Making 2017 the year of YOU
Well my friends, here we are again at the start of a new year. While many of us are getting swept away in New Year’s resolutions, I want to remind you that every day you wake up is a new opportunity to reinvent yourself. You don’t have to wait until the beginning of the calendar year to reset and refocus yourself. I highly encourage us all to adopt a learning and growth mentality, while appreciating the present moment. It is great to have goals; but it is important to remember that those visions come to life with each decision that you make in the here and now.
With that said, NOW is still a great opportunity to reflect back on the previous year and identify the progress that you have made. Did you work hard toward those goals you set for yourself last January 1st? If so, afford yourself some time to appreciate the process and acknowledge your hard work. Too often, we forage ahead and don’t pause long enough to reflect on how far we have come and the personal growth that has occurred to propel us forward. Ask yourself…what are some things that you did really well with over the last year? What habits have you adopted? What new things did you try? What goals did you achieve? What did you learn about yourself? Use this momentum to launch you into the next minute, hour, month, and year. Through this process, let’s identify and acknowledge what you can do to implement what you have learned to continue growing in the direction of your dreams.
During this process, some of you may look back at the last year and realize that you did not quite make it to the destination you had envisioned for yourself last January. Maybe getting derailed from your goals by February is something you have been experiencing and repeating for years. If so, please do not waste any time feeling bad about it! Release any feelings of shame and guilt, because all they are going to do is drag you down and keep you from moving forward in the upcoming months. The beauty about goal setting is that you can decide to change any time you want. If you want your outcome to be different this year…YOU choose. Where that starts is with changing your mindset and adopting different habits that set you up to succeed. Elect to learn from your past experiences, and then leave the past in the past. When you treat them as learning opportunities, rather than failures, you are free to change your path without getting tripped up by old habits.
Here is some food for thought during your reflection and goal setting process:
Connect to your WHY:
One way that you can bulletproof your goals this year is to take some time to connect to your why statement. Your why statement is the underlying reason that you are setting out to make changes in your life. This statement is your motivation – whether intrinsic or extrinsic. It may require you to peel away some layers and dig deep. An example of a why statement may look like this:
-I want to build functional strength and flexibility in a low impact environment, and detoxify my body and home in order to optimize and prepare myself to conceive a child.
This year, I am going to:
– attend 2 yoga and strength classes a week
-eliminate alcoholic beverages from my lifestyle
-detoxify my cleaning and personal care products
Getting ready for a baby? Now that’s a lot more powerful and motivating than saying I’m going to go to the gym to look good in a bathing suit. That’s EXTRINSIC motivation..and I’ve been down that road before. After a while, that motivation well runs dry. But starting a family and wanting to provide a healthy and clean environment to raise a child in? That’s INTRINSIC motivation…and I guarantee that if you write that down and align your decisions with that why statement, you are going to be much more empowered and successful.
Think about the journey, not the destination
You can think of this process as a road trip. As you are developing your goals, make sure that you clarify whether you are setting goals as a journey or a destination. For example, there are some individuals who are training for a specific event or competition. There is a certain objective and time frame involved, and there is a calculated process that is going to get them from point A to point B. They have the route planned out for them, they focus on the road ahead, and don’t get distracted by stopping along the way. This may apply to you if you are enrolling in a 6 week program, and you have a set of instructions and guidelines to follow in order to kick-start you in the right direction. This destination focused approach is different from the journey of life. When you are saddling up for the long haul, there are several other things to consider in order to make your wellness journey a sustainable lifestyle. If you are someone who has completed different programs and has the necessary tools, support, and education to continue implementing change…you may need to have a completely different set of goals. In this case, it can be very beneficial to work with your personal coach to develop goals and strategies that will keep your motor running and prevent you from getting derailed. They also can work with you and guide you on how to cope with periods of time that you get off track. Who hasn’t gotten in the car and gotten lost or taken a detour? It’s going to happen! With a little preparation, intention, and grace, you are the one who decides if that detour is going to take you 2 days out of the way or 2 years off the beaten path. Take some time to zoom out and identify what path you are on, and align your goals and intentions with your unique situation.
Action and outcome oriented goals
Once you are ready to write out your goals, be sure to consider the following:
-You want to include action steps for each goal, which will help you identify how you are going to move in the direction of them. How do you get from point A to point B? Where are you starting from and where do you want to be? Are there 5 steps to take in the middle, or 50?
