If you’re like me you’ve spent countless New Year’s eve’s listing all the things your fresh clean slate will allow you to accomplish. “January 1st is the day I’m going to wake up and instantly be a new person. Someone who is more disciplined, excessively interested in exercising, refuses to eat another item containing sugar and a girl who loves to make the bed in the mornings.” I always hope I’ll wake up as someone who has no fear, endless money to try new things and wants to spend her days making my dreams happen. I feel unstoppable the first morning of a new year, like I was gifted a new body, spirit and mind overnight. (insert power posing in front of the mirror here!)
And then 12 o’clock hits and I’m hungry, tired from staying up too late and already ready to give up on all my dreams. By 7pm I’ve convinced myself that I’ll make easier resolutions and that they will start “tomorrow.”
Are you with me? I mean it’s already the end of January and I’ve changed my resolutions list 15 times….
So this year I’ve decided to do something different, something that actually allows me to make my resolutions a reality and I hope you’ll join me or at least applaud my efforts…
Step 1: Take 2 weeks to determine what you really want to resolve to do this year. (yes, even though it’s not New Years anymore)
I think this part is crucial because it gets us past the “honeymoon” phase of a new year and requires us to actually think long and hard about what our goals are and how we are going to get there. It’s the difference between making a list of resolutions and making a plan to accomplish our goals. Your goals should be your year’s investments; where are you going to focus your time, attention and discipline? Then ask yourself “why am I investing in these things?” There has to be an emotional connection to your goals that drives your discipline. I, for example, want to go down 2 pant sizes (Cue a round of applause from every American who dreams of losing weight). This has been a lifetime goal but until this year the emotional attachment hasn’t been quite as hefty. With the hopes of starting a family this year my body goals have been ramped up. I am absolutely terrified of pregnancy, being out of control of my body and never getting it back. This emotional attachment has me inspired and driven to accomplish what I’ve set out to achieve.
My 2016 Goals:
-Go down 2 pant sizes
-Do Whole30 for the whole 30 days!
–Give up all sweeteners (including Stevia—you addictive devil, though you might be a plant no one has any idea what kind of catastrophic cancer you are creating in my body yet….)
-Rebrand my company and blog more consistently
-Book 10 more weddings for 2016
-Learn to Ski
-Learn another Language. Either Hindi, Thai or Japanese.
Step 2: Prioritize your goals
While I do want to quit sugar, work out daily, eat Whole30, make the bed, learn another language, stick to the budget, blog more, learn to ski, rebrand my business, go to a country I’ve never been, become a premier cultural wedding photographer and journal every day; I realized that all of that cannot happen at once. My days are too full and my gumption is not quite strong enough to withstand a life renovation like that. This is why prioritizing is necessary! Proverbs says that “without vision people perish…” I’d like to add to that, “that without prioritizing, your goals will vanish…”
So let’s look at our goal list and start deciding what is THE most important thing you accomplish this year and work your way down from there. Now you might be thinking; “I can work out everyday, eat like a rabbit, train for a 10 mile swim and walk on the moon all at the same time.” Well good for you, you’re amazing and should run for president this year (in fact anyone else please run for president so our country has a chance…) I cannot. And I can’t pretend I’m going to try. Everyone, including me, wants to fix or improve about 50 things in their life but unfortunately we can realistically only handle about 5-7 goals at a time. So what are your 5-7 most important and pressing goals? Look back at step 1 and determine which ones carry the most weight. Working out, eating healthy and going down 2 pant sizes are more important than learning another language because I want to feel confident and fearless when I get pregnant.
Step 3: Map out your goals on the calendar/
Now that you’ve prioritized what’s most important, it’s pertinent that you map out your goals for each month. In order to attain your goals they must be measurable and specific. You’re more likely to fail if you just say “I’m going to work out.” Ok, what kind of workout, for how many days of the week? What times of the day will you work out? Set reminders on your phone, write your plan in the calendar, make an effort to keep yourself accountable. Being measurable and specific will not only help you progress in your goals but it will help you see and feel your accomplishments i.e. Get to a size 6 by August, Read 52 books by December 31st, complete Whole30 by June 1st. There are some FANTASTIC planners and apps out there that I highly recommend for mapping your goals.
My Goals planned by Month:
February: This month I will give up all sugar and sweeteners after reading “I Quit Sugar” and I will eat Whole30. I will take a Ski trip to June Mountain and try to learn to ski for 2 days, I will not resort to snowboarding if I fall and get frustrated on Day 1.
March: This month I will purchase a language learning program and commit to 20 minutes a day learning Japanese, Hindi or Thai.
April: I will plan a camping trip to Crystal Cove State Park and invite a bunch of friends.