It’s that time of year . . . New Year’s Resolution Time. For many of you, you may have already decided: this year I will workout, I will eat less junk, I will lose weight. We usually make those three proclamations but without doing the work behind them. We start with great intentions, and then like most of the world’s population, these resolutions go out the window by mid-January (yes January!). Strava, an app a lot of people love to use to log their workout showed that in 2020, most people gave up working out and on their goals by January 19th, in 2019 the date was January 17th, and in 2018, the date was January 12th. (At least this is what several articles I read on the internet tell me. I searched and searched for the actual raw data and cannot find it to save my life). I can tell you this though, I have been there, year after year . . . until I finally did something different and I set some real and intentional GOALS.
So, for 2021, which we are counting on to not be the dumpster fire of 2020 . . . let’s work together and make some New Year’s Resolutions that STICK . . . and I am going to help you. Ready? (Don’t be scared . . . you got this). Also, let’s get rid of the name “New Year’s Resolutions” . . . the stigma associated with this term seems to set you up to fail and we don’t want that. Let’s simply call these our 2021 goals or if you need something catchier for you, “The Year of _________” (insert your name). Also, yes yes yes, I know, the year turning to 2021 won’t be a magic eraser to erase the suck of 2020 nor will it be a magic want to make it all better. However, I want you to give yourself some credit. You know how to maneuver this new world now, you have rode the learning curve, you got this, you have figured out the un-figure-out-able. Pack yourself on the back and now let’s work on what YOU want to work on!
We are going to start basic – ok? We are going to talk about waking up and going to sleep and the activities surrounding those times. But before we get into the actual goal setting, I want us to really tune in to what goals we are actually going for in 2021. I could easily help you with goals that I think are great for you . . . but how does that help YOU if it is not something you truly want? You need to do a little digging here and I am here to help.
Go get a sheet of paper or open up a doc file on your computer. (Oh, just do it already. What do you have to lose? People pay a lot of money for this, and I am giving it to you for free!).
Close your eyes (ok, read the rest of this and THEN close your eyes). Take a deep breath in (1-2-3) and now exhale that out slowly (3-2-1) . . . I want you to visualize yourself how you want to be and feel by June 1, 2021. Try not to get stuck on where you are now. Instead, think of the “unicorn” you where everything has lined up just right. The weather will be a little warmer and the winter chill will be gone. Your alarm is going off, do you hit snooze or do you turn it off ready to be awake? As you stretch in bed, are you foggy with a headache or do you feel rested? Do you feel good about your decisions from the night before or do you regret them? How do you feel about your body under the warm sheets? As you set your feet on the floor, how do you feel? Do you feel energized or tired? You walk into the bathroom and glance at the mirror. Aside from the bedhead, do you turn sideways in the mirror and grin back at your reflection and the last 6 months of work? You pull on your workout clothes. Are you doing so happily? How do they feel? Are they the brand new ones you rewarded yourself with that are 2 sizes smaller than what you were wearing on January 1? You come downstairs and sit to begin your morning routine. Are you rushing around like a crazy lady or are you carving out some time for you? Are you carving out time for your faith each and every day? Do you practice gratitude? Affirmations? How much time are you getting alone? What are you putting in your coffee? What are you reading? When you go to workout, what workout are you doing? For how long? What program are you loving? What weights are you using? How are you staying accountable? Do you quit when the kids wake up or do you have them set up to join you? What do you eat for breakfast? When do you eat it?
Now it is time for bed and you reflect on the day. What three things happened today that made you proud? What would you have changed? How did you treat people today? How did you speak to your family? What did you eat? Did you eat out? Did you eat food you made? How did that food make you feel? Are you feeling bloated and gassy or do you feel energized and satiated? When it is time for you to go to bed, what are you doing for your nighttime routine? Are you washing your face? Brushing and flossing? Are you watching television? Are you eating snacks on the couch or curling up with a hot cup of tea? When you go to bed, are you falling asleep on the couch and dragging yourself to bed or do you go upstairs at a certain time and go to bed, lights out? How do you feel when your head hits the pillow? Exhausted? Ready to go to bed? Happy with your day?