-Dream big, but start small. Remember that success and long term progress occurs one step at a time.
-Make them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-sensitive.
-Reverse engineer your goals. One way you may choose to incorporate this is by setting yourself a goal calendar. If you have identified 10-12 action steps that are going to progress you toward your goals, don’t try to implement them all at once. You can start out by assigning one action step to focus on each month. Try not to get carried away by biting off more than you can chew, otherwise you are going to choke!
Example of a goal oriented calendar:
In January, I am going to focus on eating mindfully in order to tune into when my body feels full.
In February, I am going to plan and prepare my meals every Sunday.
In March, I am going to prioritize my sleep and be sure to get at least 7 quality hours a night.
In April… (you get the picture)
Forget about relying on willpower
The term willpower has been over-utilized and misconstrued in the world of goal setting. Relying on willpower to overcome daily challenges has the potential to quickly become stressful, and can lead to you losing steam along your journey. Often times, when people slip up they quickly place the blame on not having enough willpower to stay connected to their goals. Blame leads to shame, which downward spirals to failure and throwing in the towel. Acknowledge that willpower plays a very minor role in the success of goal achievers. Finding ways to incorporate good lifestyle practices into daily habits will eliminate the need for discipline and willpower. Again, working with a coach to implement these strategies can be very helpful for those of you who may be perceiving WILLpower as a SUPERpower that only some people have. This is not true, and the sooner you release this misconception, the quicker you can focus on doing the things that will truly lead to sustainable progress.
Visualize your success
-One way to do this is by creating a vision board. Get creative with this! You can print out pictures, inspirational quotes, etc. and collect them all in one place.
-Spend time meditating to visualize yourself as the person you want to be in 1 month, 3 months, 12 months.
-After you’ve written down your goals for the year, along with your WHY statement, keep your journal or vision board somewhere that you can connect with it daily. You are more likely to align your actions with your intentions and visions if you make it a habit to see it every. Visualize yourself making strides to those goals.
-Identify barriers to your progress that may derail you from your goals, and do not allow these to become stressors in your life. If you confront triggers and barriers before they get in your way, you will feel more equipped to handle them, and less likely to throw your hands in the air and give up.
-Take some time to reflect on the support system that you have in your life that will be on the sidelines cheering for you to go the distance. If you have a solid group of people who support you unconditionally, that’s wonderful! Don’t forget to share your goals with them so that they can help you along the way. However, there are many of us who feel alone on our personal journey to become the best version of ourselves; and your usual group of people could ultimately hold you back if they are not on board. It is important to surround yourself with people who are going to add value to your lifestyle rather than detract from it. You may need to dig deep and have some difficult conversations to keep people in your corner. If this is not likely, you may need to acknowledge the role that they play in your life, accept it, and then look to connect with other people who are going to lift you up and support you.
The wonderful thing about the programs I have created and work with, (ie. Free in 15 and/or 6Fix by Gretchen Coley) is that they come with a community of like-minded individuals whose purpose is to grab you by the hand and keep you moving forward. Don’t be afraid to open up and connect with your coaches and community members. A sense of community is powerful, and dates back to ancestral days when we operated in tribes. It is a human need to feel like you belong to a group; and the beauty of the modern day is that you get to choose and build your tribe! Successful people surround themselves with individuals who motivate and inspire them to constantly grow and improve. They elevate you and want to help take you to the next level. So if you have been hesitant about working with a coach or participating in the Facebook community…hit the reset button! We are providing you a sacred space to take off the masks and be authentically YOU! Once you start to strip away the fears and judgments you have been holding onto, you allow room for a winning mindset to sit in the driver’s seat.
No more “I’ll start on Monday…” syndrome. We all need to stop taking tomorrow for granted. The choices we make today are what shape us tomorrow. Live in gratitude for the present moment and do not delay your dreams; and I encourage you to simply place one foot in front of the other and start gaining traction. You can do this, and I am here to support you at any point throughout your journey.
In Health & Happiness,
Ready to find the right program for you, and receive one-on-one coaching from Shelly along the way?
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Shelly Solan, DPT, CWC
InsideOut Wellness & Rehab
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Wellness Coach
‘Empowering you to claim your Health as your Wellth’