As the end to 2017 approached, I found myself constantly reflecting on the past year, I thought long and hard about the goals I did or didn’t achieve. I started making mental notes of changes I needed to make and wrote timelines in my diary. I noticed through social media that I was not alone, many people made several posts sharing their accomplishments. On the other hand my timeline was also flooded with people making plans for the coming year. I read posts that said “New year, new me”, or come 2018 I will do this or I will do that. At face value one may read these posts and think… ahhh there goes someone who is planning ahead. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t read them and ponder; why can’t we do things today? Why do we have to wait until the beginning of the year to make changes? To be perfectly honest I truly believe we sometimes create New Year’s resolutions to facilitate our habit of consistently procrastinating. Procrastinate as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary means “to put off intentionally and habitually”. If you can be honest with yourselves then I’m sure you will agree that most of what we say we will do next year could have easily be done without delay. Moving forward let’s make it our goal to rid ourselves of this goal inhibiting habit, that blocks us from achieving our dreams. Don’t get me wrong, goals are important to keep us grounded and motivated as we aim toward self actualization. Goals also should be realistic thus making then attainable. We simply should not have to wait for the New Year to make resolutions.
Let talk about what I believe to be the most popular New Year’s resolution.
I’m going to start going to the gym and lose weight. The gym owners will be laughing to the bank at the end of January. It is generally known that many people who sign up for the gym at the beginning of the year don’t make it to the end of the month without quitting. We cannot continue to make decisions on a whim because it’s the beginning year. Life as we know it will continue after the end of year festivities has ended. In order to make this resolution a reality you have to create realistic goals. Success comes with realistic planning and execution. Losing weight and getting fit does not mean you have to go to the gym. Before you make the same mistake that many of us have, first take some time to research the cost for a gym membership. Ask yourself these questions;
- Am I able to afford it?
- Do I have time to go to the gym?
- How many days per week will I need to workout?
- Will I need a trainer; what is the additional cost for using a trainer?
- Do I need to lose or gain weight? How much weight?
- Do I have workout clothes, what will it cost to buy them?
When you honestly answer these questions the prospect of going to the gym may now seem like an off-putting reality. My solution to this is to start off slowly but be consistent. Here are 10 ways you can start your health journey without going to the gym.
- Make small changes to your diet until you eventually start eating healthier.
- Create a meal plan for the week. You are more likely to eat healthy if you plan what you will eat.
- Choose a healthier lunch and breakfast at least 5 days of the week.
- Take a 30 minute walk after work.
- Ride your bike, take a hike or do something physically active on the weekends.
- Drink more water daily.
- Make a conscious effort to decrease your sugar and salt intake.
- Research healthy snack ideas and gradually swap out the ones you currently eat.
- Skip the elevator and walk two flights of stairs each day.
- Get a jump start with a 30 day challenge. Whether it is walking, running eating healthier, or simply not drinking soda and replacing it with water. Having a set target and people to help keep you motivated will make the challenge more attainable.
Remember that slow but steady growth is better than no growth at all. Setting smaller realistic goals will keep you more motivated when you realize that progress is being made. Challenge yourself daily.
I need to make more money in 2018. Perfect, how will I go about doing this?Maybe I need to ask my boss for a raise, find a better paying job or work two jobs. It does not matter which way you take, what’s important is to make changes, plan and execute.
- Think out of the box and be creative.
- Aim to build your resume.
- Challenge yourself to be punctual and work hard at being more productive. If you are going to ask your boss for a raise you have to prove to them that you are worth getting it.
- Take a few courses to boost your skill set for your job requirement.
- Find ways to earn money from your hobbies.
Finally, if you find yourself making the same resolutions each year, it’s time to try something new. I don’t mean creating a “new you”. We are not going to magically change from the person that we are at the beginning of the year. Consider making changes like the ones listed below, that will help to increase your chances of achieving your goals:
- Set specific, relevant, time-based and attainable goals. Try to avoid making the common mistake of setting goals that are beyond your power and control.
- Instead of making long term goals set daily, weekly or monthly goals. You are more likely to stay committed and consistent when you gain positive results.
- Reward yourself for your accomplishments.
- Re-evaluate and make changes. If something is not working don’t be afraid to make adjustments, start over or ask for help. Being flexible is a key component in the process of goal acquisition.
- Make self improvement goals and create a life changing domino-effect. If you are more self aware and confident in your abilities you are more likely to transfer that positive energy, thus becoming successful in other areas of your life.
- Not all goals are to be kept secret. Share your thoughts and dreams with people that are close to you. Your friends and relatives can help to hold you accountable. keep you motivated and also assist you in meeting your goals.
- Try not to set too few or too many goal for the same period of time. You should be able to work at a practical pace without feeling too relaxed or too pressured.
Goals I will be taking on in the coming months
- Learning basic conversational French.
- Teach my husband to cook at least on meal every week.
I will tell you how it went in a future blog post.