New Year’s goals! Keep it real!
The start of a new year is a time for reflection. A time to take a look back. With that said, don't spend too much time here because the past is the past, and you can no longer change the outcome. You can, however, change and impact your future, so let’s move forward — and make a conscience effort to look ahead to decide what it is you want to spend your time and energy on for 2019. This time of year, many of us are thinking about goals, resolutions and new promises we set for ourselves. Whatever you prefer to call it, the new year often becomes the best time to reset and rethink about life changes you would like to make. Personally, I have never been a fan of setting “New Year’s resolutions.” Most of the time, people set lofty goals that are difficult to achieve and hard to keep. Setting unrealistic goals is setting yourself up for disappointment—- a disastrous start to the new year that nobody wants. So I ask the question, why do we do this to ourselves? Remember, habits are not created overnight. Start your new year off by setting honest, realistic goals that will ensure you are setting yourself up for success— and not failure! Below are some tips & tricks to get your thinking on the right track.
DOSE represents the four key hormones in our brain that fires off positive vibes
Ignite these hormones by:
Dopamine - Set specific, measurable and achievable goals. Celebrate & repeat
Oxytocin - Give a hug or a gift, love & trust
Serotonin - Reflect for a moment on past achievements and soak in a little sunshine (vitamin D)
Endorphins - Exercise, laugh, inhale and smell lavender or eat spicy peppers
Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals
S.M.A.R.T. goals are those that are:
Specific - Get specific about your “W’s” (who, what, when, where, and why). It’s important to sit down and really think about what you want to change, create, or do with this goal and why. Getting specific with what you want out of this coming year will allow you to set goals with steps and checkpoints along the way.
Measurable - Creating a goal that has measurable results will give you the chance to assess your progress along the way and evaluate if adjustments need to be made.
Achievable - It’s important to keep it real! Setting goals that are simply unrealistic is only setting yourself up for failure. The purpose of setting goals is to inspire motivation within yourself, not discouragement. It may feel good to set lofty goals in the moment, but be honest with yourself when determining whether what you’re planning to do is possible in your timeline and/or with your current situation/resources. If you have not been committed to going to the gym or totally cutting sugar out of your diet - it is typically not a great idea to set a goal to be at the gym everyday and/or never consume sugar again. Although there are a few out there that do well with going cold turkey or drastic lifestyle changes, typically it’s always better to ease into a new habit. I do find those who ease in have an easier time staying committed and for this new habit to stick for life.
Relevant - A “relevant” goal is one that pertains to your overarching, larger vision for your life. Whether that’s living a healthy lifestyle, cultivating meaningful relationships, or creating a positive outlook on life, your goals should create progress in that direction. Prioritize what is most important to you in your life right now and set goals that will create stepping stones to a healthier, happier you.
Time-bound - this is one of the most important properties of a goal that will lead to success. Having deadlines and time-checks provide you with a set date to pause, evaluate your progress and make adjustments accordingly. If you don’t have a deadline, you will likely keep pushing it off and telling yourself “NEXT week I’ll start making a change.”
Start by setting achievable goals in the month of January. Achieve those goals, your dopamine will be on fire, you will be inspired to set your next set of goals and build upon them! Let’s commit to lifestyle changes— not short-term ones. Being patient with yourself is a major component to wellness. There will be times we do not reach our goals and the timeline we want so accept the fact there this will not always be easy, and expect set backs here and there. This honest approach will ensure a great start the the new year— and provide the balanced mind-frame we all need.
Here’s to the next best version of you! Your health is your wealth. Remember, take care of yourself and your body will take care of you! Happy 2019!