With the new year upon us and the resolution buzz in the air, most of us are determined to make some changes and hit some goals in the coming months. However, more often than not, our goals become mere wishes and daydreams that quickly fade away into the minutia of everyday life and stresses as the weeks march on. Well I'm here to tell you something: It does NOT have to be this way, and you CAN make lasting change and achieve whatever you wish to achieve this year (or any other time)! In fact, some of the biggest changes in my life have happened at the turn of a new year- the trick is to just make sure you're prepared, supported, tenacious about what you want, and have the right mindset.
So how do you really make impactful, sustainable life change? With a few tweaks to your mindset and preparedness, all you wish for can truly be yours. Here are 4 tips to help you kick 2016 in the face.
SET REASONABLE GOALS
I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer, but if you've never acted a day in your life, you might not make it onto that movie set by the end of the year. And chances are that if you're just starting a writing class, it might be a little tough to make the bestseller list in only a few short months. And as always, you're not going to drop 30 lbs in 2 weeks, or go up 200 lbs in a year on your squat either. Does that mean you shouldn't reach for those things if that's what you want? No way! Aim for the loftiest, most fantastical goal you can possibly wish for yourself, always! But just know that when it comes to goal setting (and achieving), starting with small, bite sized bits is the most effective way to make the progress that will ultimately get you closer to your dream.
Set goals for yourself that are S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. To start, set 4 small goals per month, or about one per week. They could be something like making it to the gym 3 times this week, or doubling up your veggies at each meal, or signing up for the dance class you've been eyeing, taking the stairs, etc. Or even something like focusing on a meaningful word or phrase for a week, like "be present", or "I am strong". Chipping away at these bite sized portions will create the consistency that's necessary for change, while not overwhelming you with stress and pressure.
There are very few things in life that we accomplish truly entirely on our own- often the biggest successes are due in large to a network of support that creates an environment in which it can happen. It is vital to your success in any goal, big or small, that you have the right support around you. Ask a friend to join that class/gym/challenge with you- just having her by your side can be the difference between success and not so much. Make sure everyone in your home environment is on board with your goals and supportive of what it will take for you to get there. Enlist the helpful eye of a coach, nutritionist, or counselor to help assist you when needed. Use helpful tools like apps, Facebook groups or this awesome day planner to help keep you focused and on track.
Make it your responsibility to be sure your support is in place before you set out. And then be sure to lean on it when you need a boost! (And offer your help and support in return, of course). Go the extra mile to be sure that you are entirely surrounded by a faithful tribe of supportive people who are rooting for you to succeed with flying colors!
PREPARE FOR SPEEDBUMPS (NOT FAILURE)
So you were hoping to make it to the gym 4 times this week but your kids had other plans for you. You wanted to skip the booze for 60 days but you couldn't resist a glass of bubbly at that party. And so on. Guess what? This stuff is called life.
So instead of letting that one glass of champagne or missed training session throw you off the handle and decide it's all gone to shit now and why should you even try anymore because you're never going to be able to do it and you should just give up and drink 6 bottles of wine and eat 4 pizzas and the coffee table to drown the sorrows of all your "failures", instead- prepare for these situations and have a backup plan in place. If you miss your meal prep session on Sunday, what will you do? Make time for it on Monday, ask your partner to do it? If you miss the gym, are there at-home workouts you can do instead? Think about what could potentially go awry and plan accordingly!
Also, be gentle with yourself. Setting out on a Whole30 and making it to day 24 before you broke the rules does not constitute failure. It is actually an enormous success and you should be crazy proud of yourself for making it so far! Resigning to the mindset that you "failed", in any way, will only serve to push you further back, when you could be using the same experience to catapult you forward. Stay positive, find the silver lining, celebrate your successes, prepare for some detours, and keep your mind straight. (See below)
GET YOUR MIND RIGHT
Arguably the most important part of this whole thing! Think about the things you’re trying to do, the changes you’re trying to make, and the person you’re trying to be. Now we want you to remove the word “try” from the equation. We want you to become it. Decide you are that person.
Decide you are the person who can turn down cake at a party if you want to. Decide you are the kind of person who goes to the gym 3x a week with no excuses. Decide you’re the kind of person who has a non-negotiable meal prep session every week. Decide you are the kind of person who takes the risk to start their own company, or who gets the promotions, is a fabulous friend, or whatever goals you might be working for in life, beyond nutrition & movement.
Stop “trying” and start being. There is a difference. Thinking that you “can’t have” that food, or are “trying to” workout, is a mentality that won’t get you far. However, thinking you don’t want that food because you aren’t someone who eats those types of foods on the regular, and you are someone who makes time for workouts no matter what, is a totally different thing. Don’t let your mind tell you that you’re a noob or a poser and you are just trying these new habits out for a while. Believe and decide that this is who you are now: A self aware, self loving, health conscious, strong and athletic babe who gets what she wants in life. Kapish?
What kind of person do you want to be? Decide that’s who you are, stand by your word, and watch your life change.
Wishing you all the most wonderful new year filled to the brim with adventure, challenges, laughter, health and happiness. Go out there and make it happen!