The only time I ever recommend looking back is to see how far you’ve come in your journey. I like to look back on New Years and take note of how much I have grown in life, what I’ve learned, and what I would do differently in the next year to come. I never want to feel regret for something I did because even if I failed miserably at some point during the year, I know I learned something from it. We need failures when we’re looking to achieve success, it part of the process. Failing does not mean we didn’t reach success, it just means we didn’t achieve the goal we set out to accomplish. However, it brings about a new opportunity for learning, growth, and humility. Failing opens the doors towards new concepts and opportunities we wouldn’t otherwise seek.
This past year, as most of y’all know- was a crazy one for our family. I graduated from my Dietetic Internship and became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in May. My husband was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor behind his carotid artery back in July. We scheduled brain surgery for November 2nd and the procedure went smoothly, given The Big Man was watching over us. Early October, our french bulldog died, giving us a heartache like no other. He was our first dog, bringing so much joy and laughter into our home. He was my companion, traveling with me everywhere we went. He truly was our first child.
I have learned more about selfless love and how to give without expecting to receive anything in return. I’ve learned about loss, letting go, and saying goodbye to a companion. I learned the importance of being present and filling every possible moment with cherished memories. My eyes were opened towards the undeniably generous people out in the world, giving their own hands to help pull us back up when we fell. When I look back and think about all that has happened, I am still in shock. I still get the chills every time I think about the miracles that happened this year, they were nothing short of God’s work. I truly know these things happened for a bigger reason and whatever that reason may be, I’ll trust the plan set before me.
Ringing in the New Year can be quite a journey if you’re looking to start a few new lifestyle changes. It’s quite common to make New Years Resolutions but how many of us actually keep them? When we ask each other what our New Years Resolutions are, we typically reply with some sort of diet, some goal to loose weight, or maybe it’s a resolution to get in the best shape possible. However, what if we focused more on incorporating more whole foods and less about restriction, dieting, losing weight?
When we choose the mindset of negativity such as losing weight, dieting, and restriction our mind seems to go into panic mode. Suddenly it’s like flipping the switch, when you tell your body you can’t have something- that doubles the chance of actually wanting and craving it. Even when you didn’t want it to begin with. Instead, I urge you to think in the mindset of positivity. Adding healthy changes such as increasing your vegetable consumption, drinking more water, adding more outdoor movement, or getting more hours of sleep. Adding something to your current lifestyle to impact it healthfully takes the stress of restriction away, allowing you to focus more on living your life instead of focusing so much on what you can’t have.
This New Year, stop the diet talk and start the lifestyle talk, making choices that impact your entire life instead of just the next couple of months. It’s a monstrous task to tackle all at once and it’s only done one step at a time. However, before you know it you’ll be looking back on December 31, 2018 and realize just how far you’ve come.
Setting your motivation on fire and keeping the flames burning all year long is a treacherous task. Not only do we loose motivation when the going gets tough, but we loose motivation when we loose our focus and our vision becomes cloudy. January 1 is known as the busiest day of the year when you walk into a gym, but when the clock winds into February people tend to fall away from their resolutions. Why is this?
When we stop focusing on our goals, when the goals that we wrote down are shoved away underneath the tall work pile, we begin to push our own needs/wants to the side. Our focus shifts more towards the everyday to-do list such as the needs of work, family, & kids. We begin having the mindset of, “oh, I’ll just start tomorrow” or “I still have all year, I’ll do more next month.” Little by little, those goals we originally wrote down are forgotten and another year goes by without even knowing it.
Keeping the motivational fires burning is key to achieving those goals you set out to accomplish. By keeping the focus at the forefront, reminding yourself everyday what those goals are is the difference between “I’ll do it tomorrow” and “I’ll move a little further towards my goals everyday.” Writing those goals down is the first step. Writing them down, owning them, and making it clear to yourself what you want to accomplish (see How To Write SMART Goals section). The second step is putting that goal where you see it everyday. If it’s written on a piece of paper or sticky note, place it where you get ready in the morning, or in your office, maybe even a reminder set in your phone everyday. Something that is visible everyday that forbids your focus to shift away from those goals.
Making a SMART goal is the fast track way towards success, not only does it make you narrow down your goals into mindful actions but it creates a maintained focus. When you’re writing down your goals for 2018, think in terms time- kind of like the 5 year plan and 10 year plan but this time it will look more like 1 month from now, and 6 months from now. SMART goals set the framework up for you, allowing you to fill in what you want to set out to accomplish. Here’s why these goals are so smart..
S: Specific– making a goal specific to you and what you want to achieve. This means, stop looking around at what others are doing. Try not to compare yourself to people next to you and don’t try to replicate what others are doing. Try focusing on yourself and what YOU specifically need/want in order to be healthy & happy.
M: Measurable– we want a goal that is measurable so that we know when we have achieved that goal. If I made a goal to get better at running how am I supposed to know when I have gotten better? Instead, the goal should declare what that looks like such as ‘I want to be able to run 5 miles without walking’. In other words, the goal should have a measurable outcome of success.
A: Attainable– this one is slightly indifferent for me, I like to make goals that are out of my league and then I never end up accomplishing them. What happens when we go out to achieve those goals but fail miserably? It can either push you to work harder the next time or it can dramatically diminishing our self-worth. Instead, making goals that are difficult enough to work towards, but not so unattainable so that you fail miserably and walk away unwilling to try again. Attainability is important for certain goals like health, business, family, and friends.
R: Realistic– Making realistic goals are similar to attainable goals. Making goals that scare you is good because they give you a challenge to work harder, but still allowing you to achieve them if you truly put your mind to it.
T: Timely– This is perhaps the biggest component of SMART goals. Making goals that have a timeline is the most important detail. When we don’t give ourselves a timeline, we allow ourselves to keep putting it off until tomorrow. However, when we have a timeline, this undoubtably pushes us past our comfort zone into new territory.
I hope these ideas challenge you in making goals that contribute towards a balanced life. It’s important to have balance in everything we do, from work, to relationships, to health and nutrition. I wish you the very best in 2018 and I hope you continue to AVO Good Life!
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