The Daily Beet

04 Jan Simple goal setting.

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People set and accomplish goals in all sorts of ways. We have found one simple way that might help you in becoming plant-strong. It might not be for everyone, but give it a try and see if you like it. This can be done with anything from changing your diet to quitting smoking to working out every day.

It’s the “don’t break the chain” concept.

Print out (or buy) a calendar and put it somewhere you will see it every day. We put one on our bathroom mirror. Write the goal you have in mind on top of the calendar. So let’s say your goal is to bike 15 miles every day, you would just write that on top. Just a note of caution – make your goal something you can actually do every day, so maybe your goal is to bike 15 miles a day, but you know that it won’t be possible every day, but maybe you know that biking 5 miles a day is absolutely possible, so make that your goal. Heck, if you want just write “get on bike every day” we’re pretty sure that most days you will do more than sit on it.

After you pick a goal, simply start marking off each day you accomplish it. So if your goal is to go with out dairy, just put an X through each day you go with out it. Your goal is to not break the chain, and get as many X’s in a row as you can. Sooner or later, your calendar will be filled with X’s and after a while, that goal will become a habit, not just a goal.

If you break the chain? No worries, start again the next day and see if you can make a longer chain this time!

If you think this sounds like a good plan for you, we’d love to hear some of the goals you’d like to set for yourself. Leave a comment, help others with their goals as well! If you have advice on things like how to work out more, how to quit smoking, how to eat more veggies, we’d love for you to leave a comment to help out your fellow E2-ers!

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Engine 2 Team
Engine 2 Team

The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

  • Dana
    Posted at 23:43h, 04 January

    Perfect timing! I need to quit smoking! Anyone have any suggestions? I feel like I’ve tried every thing. Thankfully I don’t have many issues from smoking (YET) but neither did my Mom and then she was diagnosed with lung cancer, no signs for years. It woke me up, and I can’t really say I’m getting healthy and then light up. I’m going to get a calendar and see how many days I can make it, but if anyone else has tips, I’m open to them.

    • Odesho Mirza
      Posted at 01:37h, 05 January

      Hey if your trying to quit smoking one big thing is the price you pay every time you buy a pack. add it all and check out your savings put that in your mind and you’ll be great. Good luck by the way.

    • Christina Piccoli
      Posted at 08:53h, 05 January

      The Easy Way to Quit Smoking by Allen Carr seems to be a VERY popular book on Amazon. I don’t smoke, but there are tons of positive reviews, so it must be good!


    • Sissy Ashby
      Posted at 11:01h, 05 January

      Five years ago I had knee replacement surgery. My Dr. told me to
      stop smoking so I would heal faster. Also I had a little COPD.
      I’d smoked for over 50 years, and knew I couldn’t do it without help, so I took Chantix. It did make me a little crazy, I didn’t take
      it for as long as they recommended, but it worked. I’ve not had a
      cigarette since, although occasionally I think about lighting up,
      but as a friend says, you’re one cigarette away from a pack a day.

  • Jess
    Posted at 00:32h, 05 January

    I need to really get plant-strong. I eat an all vegan diet, but I’ve gained weight because of junk food. Maybe my goal will be no junk food? I’d also like tips. I like vegetables and fruit so I don’t know what my problem is.
    I quit smoking 5 years ago, because my daughter (11) was caught smoking in school! I was so angry and of course they found the cigarettes and they were MINE, figured I had no right to lecture her about the dangers of smoking when I was smoking every day. So I quit, overnight, I was a miserable person for a week. and then it was fine. I also thought I didn’t have any issues, but then I noticed things like my aches and pains started to go away and my headaches. My dr. told me it had to do with smoking constricting blood vessels which can cause blood flow issues to joints. The other thing is, I never thought I smelled bad and then I was at my daughters friends house and her friend told me “You smell a lot better now!” I was mortified, and then realized every thing I owned smelled terrible. It is only bad for a week though, then you get over it. I also have saved a lot of money!

    • Susan
      Posted at 07:15h, 05 January

      I gained weight too but when I reviewed the Engine 2 Diet book, a big component is exercise–it should be daily and for at least an hour. This not only helps control your weight, it reduces stress and improves your health overall. Also, add more greens to your diet to replace other foods you may be eating that are calorie-bombs. Nuts are great, but only in small quantities. Brown rice is good, but watch the portion size.

