Happy New Year! There’s something so exciting about a brand new year. Whether you believe in making resolutions or not, there is something to be said about having a blank canvas to work on for the next twelve months.
Goal setting is awesome. And it’s totally necessary if you want to keep moving forward and creating an amazing life for yourself. However, during this time of year, so much focus is placed on creating new habits that we end up setting ourselves up for failure by creating unrealistic goals. Or we just talk the talk in January and don’t walk the walk the rest of the year. Let’s talk about how to set – and more importantly – reach your goals in the New Year.
First, let’s think about your theme for the upcoming year. If you could encapsulate 2013 in one sentence, what would it be? I’ll wait... Now let’s dive even deeper and reduce that sentence down to one word. What one word would completely sum up the next year for you? For me it’s “Breakthrough”.
Next find a quiet spot, close yours eyes and envision yourself a year from now. It’s December of 2013 and you’re reflecting on the last year. What has happened during the past year? What went well? What have you accomplished? Of what are you most proud? And what have you learned from your experience? Write down your feelings, accomplishments, and a-ha moments.
With all of this in mind, you’re going to set your goals for 2013. It may be helpful to bucket your goals into certain categories, like Personal Growth, Work, Health – whatever makes the most sense to you. For each category, set an overall goal followed by 3-5 specific tactics. For example:
Overall Goal: I will complete a marathon by October 31st, 2013.
Basically you are going to take your big overall goal and figure out what it would take to make that thing happen – those are your tactics. Make sure that your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
A note about goals – sometimes less is more. It is far more important to focus on making one major change and doing it right than it is to do fifteen things half-assed. Use your own personal compass to determine how many things you can tackle at a time. Goals don’t have to be boring or serious either. Maybe your overall goal is to have more fun this year or inject more adventure into your everyday life – those are both perfectly acceptable goals.
What are you longing for in your life? What would help you become the best YOU you can be? Set goals that will help you achieve this picture.
What is your biggest goal for 2013? Let us know in the comments below!
I’ve always lived my life on the run. As a former collegiate athlete, I would run from class to class and then to practice and back. Everything was go, go, go. When I finished school, I still hustled, but I noticed the people around me were so busy working and networking that they didn’t take time for themselves. After starting full-time work, many of them gained upwards of 20 pounds, felt sluggish or were faced with health concerns they never expected.
Some things in college tend to stay with you. For me, maintaining a balance between staying busy and staying fit has remained a priority. Others may struggle to find time to workout between an 11-hour workday, lunches, drinks and endless networking functions. Despite these constraints, there is a way to set and achieve manageable health and fitness goals. And, even if you don’t think finding time is necessary right now, consider this upstream prevention. You’re far less likely to face health concerns, like Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes, if you take small steps now.
Here are a few suggestions to consider when setting and following through with your health and fitness goals.
It’s great to have lofty goals (i.e., losing 20 pounds, finishing a triathlon etc.). But sometimes these goals are too far off and can become overwhelming. Create benchmarks for yourself. If you note your progress along the way, it will make your end goal seem more achievable. The concept of dropping two sizes won’t feel so overwhelming and you can bask in the success of your positive day-to-day decisions. Plus, you’ll be more aware of what is and isn’t working in your routine. This will allow you to make changes.
Remember the ‘Why’
Make sure that you’re invested in your goals; you’ve created them for a reason. Maybe you wanted to lose weight, train for a half marathon or simply lead a healthier lifestyle. There’s an emotional weight behind accomplishing each of those tasks. No one wants to run a half marathon just to do it; they’re proving something about their physical and emotional capacity. Remembering why you picked this goal will help when your “self-motivation” starts to wane - that moment when don’t know why you’re waking up at 5 a.m. or why you’re passing on that slice of strawberry cheesecake. Having a goal that you’re connected to will help you answer the why. And, before long, your choices will become habit.
I work out 6 days a week. Some of my friends claim that they can’t find the time. Curiously, they find time to watch The Good Wife or Game of Thrones. Let’s be honest, we make time for what we want to make time for. When it comes to creating health/fitness goals, time management is a must. I find time to watch my favorite shows but I’m never just watching TV. While I watch, I’m doing abs, push-ups or an interval workout on the treadmill. No one says that you have to workout for 4 hours every day. If you take a serious look at how you spend your time and what those activities add to the essentials in your life, I promise you’ll find time for your health.
Birds of a Feather…
Flock together, yes. Look, it’s much easier to maintain goals if you are surrounded by people with the same values. I’m not saying to totally switch out your friends, but I am saying that it could be helpful to join a gym, a recreational league or bribe a friend to join you on your health quest. Your support system will help you stay accountable. If you’re already having a hard time staying motivated, there’s nothing worse than being surrounded by people who encourage you to veer off track. The little devil on your shoulder will give you plenty of reasons ‘why not’ to work out or skip McDonalds.
Don’t forget who you’re kickboxing or cutting back on milkshakes for. It’s YOU. You are the most important element in setting your fitness goals. Don’t set goals or hold back pursuing this change based on what others think, want or need. Invest in yourself! YOU are important, YOUR health is important and YOU are in control of your body.
Good health is essential to a happy life. If you want to increase your chances at functioning longevity, you’ll need to make your health a priority. This means eating healthy and staying active despite the pressures and time constraints of life. You can do it! Step by step you will reach your goals.