Happy New Year!
As many of you are making New Year’s resolutions or goals for 2017, I thought I would offer a few suggestions to help with the process and hopefully help you achieve them.
First and foremost, I encourage you to write down 20 things you are grateful for AND 20 things you are proud of yourself for accomplishing in 2016. It could be as simple as “getting out of bed every morning” or “reading a book”. The goal of this exercise is to start off in a positive and reflective mindset. It will help you reflect on what went well in 2016 and give you hope and motivation for accomplishing things in 2017.
5 Things to Consider as You Write Out Resolutions or Goals for 2017
1. Decide if resolutions/goals OR a word, phrase or sentence is best for you.
While a list of 2-10 goals/resolutions is great for some of us, it may be unrealistic for others. This can be especially true depending on what kind of season of life a person may be in. Choosing a word to focus on for the year rather than a tangible goal may be more important (i.e. balance or grace). If you are in a season of change (moving, new job, new baby, etc.) you may be better off focusing on ONE goal/word/resolution rather than creating a list of them. You can always add to your goals as your season changes and allows, but this way it won't seem overwhelming and you will be more successful in achieving them.
2. Order your goals in regards to what is most important to you AND what area needs the most improvement.
For example: If your health is important to you, it will likely play a critical role in setting goals around family or relationships. If you are not healthy yourself, your relationships with others are probably not as healthy as you may like or as they could be. Some areas to consider when goal setting:
- health (physical, emotional, mental)
3. SET REALISTIC GOALS and Defy your INNER REBEL
I would advise against setting a firm goal such as; “I want to lose 20 pounds”. While that may be a really good goal, try setting a few more tangible goals along the way that you can achieve on a daily basis that will help you reach that larger, overarching goal. Try something such as: "I am going to get up and go to the gym 5 times per week", or "I am going to meal prep every Sunday", or "I am going to reduce my latte consumption to 1 per week".
Most of us will often say things like "I am going to give up sweets for 30 days” or “I am going to workout everyday after work” but then find ourselves failing within two weeks. Why is this? Perhaps because we are the rebellious type and like to do things our own way. If you don’t truly BELIEVE that you can accomplish your goal, don’t set it! It is that simple. Try something more realistic and set a goal like “I am not going to eat sweets unless I am at a special event or eating at a sit-down restaurant”. You still want the overall objective to be fulfilled; but by allowing yourself a few occasions that you can enjoy sweets you are less likely to rebel and give-in. Some of us need to be able to see the "light at the end of the tunnel" or "multiple lights" and this method gives room for this!
4. BREAK GOALS DOWN even further!
Ask yourself: what can I do on a MONTLY basis? And what can I do on a DAILY basis to help reach my goal? Change requires a little bit of work every day and seeing weekly or monthly progress helps people stay motivated.
5. ASK QUESTIONS
When trying to improve upon areas where you lack motivation, ask yourself a few questions in order to better understand how you can accomplish your goals in those areas. By asking questions you open up doors that allow you to see the bigger picture from a smaller lens. Once you have a few action steps leading up to answering your question, take one at a time and work towards the bigger goal.
- how can I improve my workspace (so that I am more comfortable at work)?
- how can I get promoted to a manager?
- how can I make time to meal prep?
6 Things to Help You to Stick to Your Resolutions
1. Make larger changes one at a time.
You are more likely to succeed at grocery shopping every week, meal prepping, and eating healthier because they all coincide together. However, if you decide you want to dental floss your teeth every night, watch CNN every morning, and do a 5 minute ab routine prior to bed you are less likely to succeed at continually doing all three. Instead add one goal each month. This way your mind will already be programmed to dental floss every night; it’s part of your routine so adding something else will be more obtainable.
2. REMOVE YOURSELF from temptations.
If you have decided to not eat processed sugar, don’t buy the teddy bears or fruit snacks for your kids. If treats are in the house you are more likely to give in when temptations strike! Contact me if you need ideas for healthier snacks for your kids!
3. Replace bad habits with better ones! In other words: REDIRECT YOUR ATTENTION
For example, if you are fond of drinking a can of diet coke when the afternoon blues hit at work, reach for some herbal tea or a flavored sparkling water instead (La Croix is a great brand without bad additives and flavoring). Stock your desk drawer with healthy alternatives and you will be less likely to walk to the vending machine for a soda or candy bar.
Or if it’s an action you are trying to replace, like biting your fingernails, try putting some barriers in place. For example you can paint your finger nails with clear nail polish so it tastes gross or you can place a sticky note in a few places where you find yourself bitting your nails the most often that says something positive in regards to why you want to stop the habit like “I am calm and my nails love me!”
4. KEEP A SCHEDULE!
As much as some people don’t like planning ahead it is crucial to keeping your resolutions and obtaining goals. BUT MOST importantly make your schedule work for YOU! If getting up at 5am every morning to work out sounds like torture to you don’t set that goal! Juggle your schedule around and go into work an hour early if you can and leave work by 4:00pm to get the workout in!
5. Have someone hold you ACCOUNTABLE!
Find an accountability partner to help you stay on track and check in with you every week! You are more likely to stay on track if you know someone is going to be calling you to ask how your 3 runs went that week!
After writing down your goals, it is very valuable to place them somewhere you will see regularly so they are always in the forefront of your mind. Take a picture of your list and send it to your accountability partner so they can have something to look back on easily.
6. RE-EVALUATE Progress
Lastly, re-evaluate how your resolutions are going every month. For example, if you had set a goal to sign up for a yoga class and then halfway through realize you miss the fast-paced HITT training, that’s totally OK! You tried something new and it’s ok to let yourself do something you love. Or if you set a goal to eat eggs for breakfast at least three times a week, but deep down you don’t like the consistency of eggs, either find a new way to cook them that you enjoy more or find another high protein breakfast source. If something ins’t going well after 1 month, you don’t need to force yourself to continue. Re-evaluate, ask why you wanted to have the resolution, find alternatives or modify the resolution slightly.
We are blessed to have another year, let's make it count! I know you can do this! Let me know how I can help you along the way.