      • Dara
        Posted at 08:55h, 01 October

        This helps I’ve gained 5 pounds being strictly engine 2 plant based. I know know it’s my rice consumption & bread I need to plan my meals better. Makes sense I love the raw nuts but that too is hurting me

  • Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen)
    Posted at 05:56h, 05 January

    This is so funny! A few days ago I taped a 365 days of home organization calendar to my refridgerator and I have been x-ing off each day as I accomplish that day’s task. It’s really fun and visual and I have never done this before. But I knew that I would never be able to accomplish my goal of working this organization program if it wasn’t in front of my face every day for me to see it and track my progress. Great minds think alike. 🙂

  • Lani Muelrath
    Posted at 09:49h, 05 January

    Building upon smaller successes is a huge part of ultimate success – being able to stand right smack dab in the glory of your big goal. This is brain and behavior research personified.

    Research suggests that 50% of all people starting an exercise program will drop out within the first 6 months (Wilson and Brookfield, 2009), nd we know the statistics on dietary change are right in there too. The research also shows that a big part of being successful in your health, fitness, and weight loss endeavors is your belief in your ability to actually do it.

    That means we need to cultivate confidence which builds your belief system. You can cultivate this confidence in several ways:

    • Positive feedback (calendar checklist as in the blog post!)
    • Reinforcement that what you are doing is worthy and beneficial (blogs like E2 that keep you going)
    • Social support (E2 fb anyone?)

    You CAN be on the win side of the health and fitness stats. Simple one step at a time strategies and build on the positive!

    Lani Muelrath

  • Katy
    Posted at 10:38h, 05 January

    My goal is simply to exercise every day. I think having the visual in front of me is exactly what I need. I usually do really well for about a week or 2, but as soon as I miss a couple of days, I find it harder and harder to work out again and the next thing I know it’s been a month! Once I make the daily workout a habit, I’ll make it more specific. Maybe make the goal 45 minutes a day, then an hour, etc. I found a great app for my phone that sets up a workout routine for you where you can track your progress. So far it has been really helpful! You can also customize your routine to meet your personal fitness goals. Having the added “X” chain in a more visible place like the fridge or bathroom mirror will make it even easier to stick to!

  • Mary
    Posted at 22:26h, 05 January

    I hope you guys are writing a book with all this info in it. I’m learning a lot being here every day. Thanks!

  • lola17
    Posted at 23:33h, 05 January

    Been on the Engine 2 for 5 days now and today I started seeing the effects of being regular, very regular, 3x’s a day! Never done that before in my life! It is working!

  • Kansas
    Posted at 07:27h, 06 January

    Need some suggestions on how to gain about 5 lbs on this eating plan. Excercise 5 to 6 hours a week. Have increased intake of whole grains, walnuts, chia and flax. Eat about every 2 hours, really past the point of being full. Any suggestions?

  • Warwick Beauchamp
    Posted at 18:11h, 06 January

    Appreciate your tips!

    I’m in the process of writing a book on goal setting and achievement myself – would appreciate you having a look and giving me any feedback… If you’d be kind enough to fill in the questionnaire there’ll be a free copy of the book for you when it’s published!

    Have a look here: smartgoalsetting.co

    All the best for achieving your goals in 2012!!!!

  • Melissa Adams
    Posted at 19:12h, 06 January

    My goal is to eat plant strong. My husband and I are on the same goal. My kids are not, but are getting there. I am going to continue to introduce the plan to them and the medical reasons why. They don’t really realize the changes they have made. I will continue my sneaky ways until I can shock them with all of the tofu, veggie meat, and rice milk they have consumed in the last 2 weeks.

  • Jeanne Thorpe
    Posted at 10:08h, 07 January

    Ihave been on the E2 diet for 5 days and have experienced the change in regulation as well however I feel more bloated on this diet than before – I am a runner and exercise person – 6 days a week so I am in pretty good shape but have experienced a bit of fatigue and small weight gain so I thought i would change things up with this diet.. I have followed it and used its recipe’s as well – only diversion is my one cup of coffee a day with fat free creamer – when will i or will i feel a difference and perhaps in pounds soon? Any suggestions, guidance or comments WELCOMED!

  • carebear
    Posted at 11:35h, 08 January

    Hi there! I just wanted to share with you that there is a small group of us in Grants Pass Oregon that are getting together to change our eating habits. We will be watching Forks over Knives and then using the Engine 2 book to learn how to read labels. Then my plan is to cook a meal from your book so we can experience a whole foods dinner together. Thank you for adding the “how to” in your book and documentary and thank you for exposing commercial food for what it is. Here is to a long happy healthy life!

  • Lisa F. (The Valley Vegan)
    Posted at 00:25h, 09 January

    Finally got around to watching “Forks Over Knives” and very glad to see your story! Going to be sure to include you on my own website & direct my followers your way! Keep up the great work!

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