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Not just January: How to make goals that last

New Year’s Resolutions? Let’s be honest, they usually last until February (if you’re lucky!)

Step into a gym on January 1st, and chances are it will be packed. Come back in a few weeks, and you’ll most likely have your choice of workout machines to use. I’m sure you had good intentions when you wrote New Year’s Resolutions like “stop eating chocolate for 5 months days” (as if that would be ANYONE’s resolution) or “wake up at 4am and check off everything off your to-do list before heading to work.”

January 1st dawns, and suddenly the mantra becomes, “so much to do, so little time!”

Wake up when the alarm goes off the first time. Buy only six two pairs of shoes every month. Lose 10 pounds. Go to the gym every day. Manage your time better. Follow a budget. Go to bed earlier. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Eat a healthier diet. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, humane society, and soup kitchen. Watch less T.V. The list goes on and on… and on…

We place all of these demands on ourselves, and yet still expect to maintain some level of sanity. Let’s talk about how we can jump on the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon this year, and stay there!                         Here are some tips that I’ve found to be helpful towards my own goals:

  • Stay accountable- Tell a family member or friend what goals you hope to accomplish. This way, they can ask how you’re doing and encourage you to stay on track as well as celebrate your progress with you!
  • Set a variety of goals- If all of your goals will take until 2017 to accomplish, it might be easy to get discouraged! Make smaller goals that you will actually be able to accomplish, as well as bigger ones that will require a certain degree of perseverance and motivation to reach. When you do achieve smaller goals, you will be more motivated to continue working towards your more challenging ones.
  • Take small steps- If your goal is to keep track of your spending and money, start by setting up a budget for one month. At the end of the month, you can look back and see that you were successful. Then you can try again the next month, and before you know it, you will look back and realize that you achieved your goal for six months.
  • Take time to reflect- make sure that you take time to reflect on what you have already accomplished! If you only spend time thinking about what you haven’t accomplished yet, you are much more likely to get discouraged. Remember that each morning is a new day, and is another chance to start fresh.
  • Find motivation- one of the ways I am motivated is through quotes. Short phrases or sayings keep me focused when I feel like giving up, remind me why I started something in the first place, and encourage a positive outlook in my life. I took a few hours recently to write my favorite quotes on index cards, and hung these around my room. Whenever I find myself lacking motivation, I can simply glance up at my wall and find a variety of words, phrases, and quotes to inspire me. I love it! A couple of my favorite quotes are: “You are stronger than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can” (Leadville race motto) and “Limitations only exist if you let them.” Find your motivation and use it!
  • Go for the gold- Set high expectations for yourself! Small goals are in no way insignificant, but with any kind of goal, you won’t experience change unless you set high expectations and follow through. Maintain a positive outlook and expect to succeed. I love this thought- “High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation” (Jack Kinder).
  • Three steps forward, one step back- Remember that it’s okay to make mistakes along the way! After all, if you started off doing something perfectly, what would be the point in setting the goal in the first place? Realize that failures and fears are an important, even necessary, part of your journey. Making mistakes is how you are able to learn, grow, and improve. When you rise each time you fall, you will find yourself stronger than you were in the first place.

Since one of my suggestions was to stay accountable, I thought I would share some of my resolutions with you.

  • Try new things! When I find something I like, it’s easy for me to stick with it and not branch out to try something else. I always thought that I hated sushi, but have recently discovered that I actually love it! One of my goals for the upcoming year is to be more adventurous, to try new things, and to take chances in life. I do love to be organized, love routines, and love having a plan or knowing what to expect. But if I never take time to try new things, who knows what I could be missing out on? Sushi may be a small thing, but it’s a start.

Image

  • Fitness/ Running- As I look ahead to the upcoming year, I would like to continue to lead an active lifestyle. I love running, but I want to incorporate more strength training into my workouts. This will improve my overall fitness, as well as help me to be a stronger runner. Running on a frequent basis is also a priority for me. I am excited to track my runs now with the Runner’s Log that I got for Christmas- Check it out here!

Fitness

I’ll be running this half marathon in April 2014! I have previously completed one half marathon before in the fall of 2012, and my goal was just to finish. I loved it and have since then completed several ten milers and various 5K’s.

  • Starting a blog- As I said in my introductory post, I love reading blogs online, specifically fitness or healthy living ones. I have always wanted to start my own blog, but I’ve just kept this thought in the back of my mind for a long time. I finally decided to take a chance and try it out- I am excited to learn new things this year!
  • Maintain a healthy, balanced diet- I do eat a pretty healthy diet most of the time, but I would like to reduce my overall sugar intake this year, as well as incorporate more vegetables into my meals. I am a huge fan of breakfast foods, and would eat cereal, yogurt or oatmeal for every meal if I could… however, that doesn’t provide a very balanced diet! I want to be more intentional in the upcoming year, taking time to make sure I am getting enough protein, fruits, vegetables, etc.

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Fresh fruit bowl (bananas, raspberries and blackberries) topped with Chobani strawberry yogurt serves as a great post-workout meal!

Kale

Sauteed kale with fresh lemon juice drizzled on top, served with whole-grain Risotto rice, topped with almonds and cranberries incorporates both slow burning carbohydrates and vegetables.

 

Of course it’s hard. It’s supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. Hard is what makes it great” (A League of Their Own).

Question of the Day:

What are your New Year’s Resolutions this year??

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2 thoughts on “Not just January: How to make goals that last

  1. Thank you for the reminder of “it’s supposed to be hard”. A good reminder for Romans 5:1-5. As we boast in the hope of the Glory of the God.

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