While we may seem miles away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we're still only a short time into the year 2017. Meaning that most of us can still remember those promises we made to ourselves on January 1st. The New Year's Resolution is a cliché, there's no doubt about that. But there is something inspiring about the clean slate of a new year that makes us ready to take on our most important goals. However, for a lot of people, New Year's Resolutions are given up well before the end of January. In fact, "Ditch New Year's Resolution Day" is officially January 17th of each year! This means by now a great deal of us have completely lost sight of what we wanted to achieve.
Resolutions are typically a personal endeavor and are almost always related to one aspect or another of well-being. As health coaches here at Kapnick, nothing is more important to us that making sure you are putting your well-being first. Today, we invite you to dust off your resolutions and re-focus yourself.
image: Society 6 from design-milk.com
If the invitation to recommit to your New Year's Resolution has you feeling like you're standing at the base of a mountain about to attempt to climb up it barefoot and backwards, don't worry- you're in good company.
But given the proper time, dedication and focus you'll be at the top of that mountain before you know it. Follow the five tips below to get back to your goals and you might find yourself feeling like I did in this picture- on top of the world!
- IDENTIFY WHY YOU STRUGGLED TO STICK WITH IT IN THE FIRST PLACE
There was a reason why this goal of yours did not work out and you have to take the time to figure out why that is. Don't be afraid of the reality of your situation- maybe you really don't want to run that 5k, it's just something you think you need to do. Or maybe you'd be comfortable losing 15 lbs. instead of the 35 lbs. you originally thought needed to come off. Maybe you are much lazier than you thought you were or your schedule won't allow the necessary training you need to do. There are so many factors to consider and it's important that you take the time to do so.
- ADJUST WHERE ADJUSTMENTS MUST BE MADE
Once you have identified the issues that got in your way, it's time to redefine what it is you want to do. Whether it is something very small or your goal completely shifts to something new, you have to get back to the beginning and identify your goal all over again. By now you know how to make a goal that counts, but just to refresh you: Goals must be S.M.A.R.T. That acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-specific. You want to avoid being vague with yourself. A few examples to help you get started: change "lose weight" to "lose 10lbs in two months," change "run faster" to "shave 2 minutes off my finishing time for a 10k by April 1."
- FINE-TUNE YOUR PLAN
If you struggled to answer question one, it might be because you had a clear goal in mind and you do really want to achieve it, but you never set a path for yourself to get there. Creating a SMART goal is the perfect start, but it's just a start. You have to have a map for yourself. Maybe you're going to keep your goal exactly the same as it was on January 1st, but now you need to adjust those mini-goals along the way. If you have developed a whole new resolution, you need a whole new set of small-scale goals that will get you there. For example, if you have a goal to save up money for something special, you need to know exactly how much and when you need it saved by so that you can calculate how much to put away from each paycheck.
- FIND OR REDISCOVER YOUR COMMUNITY
This one is important because as much as these goals are a personal journey, we are social beings. Having another person to discuss triumphs and tough times with is almost essential to your success. They do not have to be on the same journey as you, but that can help. Find an online community of runners who are training for their very own half marathon or ask your significant other, sibling or roommate to help keep you accountable if your resolution is to cut your sugar intake.
5. IDENTIFY YOUR REWARD
If you did not have a set-in-stone reward when you set off on January 1st, it's time to think of one. If you did have something, it's time to rethink it because obviously it was not enough to motivate you. Rewards are half the fun of reaching the goal. Along with the high of sticking to a commitment you made to yourself, you get something out of the deal you can feel good about! Rewards can be absolutely anything, but as a health coach I urge you to avoid rewarding yourself with unhealthy foods or activities. The reward does not have to be related to your resolution, either. If you achieve your 30-day sugar detox goal and you've really wanted to replace your ugly coffee table- go for it! Promise yourself that if you keep your meditation practice going for two months that you'll finally take that weekend trip to northern Michigan you've been dreaming of.
I hope you have found these steps a useful guide to getting back on track! As your recommit, remember the saying:
"YOU WILL NEVER ALWAYS BE MOTIVATED,
YOU WILL HAVE TO LEARN TO BE DISCIPLINED."