Do you make resolutions every January only to have them fall by the wayside before the month is over? Are you frustrated with making the same goals year after year then feeling like a failure because you didn’t stick to your plan? It’s not you, it’s your plan! Are you setting generic goals, like “I want to lose weight”, “I want to be healthier”, or “I want to take more time for myself”? Are you approaching your goals with an all or nothing attitude?
If you want to achieve your goals, the first thing you need to do is make them SMART goals. That means they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timed. It’s easy to make broad statements like “I want to lose 20 pounds,” but did you figure out exactly how? Do you have a realistic timeline? Did you identify the things that may prevent you from achieving that goal? Did you make a commitment to yourself?
First, let’s talk about what a SMART goal sounds like. “I will lose 20 pounds by March 1 by cutting out sugar and processed foods, making most of my meals at home and walking two miles three times per week after dinner.” Can you see the difference between the two statements?
Next, let’s identify roadblocks. They might include after-dinner conflicts with kids’ sports and activities, busy days that beg for quick and easy (processed) meals, stress making you crave sugar, or a lack of motivation after dinner is cleaned up. If your kids (or you) are involved in a lot of evening activities, perhaps taking your walk in the morning before work or during your lunch would be better options. Planning ahead for meals can help prevent relying on the drive-thru or frozen, pre-made meals. Cooking enough for 2-3 meals is a great way to do that. For example, cook some chicken and rice on Sunday and make it into stir-fry one day, chicken salad another and rice and veggies for a third meal. [Want more meal planning tips? We have a workshop coming up January 29th] Stress causing cravings? Time to find another way to deal with it. Perhaps a 10-minute meditation, a hobby that keeps your hands busy, or a phone call to a friend/family member. Lacking motivation? Plan to walk with a friend to help keep you on track.
Now let’s talk about making a commitment to yourself. It is so easy to forget about your own goals when you’re taking care of others. Or you get busy at work. Or you get distracted with other things. Or you get a cold. Or…. You get it, the list goes on and on. So, here comes a little tough love. What would you say to your child/sister/best friend if they started to drop back on their commitment to something they really wanted? Why do we think it’s okay to put our own goals/dreams/intentions on hold anytime anything comes up that makes it a little challenging to stick with? Yes, sometimes it is necessary to change our plans, but most of the time it just takes a simple adjustment to continue on. But that’s not what we do, is it? Instead we put our own plans on hold and take care of everyone else. Eventually, we become frustrated, angry and resentful, and probably just mad at ourselves for not sticking with it again. Time to start over again. Let’s be honest with ourselves. If we think we’re never going to get a pizza for dinner or missing one walk makes us forget about the whole week (or month), we’re never going to get there! While discipline with any goal is important, you also need to be flexible. Remember to be realistic! No one, no matter how elite the athlete or successful the entrepreneur, is on top of everything all the time! Remember every small habit equals big results in the long run.
Whether your goals include weight loss, getting healthy, going back to school, or looking for a new job, make a commitment to yourself to be happier, to live your life to the fullest, to go after what you want. No one is going to do it for you and you deserve to pursue your dreams! And, if you need help with your goals, schedule a goal setting session with us. Taking a half hour to talk through your intentions will help you set the tone for your success! Call us now to schedule! 609-346-4325
See you soon!