January is the time we reflect and reset for the new calendar year. But why is it that even with all the best intentions, we seem to set the same goals every year? We swear it’s going to be different this time and yet as the new year rolls around, those very same goals top the list again and again.
Let’s stop the insanity. Break the cycle. Instead of just creating a wish list for 2018, let’s dive a little deeper and create some goals that work for you, not against you.
You’ve likely already heard of SMART goals; a goal setting tool that breaks down what you want to achieve into a specific, measureable, actionable, realistic and time-sensitive goal. For example, let’ say your goal for 2018 is to lose weight, here’s what it would look like as a SMART goal:
By June 30, 2018, I will lose 20 pounds of body fat by working out 4 times a week, keeping track of my diet every day, drinking more water and less wine and sleeping 7-9 hours a night.
We can see that the goal is specific and measureable to how much body fat you want to lose. It’s actionable as you lay out the steps that you need to take to achieve the goal. Lastly, you have set a deadline to make it timely and realistic as you’ve given yourself 6 months to achieve it (average healthy weight loss is 0.5 to 2 pounds a week).
You may have even done this before and yet still fall short of your carefully crafted goal. But why is that?? My guess is your goals aren’t authentic. They don’t mean enough to you to cause you to follow through on the behaviours required to actually achieve them. Once you have chosen one or two SMART goals, I want you to run them through the AUTHENTIC test.
A = Ask yourself why this goal is important to you. You will want to come back to this reason whenever things get a little hard; you just don’t feel like working out or the cookies are calling your name!
U = yoU. Sometimes you are just going to have to put yourself and your goals first. You may have to turn down a social engagement or two because you have goals and they are important!
T = Trust the process. It’s not going to be easy. There will be bumps along the way and times when you think nothing is working. Seek out the advice of a professional to ensure you are on the right path and then stick with it. Commitment and consistency are more than half the battle.
H = Hear what others have to say. Surround yourself with like minded individuals who are on the same path or have already achieved a similar goal.
E = Exude Enthusiasm! Get excited about your goals (this comes back to knowing why your goal is important). The more enthusiastic you are, the easier making changes will be. Even the tough changes - trust me.
N = Be in the Now. Reaching your goal is awesome but the journey to getting to your goal is the best part. Take time to enjoy the moments and opportunities that arise because of this goal. Enjoy the experience!
T = Take what you need, discard the rest. Everyone and their dog is going to have an opinion on how you should reach your goal and it’s easy to get distracted in this information-overloaded world. Take the advice that works best for you and leave the rest, no guilt. Don’t get distracted by new and shiny; stay focused!
I = Inspire those around you. Don’t be afraid to share your goal with others and inspire them with your action. This doesn’t mean you need to document every meal and workout on Insta, but talking about your struggles and successes makes you real. Think of the people in your life that have inspired you and who you never told changed your life: you are that person to someone else!
C = Fill your Cup! Take time along the way to keep yourself excited, focused and committed. Read books that inspire you, meditate, journal, take a hot bubble bath, or get a massage. Do anything that leaves you feeling recharged and refreshed.
No goals are met without commitment and consistency. If you start with a SMART goal and then remember to keep them AUTHENTIC, I am confident that success will be within your reach.
Written by Jessica Zapata, BSc. Kin, CSCS
Co-Founder Infinite Fitness – infinitefit.ca
Creator of fitilates – fitilates.com