I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I do appreciate taking time to reflect on the past twelve months and lay out my goals for the coming year. In general, resolutions tend to be unrealistic, overreaching, and therefore doomed for failure. Instead of making resolutions, this year set realistic, strategic goals and create an action plan that goes far beyond January. Here’s how…
Define Your Goal
Start by defining your primary goal for this year. A goal should be specific, measurable, challenging yet achievable, and have personal significance. Identify WHY this is important to you and how it will FEEL to achieve this goal. How will your quality of life improve when you accomplish this goal? What changes will you experience? Goals driven by others (spouse, society, family) lack internal drive and are therefore unlikely to succeed. This is about you and it must come from within you. What do you want and why do you want it?
Create an Action Plan
Write a list of actions you will take to achieve your goal. Prioritize these actions in order of which ones will have the greatest impact on moving you closer to your goal. Whether you start with one action or four is not important, as long as the changes stick and you continue to implement new actions as each one gets easier and becomes routine. Map out your remaining goal-supporting actions on a year-long calendar, adding at least one to each month. This action plan is a working guide, which can be modified as needed, month to month. To ensure success of your action plan, identify habits that must change. For example, if your goal is to get to a 6 AM spin class you must make a habit of going to bed by 10 o’clock in the evening and laying out your workout clothes before going to sleep. Likewise, if your goal is to eat more healthy home cooked meals, you must make a habit of blocking out time to visit the grocery store two days per week to pick up fresh ingredients.
Progress, Not Perfection
Remember, this is about progress, not perfection. This is not pass/fail; it’s a journey. You will slip up on occasion, but this does not mark the beginning of the end. Fluctuations are part of a normal, healthy life. When this happens, avoid beating yourself up– simply return to your healthy habits and get right back on track. Don’t let a wayward weekend become a week or a week turn into a month. Rather than be critical and self-deprecating, be curious and start noticing what throws you off your rhythm. Be mindful of the actions or emotions that precede a bump in the road and retrospection will eventually become preemptive awareness.
Get Your Subconscious On Board
Start becoming aware of subconscious patterns that may undermine and sabotage your efforts. As you begin tuning into your own thoughts, you may be surprised by what you find. Change can be scary. If you lose weight, will people close to you feel threatened or jealous? Is your social network at risk if you change? When your subconscious associates loss or fear with your goals, this is sure to block you from accomplishing them. You may need to reprogram some deep subconscious thought patterns. When you hold yourself back for the benefit of others, nobody wins. Replace thought patterns such as, “Achieving my goals will make my friends jealous” with, “I am going to shine my brightest so I can live the best life possible and inspire those around me to do the same.” Keep it positive. Become your biggest cheering section.
To support you on your journey toward optimal health and wellness this year, I will be creating innovative nutrition coaching programs and custom packages that teach you how to live better and feel better. Next up is the Body Love program (starts February 21), a four week nutrition program with an emphasis on body positivity, balance, nutrient-rich foods, and selective indulgence. Contact me to learn more about Body Love or a custom program to help you achieve your goals for 2019!