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Empower Yourself, Start With Small Goals

Have you taken an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses? Is there something that you know you should or shouldn’t be doing but you still do or don’t because you do not feel empowered? Why not start by achieving a small goal first? And when you hit that small goal, you’d be amazed of what other things seem possible next. I’m not saying it’s gonna be easy but it will be a good challenge and a way for you to flex your self control and discipline muscles. Plus, you’d benefit from it at the end.

Last month, I have been proactively challenging myself with achieving small goals because I want to be the best person I can be.  Here are some of the small personal goals that I’ve accomplished so far:

1) I have a sweet tooth. I used to eat a lot of mini chocolates at work just because they are there.

My small goal: To reduce or eliminate chocolates in my diet. Result:  I have not had chocolates for 3 weeks now. Instead, I bring healthy snacks in ziplock bags to work such as prunes, berries, almonds, cashews, avocados etc.

2) I love to sleep. Before, I’d usually snooze my alarm or felt sluggish to just get up. However, I knew that I had to make a change to make the most of my time.

My small goal:  To wake up at 4 am everyday. Result:  I am able to wake up at 4 am or even earlier now and start my workout. I make sure that I am in bed at a certain time to still allow me to sleep for 7-8 hours.  Before going to bed, I tell myself, “tomorrow is gonna be a great day.”  If there are times that I don’t get enough sleep or not motivated to wake up, I just get up and sit on bed when my alarm sounds. Then, I start thinking of how great the day would be and the things that I am excited for the day. I meditate for 5-10 minutes and get ready for my training.  I run to the gym, do my workouts which is either weight lifting, core or swimming, isometric training in sauna, etc. Then I run back home, walk my dogs and get ready to work.

3) There are so many things to do in a day.  I have full time job as an engineer, lead the Monday run at work, coach very limited committed athletes and train for my upcoming Decaman race (10 Ironman in 10 days) on August 24th – September 2nd, on top of all the family responsibilities and daily errands.

My small goal:  Be better with time management Result:  I am more productive now when I started writing down my schedule by the hour for the day.  I also prioritize all my activities.

4) I used to drink many cups of coffee in a day. As much as possible, I want to approach solutions in a natural way.

My small goal:  To reduce or eliminate coffee in my diet. Result:  I stopped drinking coffee and don’t feel the need to drink it. I started making sure that I’m in bed early and that I get enough rest.  I drink black or green tea instead.

5) I find eating out expensive. I also don’t know if restaurants are using the best quality ingredients.

My small goal:  To cook my own food instead. Result:  I stopped buying takeout. Instead, I buy produce – vegetables, wild fish or organic chicken breast and make my own food.

6) It took me months to start attending masters swim, because I saw it as an unpleasant daunting challenge.

My small goal:  To start making it a habit to attend masters swim. Result:  I’m finally in the groove and a fan of masters swim. In fact I think swimming, which used to be my nemesis, will soon be my best friend.

7) I’ve always had insomnia or sleeping disorder due to my autoimmune disease and past horrible experiences. Even during an ultra race (e.g. 508 Silver State, Double Anvil, etc.), there were many times that I wanted to sleep but couldn’t fall asleep at all. Doctor already advised me to cut my gluten intake but I still had some cheat times. I have tremendously reduced my gluten intake but still not enough.

My small … actually big goal: To heal my insomnia or sleeping disorder Result:  I am now taking my auto-immune disease seriously. I do not want to go through a surgery like my mom had and want to be living long and healthy for my family.  I know exactly the reason why I have to take my auto-immune disease seriously.  Since last week, I have not cheated on eating any kind of gluten e.g. bread, wheat, pastries, cake, pizza, chocolate with wafer, etc.  Since my auto-immune disease is also related to managing my hormones, I started eating lot of foods and taking natural medicines that would regulate my hormones.  For days now, I’ve been able to fall asleep quicker.  Tonight was the first night that I slept through 8 hours without waking up.  I feel rested and ready to start the day.  I couldn’t ever be happy!

Achieving each small goal above has empowered me to think of another thing that I would like to change in my life.  If you are to take this challenge, first make sure that you know why you even want to take the challenge.  Ask yourself, what are you gonna get from it?  What is the main purpose or reason why you want to aim that small goal and change?  The first days can be hard but it gets better.  Your purpose of taking a step to make a change will get you through it.  However challenging it may be, just think that you’re strengthening your mind and control muscles.  Note that what we do or say, start with what we believe and think.

I’m currently undertaking more small goals and another big goal that has daunted me for my entire life.  I started this particular big goal only last Friday, April 8th.  I have 4 days of success at the time of writing this blog. I give myself a pat on the back on each day of success.  I shall reveal about this particular goal after Decaman Switzerland.  I know that it will be a shock to many.

By aiming and achieving such small goals is definitely empowering.  Do it more, then it becomes a habit and is easier.  It makes you stronger until you truly believe that anything you put your mind on is possible.  So, think about the things in your life that you want to improve and have put on the back burner; you know you want to change or improve it but have always set aside because you’re not empowered enough.  How about start with small goals?  What are the small goals that you may want to tackle today?


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