It's the beginning of the year and whispers of “New Year, New Me”, “Diets”, losing weight, and “Dry Januarys” are in the air. There seems to be mixed feelings towards goal setting at New Year; with some finding New Year's resolutions pointless or choosing to set goals throughout the year instead, and others who like to make resolutions when the clock strikes 12 on the 1st Jan, finding it a motivational kick into action!
Let's be honest, generally our lives are pretty hectic, we’re a pretty ambitious bunch and we love to put pressure on ourselves. Is a New Year’s resolution just going to add something else to your 'to do list', or can you build on what you’ve already started? Before setting yourself a crazily ambitious goal for the year, take a step back and think about what is important to you. What makes you feel good? What and who do you value? What makes you smile? What would make you a better person?
I definitely lean more towards the first group and generally set small goals throughout the year. In my opinion, the longer you wait to work towards a goal, the more likely you are to convince yourself that it’s actually not a priority and ignore it - *News flash* starting a goal on a specific day doesn't make it any easier.
Although ambitious, I also like to be realistic and would rather strive for progress over perfection, this way I don't beat myself up for not succeeding as my goals are specific and achievable, winning! More commonly than not, most will go into a New Year with that all or nothing mentality, say they are going to the gym 6 days a week and eat clean 100% of the time, then only make it to the gym 3 days out of the 6 (because life happened) and feel like a failure, promising themselves they will start next week/month... sleep, repeat!!
With this in mind I have listed a few of my thinking’s on New Year’s resolutions:
- Understand your ‘Why’? 'Why' do you want to achieve your 'what'?
- Start small, appreciate the changes and build it up from there.
- It takes hard work and sometimes falling down to create a new habit. Persistence pulls you through.
- Set yourself up for success and more importantly, make it a sustainable change! Don’t get to January 15th and feel like you can’t go on.
- Turn your negatives into positives and stay away from that “all or nothing” approach. A lot can be achieved between what's black or white, a lot of fresh perspective can be found in the grey zone.
- Start with one at a time, pick one and implement a new habit. Once you have got to grips with that one, tackle the next.
- Goals should be SMART; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound.
- Have a clear out, nothing clears your mind and sets you up better than a good de-clutter!
- Give yourself a pat on the back every now and again! - If you want something, make yourself accountable.
- Make it your priority! If you want it, make time.
This is your life, shape it exactly how you want to. Be intentional, be diligent and more importantly, do it with a smile. And remember even when it’s hard, it’s good. It’s all a part of the journey and makes us who we are.
Here’s to 2018, the same you, but better.
Ash, Starks Fitness