So here we go guys…. The anticipated then dreaded “New Year’s Resolutions”. If you aren’t familiar with New Year’s Resolutions, it is nothing more than a time in the beginning of the year when people make a commitment to something or resolve to make some sort of change.
The changes can be very small such as drinking more water each day or grand such as pledging to lose 100 pounds this year- you get the idea. Problems start when we become so fixed on the finished line that we don’t break the task down and make a reasonable and realistic plan we can live with. We jump right in full force subconsciously expecting immediate results and eventually we burn out or just give up. This is all while having the best intentions to make change in our lives.
This year I’m not falling into the New Year’s Resolution trap. Instead, I’m just going to strive to be the best me. I’ve heard through the years that any plan that is not written down is simply a dream. It’s time to follow that notion. I’m writing on paper what my long- and short-term goals are for 2020 and more importantly I’ll check in periodically to make any necessary changes and to celebrate the small victories along the way.
I remember taking an organizational management class when I was in college and we learned about goal setting. The acronym is S.M.A.R.T. goals. I know there are different variations but the one I remember was – Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely. Many successful businesses use it. The military uses it. We can use it as well.
Get some paper and divide it into four sections
You can also transfer the goals you wrote on paper to a large poster board to create a vision board. Under each goal write a short outline of HOW you plan to accomplish it.
I want to lose some weight to improve my overall health and lower my blood pressure.
Goal: Lose 24 pounds in three months (by 31 March) Approximately 2lbs a week.
Plan: 6-8 hours sleep (even on weekends)
Drink minimum of 64oz of water
Show up to gym classes 4x week
Meal prep nutritious meals for the week
Manage my stress levels
Schedule 1: Ask yourself how you can make the plan a part of your routine in order to support your goal.
Schedule 2: Make time for reassessment and celebration
See the difference? My plan is not vague, it is quite specific. I didn’t leave the amount of weight I wanted to lose blank- instead I have a very specific goal. I also have written down some specific steps I need to take to make this goal a reality. I’ve paced myself giving appropriate and realistic time to reach my goal, checking in on my progress once at the end of each month.
Other Goals to Consider:
- Better physical self-care
- Healthier eating
- Healthier lifestyle choices (smoking, alcohol use, excessive processed foods)
- Consistent exercise
- Improved mental health (seeking professional help when necessary)
- Being able to say ‘NO’
- Resting more
- Taking time for yourself without guilt
- Sexual/reproductive health and screenings
- Financial literacy/ independence/ security
- Declutter your home, mind, workspace and private space
- Work/Life balance
- Work on your bucket list or create one
- Read more books for entertainment and self-improvement
- Nourish or mend relationships worth mending
- End relationships that need terminating
Things to Remember While You Are Striving to be Your Best Self
- Set some tangible goals with an actual schedule for yourself.
- Check in with yourself to see your progress and determine when/if you need to make changes.
- Celebrate the small victories and declare the mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow.
- Make your own path without competing with others. Everyone has their own race. Stay in your lane, worry about clearing your own hurdles and everyone gets to the finish line without getting hurt.
- Set boundaries with those who are in your circle. Consider cutting those people off who threaten your peace of mind and self-respect.
- Determine your why. Why are you pledging to make this change? Is it for you or someone else?
- Consider getting a trusted accountability partner.
REMEMBER SELF-CARE IS NOT JUST THE FRILLY FANCY STUFF LIKE MUD MASK FACIALS AND MASSAGES. THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF SELF-CARE IN MY OPINION IS TAKING CARE OF YOUR MIND AND MANAGING YOUR STRESS LEVELS.
Take the pressure off of your yourself and remember you are human. Will our plans be easy? NO! Will we be challenged? OF COURSE! Anything worth having is worth working hard for. We can see our goals to fruition if we make a plan, check in and stick with it. Here’s to perseverance and see you all at the finish line.
What are your SMART goals for 2020?