Well it’s somehow the middle of January. It seems like a good time to ask, how are those “resolutions” going?
Have you been staying on track? Are you starting to see any results? Are you feeling any differently? Or, have you given up? Found too many “reasons” why you will start next week? Or maybe you never set them to begin with?
Whatever the case, now is a good time to check-in. How is 2016 going for you?
Remember all those feelings of a fresh start? A year of opportunity? All the possibility for change and growth that you felt on January first, still feeling that way?
The good news is we are only three weeks into the new year. The holidays are done and you are finally back to your regular routine. Forget about the first week of January, the third week is the perfect time to think about what you want to accomplish in the year ahead.
As I shared, I’m not a huge fan of resolutions. I am however, a big advocate of goals. Setting intentions and tracking your progress is important, especially as we start a new year.
We have all heard about S.M.A.R.T goals (S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – Achievable, R – Results focused, T – time bound.) I like S.M.A.R.T goals and believe when setting goals they should be S.M.A.R.T but more importantly I think they should be G.R.E.A.T:
G – Growth
Too often we get stuck in the same routine with the same bad habits. We become complacent, tired and so focused on getting through the day that we lose sight on what’s important. Where we want to be. What we want to be.
I remember when I was young I literally wanted to scream every time someone asked me, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
Now I wonder, when did people stop asking you that question? When did you stop asking yourself that question?
We get a cozy 9-5 office job. We get a place to live. We get a partner. We have a couple kids and then what? Is that it?
It’s usually around this time that people stop asking. We have “made it.” But have we really?
When was the last time you asked yourself, “what do I want to be when I grow up?”
I’m not suggesting throwing it all away for your real calling of becoming a rock star, but what is it that you truly love? What is missing from your life? Is there a hobby you have? Is there a sport that you played? Is there a course you always wanted to take?
Just because you have “grown up” does not mean that you have to stop growing. Although you might not be 20 anymore, you probably still have a lot of years ahead of you. Never stop growing.
R – Realistic
Here’s the reality check, what’s actually realistic? You missed your calling of being an Olympic weightlifter, should you start your training now? Probably not. But if weightlifting is what makes you happy, buy some weights. Find a gym. Find the time.
Don’t get too focused on the end goal because it’s a long road.
The thought of getting to where you want to be, in comparison to where you are now, is sometimes so scary that we talk our self out of even starting.
Be realistic on where you are now. If you have not lifted a weight in years set a goal of going to the gym twice a week.
If you want to be healthier, start small. Don’t cut out all carbs and sugar starting “tomorrow.” Start by taking your lunch to work every day this week. Or preparing dinner and sitting down with you family to eat three times this week.
Spend more time focused on what you want right now.
What changes need to be made to get you where you want to go?
You can’t run a marathon with one giant leap, you must take each step.
E – Exciting
Does this goal actually excite you? We could all lose a “few” pounds, but just saying the words seems dreadfully painful. Yes I want to lose the weight, but no I don’t want to workout every night after dinner when I would rather be sitting on the couch watching Netflix.
How can you reach your goal in a way that excites you? You want to work out more, what about taking a pole dancing class with your girlfriend? You want to eat healthier, what about starting a soup club with a few friends.
There are so many ways you can be healthier besides a lemon water and salad diet.
A – Actionable
How are you going to make your goal become a reality? What are you going to start doing today? What are you going to start doing next week? Again when we focus too much on the end goal we can quickly become overwhelmed so it’s important to focus on small, action oriented, achievable steps, which will carry us to our end goal.
I would like to caution here, that it’s important not to focus too much on the timing. Yes it would be great if you could lose 20 pounds by your summer vacation in June, but if you are only down 15 on June first, don’t give up.
Too often it’s when we are so close to our goal that we give up.
Don’t focus too much on the time frame, but rather on the steps you are going to take to get to your goal. Change typically does not happen as fast as we would like.
T – Trackable
Once you have figured out what you want to do and what you love to do, how are you going to track your progress?
The reason why tracking your progress is important is because it allows us to clearly see the change that is happening, which can be difficult. There are many ways to track progress, the key is to find what works best for you.
Setting up a buddy system with someone who is going to follow-up and hold you accountable when you steer off course. Creating a calendar that you keep beside your bed so you can actually check-off the days this week you went to the gym. What works best for you?
Change is tough. Habits are hard to break. It can be easy to get discouraged. If you fall off the wagon, get back on. There are 344 days left in this year and a lot more left in your lifetime. It’s never too late.
What goals or intentions have you set for 2016? Are you focused on big goals or smaller changes? I would love to hear about your plan below.
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