Have a Goal? Set a Deadline

Regardless of the importance to our overall mental and physical wellbeing, goals often take the backseat to the day-to-day tasks and thoughts that keep our lives operating. If we talk about goals, the conversation often starts with one word: someday.

Someday I will run a 10k.

Someday I will eat more salads and less sugar.

Someday I will feel comfortable in a bathing suit.

Let’s face it – any statement that starts with someday should really begin this way:

I will probably never run a 10k. 

I will probably never eat more salads and less sugar.

I will probably never feel comfortable in a bathing suit.

Why? Because goals are achieved through the accountability offered by actionable steps and deadlines. Deadlines force you to put a date to that “someday,” which increases the likelihood of achieving a goal substantially.

Next time you think about that fitness or nutrition goal that would improve your overall health and wellbeing, consider these reasons for setting a deadline:

Deadlines help you to work backwards to create a plan of action.

If your goal is to run a 10k and you’ve set your goal deadline for six months from now (the date of your first race), you know the general shape your body needs to be in and the distance you need to be able to run by that day.

From there, you can set milestones to hit along the way, whether they are based on distance, time, or both. These milestones take a very large goal and break it down into specific, actionable steps. They can shape your training and turn the dream of running a 10k into a reality.

Deadlines help you prioritize your time.

With a deadline and milestones laid out, the time you spend training suddenly has a clear focus. You can pour your energy into making sure you are on track to get your body to where it needs to be in six months.

Working towards a specific deadline will bring the rest of your life into focus as well. If you know you’re working towards something substantial and it’s possible to achieve, you can find more motivation and time to make it happen than you otherwise would have thought possible.

Deadlines force you to really figure out what you want and why.

It’s easy to become stuck in the monotony of day-to-day life when you don’t take the time to think about what you actually want for yourself and your life.

Setting a deadline cements a commitment to yourself to figure our where you find fulfillment and what would help you to become the best version of yourself. And one goal deadline will often give you a push to figure out what other goals you’d like to work towards achieving.

Deadlines spur action.

When a deadline is set, there’s no more time to make excuses. After all, one skipped workout just means more progress will need to occur in the ones that follow in order to make that deadline. And that sounds like more pain than it’s worth.

So here’s your challenge…

Think about the goals that have been taking up space in your mind. Select just one, and decide on a deadline for yourself.

Take that deadline and plaster it anywhere you need to see it in order to truly stay committed.

Now, see how your success rate suddenly skyrockets.

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