“January 1st is the day I’m starting.”
Have you ever said that? I know I have said that many, many times. I gave up on setting New Year Resolutions years ago. I rarely stuck with them longer than a month. Instead, I changed my focus to a small series of goals throughout the year. They are easier to attain and I’m more focused. Small steps lead to bigger gains, right?
With January 1st happening very, very soon, I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to accomplish in 2016. Of course, running PR’s at the top of my list. I’d also like to get stronger, stay injury free and explore new career options. There’s plenty more ideas swirling around in my head.
The other day, it dawned on me – There’s no need to wait until January 1 to start working towards what I want to achieve in the New Year. Don’t think the beginning of the new year is the only time to wipe the slate clean. With every sunrise, it’s a fresh start!
I’ve learned over time that taking several small steps towards an attainable goal can help me stay motivated. When I reach a goal I’ve set along the way, I can build on that success and reach towards the next, all working towards what I ultimately want to accomplish. Setting mini goals throughout the year, rather than one vague resolution, keeps me focused and inspired.
You will never find the “perfect” time to start a new exercise program. There will never be the perfect time to cut back on your sugar intake. There will never be the perfect time for anything.There will always be a reason why you should wait. Don’t let the little things get in the way. If you want to be healthier, happier, fitter, faster and stronger you, start today!
Follow these 5 steps for a successful foundation to all your goals.
1. Make your goals SMART.
- Specific – Think of the 6 ‘W’s”
- *Who: Who is involved?
- *What: What do I want to accomplish?
- *Where: Identify a location.
- *When: Establish a time frame.
- *Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
- *Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
- Measureable – How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?
- Achievable – When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.
- Realistic – Set an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be.
- Timely – A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency.
2. Have a reason to achieve your goal.
It’s actually easy to set a SMART goal. What’s hard and is actually where most people fall off, is knowing WHY we want to achieve a goal. The key here is to have an emotional connection to why the goal has been set. Why is this goal important to you? Think beyond the superficial reasons of “I want to look good”. WHY do you want to look good and WHY is it so important to you? So that you can set a good example to your kids to make healthy food and exercise choices? Now that’s a good, emotional reason to achieve your goal!
3. Write the goals down.
Research shows that writing down your goals makes you more likely to achieve them. Make yourself accountable to the goals by writing it down in pen and putting it somewhere you see EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I am a HUGE fan of the Believe Training Journals.
4. Have a plan.
There’s truth to the saying, “failing to plan is planning to fail”? Write down the actionable steps you need to take to make sure you can achieve your goal. Don’t write down a plan that you know you can’t keep to. Small steps accumulate to big results so keep in mind that every small thing you do is working towards a bigger goal. One simple way I’ve found to keep my eating habits on track is to keep Adora Calcium Supplements in my lunch bag at work. When I get the 3 p.m. chocolate craving, rather than hitting up the vending machine, I have two dark or milk chocolate disks to squash the craving and I’m getting my daily calcium requirements. Bonus!
5. Build a supportive environment.
Be with people who understand your goal and want to help you achieve it. While they might not necessarily be like-minded people, your supportive environment have your best interests at heart and they want to motivate and encourage you. They want to see you achieve your goal. Keep focused and remember WHY you’re doing this.
What goals are you going after in 2016?