As we approach the starting line for 2018, it’s time to hit the refresh button on life. If you’re like me, resolutions have always been motivating, but hard to maintain over the course of an entire calendar year. So, let’s have a chat about how to get some goals down on paper (or if you are me, in my notes app) and make a plan for the long haul.
Reality Check ✅
“My goal this year is to work out and eat healthier,” said everyone, everywhere, every year. But, how does that goal set you up for success? I would argue, it doesn’t. Step one for goal-setting is to identify ones that are realistic, specific, and trackable. For example, I want to work out more this year – IMO, bad goal. But, let’s make it better! Be realistic – I want to work out one more day a week this year than last, so let’s say 4 days a week.
Be specific and hold yourself accountable to an actual activity – I want to attend 4 high intensity interval classes per month (my personal preference is Shred415). Next, track your progress! How many goals seem to survive to Feb. 1 and then die on the vine? Get your specific goal charted out on your calendar of choice. I’m a strong visual person so I love to see things mapped out over the whole year, and I love the sense of accomplishment seeing each workout get X’d out on the calendar. Also, give yourself a check-in around June to reevaluate your progress and your goal itself (Pro-tip: put the actual check-in on your calendar as well).
Lastly, be flexible with yourself – life happens so it’s okay to miss something here and there. Plus, studies show us that you learn far more from a setback than you do from success. As long as you have the ability to pick yourself up and learn from your obstacle, you will be setting yourself up for long term achievement.
Now that we know how to get goals established, let’s talk about creating some! I love the model of addressing mind, body, and spirit. This trifecta really covers all your wellness needs and can be adapted for just about every human being.
Don’t MIND if I Do
I try to identify at least one intellectual goal for the upcoming year. Now back in the day, I was saying crazy things like, this year I’m going to learn a new language. Too general, not realistic, no plan for execution – fail! Now I try to find actual items that will stimulate my mind and not require an immersion plan in the south of France (although, that isn’t sounding too bad at the moment).
Popular resolutions might include: discovering new media content outside your comfort zone (i.e. podcasts, movie genres, T.V. shows, etc.), visiting local historical sites, museums, or tourist attractions, signing up for classes of some kind (i.e. art classes, language classes, cooking classes <— my fav!, or even some college courses), exploring new word games and puzzles. So, hit the pause button and take 1-2 minutes to brainstorm a MIND goal for yourself. Ready. Set. GOals!
Andy’s 2018 MIND goal: Read at least 4 books (thinking non-fiction – maybe memoirs or leaders of tech or industry – yep, I’m a nerd 🤓) by the end of the year, preferably one a quarter… you have to realize I’m coming from a starting point of zero, and I would love some suggestions!
If You Like My BODY…
This is probably the most popular area where people want to set goals, and also where most fall short. But, let’s get it right in 2018! If we are talking exercise, again be specific. Challenge yourself to identify an actual workout that you can attain. What’s more, actually sign up for things – this really holds you accountable for the workout when you have invested some cold, hard cash. A race calendar is also a great place to start – plot out your races for the entire year and get registered. I even heard there was this great list of the top 100 races in America that you should check out 😉. Another great way to find accountability is to find a friend that can execute the goal with you – I pretty much recruit every friend (and occasionally my husband) to run races with me or attend HIIT classes.
And, the body aspect of your goal doesn’t need to be exercise or weight loss – be creative, people! Try a new hair style, schedule regular mani/pedis or massages, schedule that dentist visit you have been dreading, or take a dance class – hip hop anyone? So, pause… Ready. Set. GOals!
Andy’s 2018 BODY goal: Ok, I have two at the moment: 1) sign up for a team sport like volleyball or kickball (yes, we have great kickball leagues in Chicago), and 2) try a new hairstyle or hair color for the spring. It’ll grow back, right?
We often neglect this part of the trifecta. Spiritual well-being takes a backseat to losing 5 pounds any day. Plus, people generally think that this aspect has to be religious or hippie-dippie. And, while it can be both of those things, it can also be so much more. Your spiritual goal should focus on your ability to recharge, find happiness, destress, you know… the whole inner Zen thing. Explore meditation, journaling, and those cool, new coloring books. My husband knows how to rock out the crochet needles and make a mean blanket (stitch and b*tch, anyone?). Schedule it purposefully into your day, week, and month, and let it take top priority.
Popular resolutions might include: creating a gratuity jar, attend more services at your temple or house of worship, getting that appointment with a therapist or life coach, utilizing more of those vacation days, and, to be honest, finding that movie that can offer a good cry, amiright? Don’t skimp here… challenge yourself to find happiness, peacefulness, gratitude, and kindness (YOLO realness). You might need more than 1-2 minutes, but let’s go… Ready. Set. GOals!
Andy’s 2018 SPIRIT goal: I want to do more art!!! So to be specific, I would like to attend at least one painting class, preferably one where I can sip some vino. I would also like to purchase some coloring books and plan some coloring time at least once every 2 weeks (you better believe it’s going on my calendar).
So, what are your resolutions for 2018? It’s cliché, but today truly is the first day of the rest of your life so no time like the present. I’ll make sure to check back with each of you in December so we can compare notes. Happy New Year!