It is that time of year again, the time when we collectively decide to work out more, eat better, quit everything bad for us, and clean our houses in a daily rotation like they do on Pinterest. Then by February, we have all but forgotten these resolutions. Life gets busy and frankly it is just too damn hard to overhaul our whole lives all at once. It's exhausting. While I think that New Year's Day provides that new beginning that motivates many of us to make life changes, it also sets us up for failure. It only comes once a year after all, and we get into the mindset that we better do all the changing and bettering of ourselves today. It doesn't have to be that way. I think that if we follow a couple of rules, we can be so much more successful in our pursuits to better ourselves throughout the whole year. Not starting New year's Day. Not starting Monday. Starting today.
Don't make New Year's Resolutions. Make goals. Decide on one to three big things you want to achieve this year then work out the steps necessary to achieve them and get started. Want to lose 10 pounds? Write a meal plan and exercise schedule that will get you there (or find someone who can help you). Don't be too aggressive at first. Take baby steps. Someone who doesn't work out regularly will do well by just making a commitment to walk for 30 minutes to an hour every day, rather than setting up hour long gym sessions six days a week. You can build up to get there if that is what you want. Just don't plan to start there. You'll only burn yourself out.
Don't try to change your whole life at once. This month decide on one thing you want to really focus on. Start working on the steps necessary to achieve that goal. Next month after you are rocking the consistency necessary to achieve this goal, you can start working on a second goal. In other words, don't try to quit smoking, start exercising, go back to school, go on a diet, and read more books all at once. Take things one at time until the the steps necessary to achieve them have become routine, then start on a new goal. You can easily work towards multiple goals at one time, just don't try to start and achieve them all at the same time.
Dream big. Start small. Then connect the dots. I saw this quote from a guy called @TheYogiMatt on Instagram. Don't be too aggressive. Take baby steps. Sometimes our dreams are so big that they won't be achieved within the year. That is fabulous! The key is to break them down into smaller goals that are achievable over the short-term. Want to be a doctor, but you need to get your GED first? Nothing wrong with dreaming so big. Break your big dreams into smaller manageable goals. Sign up for your first class. Start looking for a mentor. Just start taking the necessary steps to get there.
My goals this year? Thanks for asking.
BIG GOAL: This year I want to finally get my personal training certification. After two rounds of NASM's eTeach I am finally ready to tackle this one. If I am being honest, I think I let fear keep me from taking the test. I told myself I needed more time to study before the test, but as more time passed, the further away I got from achieving my goal. I think If I would have just taken the test and risked (gasp!) failure, I may have surprised myself.
SMALL STEPS: What does that mean today? Commit to daily studying. Buy the test. Find an online study partner (Is it you?). Don't fear failure. Embrace it.
GOAL: I want more paid freelance writing.
SMALL STEPS: This means I need to write articles and submit them to publications. Write daily. Read more.
GOAL: I want to run faster.
SMALL STEPS: This means I need to do more strength training and more speed work. Write a plan and stick to it. Work on hill repeats once a week and strength 2-3 times a week.
But not all at once. I'll take on one thing at a time and build on my goals over time starting with the one that is most important to me (my training cert.).
How about you? What are your big
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