to pick it right back up.
“Each moment is a new moment, each chance and opportunity to make a new choice”.
The really big thing here is that you show up more days than you don’t.
Sometimes, it’s just about giving yourself permission to let two out of three be good enough.
Tip #2: Contingency planning.
Let’s say you have a goal to work out four of seven days; be sure to also come up with a backup goal.
When things go off the rails, what’s the minimum you can do to still feel like you’re making progress and maintaining radical consistency?
Retrain your brain to accept the grey, when you can’t do it 100%, when it’s not all or nothing.
When you keep showing up, when you honor what you said you would do within the context of what’s going on, you create that radical consistency and success long-term.
Cultivators (the comparison struggles):
Ask yourself one simple question: is this the same goal I’d set without comparison?
It’s so simple, right?
But when you take a minute to reflect, you might find that without comparing yourself to your past self or another person, you’d have a totally different goal.
Dynamos (the impossible standards of perfectionism):
Lower your standards by 20%.
With the perfectionist way of thinking, we set an impossible standard and then we feel like we’re failing when we’re not reaching it.
Think about that.
If you’re setting your own goal, and then you’re not meeting it, you’ve set yourself up for failure and you’ve created those feelings for yourself.
Step 2 | Bake it into a routine.
Whatever your goal is, think about how that fits into your current routines.
Do you already have an existing routine in your life that you can add your goal to?
Know your current routines and build the new one into it.
Let’s say your goal is to meal plan for every meal.
If you wait in the pickup line at school and usually have a routine of scrolling through your phone, build a routine of meal planning into your current routine of already being on your phone.
Ask yourself: Where will you do it? What time of day? What will be going on around you? What are you already doing?
Use an existing routine to insert a new habit or an action toward the new habit.
If you don’t have a routine to add the new goal to, I’d recommend creating micro-routines.
These small wellness routines that you schedule throughout your day. (link to 4-r)
I use a Four-R framework, thinking about my routines in four parts of the day: morning (refresh), mid-morning (revive), mid-afternoon (reset), evening (rest).
I schedule these as 5- to 15-minute practices and I try to do them around the same time every day.
It’s all individualized, but establishing these times and setting aside time to restore or insert one of your goals.
In some ways, they sound so simple, but we underestimate how effective they can be.
Instead of fighting against the change, how can you take it into account, readjust, and find new places for routines?
Make it happen:
Put it into practice!
Flip the script on mindset + build your goal into routines.