New Year, New You
How to Create Goals That You Can Actually Achieve
It’s that time of the year once again, where many of us are inspired for a fresh start with the beginning of a new year. Resolutions and goals hang in the air as we begin to plan for the year ahead, and for a great majority of us it seems like the perfect time to finally get serious about our health and well-being. But what makes some of us reach our goals easier than others, and why does it seem that our resolutions are often left behind or forgotten only a few months into the year?
At Integrative Wellness Centers, we have a different approach to creating goals that we’d like to share with you.
The key is to 1. Get to your Why 2. Visualize 3. Be specific and 4. Pan for failure. (let me explain!)
The problem with New Year’s resolutions or goals is that they are often very vague. “I want to lose weight,” “I want to get healthy,” or “I’m going to give up (insert ‘bad’ food here) this year.” Sure, you may start off strong in the beginning of the year, but most people find that with vague goals such as these, it’s easy to throw in the towel much too early.
Here’s why: once you’ve had that first bad week where you may not be eating so healthy, may have skipped your workout regimen, or cheated by eating your forbidden junk food, it’s easy to throw your hands up and consider yourself as having lost the battle. Most people figure, “Well, I’ve fallen off the wagon now!” They continue to cheat or slack off, bit by bit, until they’ve slowly forgotten about their goal altogether and their progress has been lost.
You can do better this time around!
So, how are you going to create goals this year that LAST and allow you to create true change?
Set goals that have intention and purpose. No more vague, “blanket statement” goals. Think about the feeling you want to achieve, and create your goal(s) around that.
1. Discover your “WHY” and tap into that emotion.
Instead of “I want to lose weight,” try “I want to feel healthier and happier in my own skin this year by losing at least 20 pounds.” Rather than “getting healthier,” be very specific and hone in on your true desire here—maybe you want to start eating better so that you can avoid a chronic disease that runs in your family, start working out again so that you maintain a youthful body that feels good, or a combination of the two to simply feel more alive and energetic in your daily life!
Stay with me here, I want you to dive a little deeper into your Why.
- Think about your core values- what are they?
- What do you care most about in this world?
- How do your goals or resolutions relate to these values?
When you find the deeper meaning of a goal and knowing that it relates to your core values you are more likely to stick to the goal.
Initial Goal: Jen wants to lose weight and reduce diabetes medication
Values: Jens cares most about her children and husband. She values life enjoyment, dependability and relationships.
Relate: Jen wants to reduce her medication so she can liver longer to see her children get married and go on new adventures with her husband.
2. The second part of this is action step is to VISUALIZE yourself achieving these goals.
Your mind is the most powerful part of the body. You can think your way to failure or you can think your way to success. If you want to lose 10lbs to feel more confident then visualize yourself in that confident way. What does your life look like? What behaviors do you do when you are being confident? Visualize those things and soon your actions will resemble it.If you can’t see yourself achieving these goals perhaps they are too big to start with. Trying making the goals smaller and more maintainable and visualizing yourself doing those first. Make this a daily habit, almost like a mediation practice or morning ritual. Every day spend a few minutes visualizing your life different, one where you are achieving these small action steps. It will get easier to achieve your goals because your mind is so used to what that looks like, that your body will follow.
3. Which leads me to our third part, be SMART and SPECIFIC.
Visualize the big picture and where you want to be in a year but start by making a smaller goal you’d like to achieve by the end of the month. Make it SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound) For instance you might want to work out more. Your goal might be 3 times a week, set an alarm 1 hour earlier and leave it across your room so are sure to get up. Get your gym clothes ready the night before and have a plan for the gym. These are specific steps that set you up for success.
This type of planning sets you up for success!
4. Even if you’ve connected to the truest intention and motivation behind your goals, prepare for FAILURE- our final step.
Failure happens, so don’t be surprised by it or view it as the ultimate setback—we cannot be perfect 100% of the time. Winston Churchill once said, “success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. You are going to fail, but when you do, fail forward…”
Visualize instead how to overcome your failures instead of beating yourself up. Ask yourself what you can learn from it in order to avoid the same mistake again or how you could simply do better next time. Perhaps you may need to shift your goal to be more realistic or attainable, or refocus your action steps so that they work for you in this moment now. Use that as motivation forward, knowing that you are getting closer and closer to your goal, and that you are indeed growing better by the day. Be driven by this optimism rather than any minor defeat, and you will always have positive momentum forward.
As you think through your intentions for the New Year, take an extra moment or two to connect first with the feeling you want to create in the year ahead. How do you want to feel? Why do you want to feel that way? Then, formulate your goal(s) and small action steps that you can begin to take now to move you closer to that feeling. Once you’ve connected with this kind of meaning, there will be no stopping you!
P.S.- our team at Integrative Wellness Centers is ready to help you take your goals above and beyond this year! Our Wellness Coach will help you create goals with intention and purpose, teach you exactly how to work towards them, and help you stay on track for a successful year. From nutrition, to lifestyle, to general wellness and everything in between, we’ve got your goal-setting covered! If you’re ready to get serious about your health, our team of doctors are here to help you discover the underlying cause behind your health issues or symptoms and work towards your health goals with the safe, natural and effective approach you need to get well and stay well. Give us a call anytime to schedule your free consultation or speak with a member of our team, we are always here to help and hope to see you in 2017! 734-779-1650