While you are doing this exercise, I want you to really envision the BEST you walking around. I want you to have an out of body experience and really see yourself getting out of bed and going through these morning activities. I want you to walk around your day and see yourself as the person you desire to be. How do you talk to your kids? Your boss? Your employees? Your spouse? For real – how are you talking to your spouse? Do they get the shit version of you because you are exhausted or do you give them the courtesy of the kindness you can easily bestow upon the cashier at the grocery store? I want you to describe this person in as much detail as possible. I also want you to write down the feelings associated with how you FEEL as you watch this person moving around your home and how you believe this person feels. Again, try not to get hung up on the way things are now and any regrets you have from today or this past week or this past year. I want you to catapult yourself 6 months from now and think about YOU as if everything has been done right. Describe THAT woman. Walk around in that woman’s shoes and feel her feelings.
Open your eyes. Write everything down. Write down all the details and all the feelings. Go back and see what questions or areas you missed. Thought of even more things to write about? Awesome! That is great! Please share them in the comments below so your fellow readers can tack those areas on too. Keep writing and writing until you cannot write anymore. If you are stuck, try these tips:
- Try writing sequentially starting from when you wake up and when you go to bed. Get crazy detailed and write what you see in the mirror, on your plate, what your house looks like, your kitchen, pantry, fridge, closet, workout area, car, desk. Write everything you see. If you need to work it backwards and do a rewind sort of day, try that!
- Describe the physical traits of the woman you saw and describe what she is wearing and how she feels in the clothes and how they look on her. Now, how does she feel about it? Is she excited? Happy? Encouraged?
This is your VISION for the best YOU and how we are going to figure out your 2021 GOALS.
Here is the beauty with the exercise we did in Step 2. Once you do it, you cannot unsee it. Once you write those words down, they cannot be unwritten. That ideal image of YOU will haunt you in all the good ways. Not only is that woman you saw a possibility, KNOW that she is now a probability because you have seen her, felt what it was like to be here, and you have experienced her. She lives in you (she does!). Think of her like the Jiminy Cricket on your shoulder helping to guide you. That feeling of WARMTH that spread through you while you were doing the exercise is like liquid gold. Hold onto that feeling. I know, you are thinking, Wendy, you are getting all woo woo on me. Fine, maybe I am, but I can tell you, this visualization exercise works!
Let’s get you a few steps closer to being that woman. Look back at everything you wrote out. What struck you the most? What really stood out to you? Can you find 3 things that really spoke to you about that vision you saw? Circle those with a BOLD highlighter!
To get there, we need to set SMART goals: Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Relevant. Time-bound.
Specific. We need to be specific peeps. We need to get detailed and come up with a real deal plan and be honest on why we want it. Not – I want to lose weight. Not – I want to eat healthier. We need to get into the nitty gritty and be intentional.
Go back to your Steps 2-4. What action steps you can take to get you closer to that vision? Let’s start simple. That woman. Did she lose weight? How much? How many sizes did she drop? How long did it take her? What did she do to get there? Why did she want to lose the weight? What was her motivation? When she woke up, what helped her with losing the headache and feeling less foggy? Was she was calm with her family? In your visualization, could you figure out why? What helped her? Now, lets see some goals that might help her that are specific:
- I want to lose ______ lbs by June 1, 2021.
- I want to fit into ______________________________ by June 1, 2021.
- I want to be able to run _________ miles without stopping by June 1, 2021.
- I want to drink less and will do this by not having wine on the weekdays.
- I want to cut out my nighttime snacking and will give up eating snacks on the couch after dinner.
- I want more me time and will carve out time each day.
- I want to read more and will make some time daily for this to happen.
- I want this because ______________________________________________________________________________.
Measurable. This hones in on the specificity. If your goals are weight loss and fitness, you see some I outlined in the SPECIFIC part of goal-setting. But, let’s go anther way with it:
- I will read ____ books per month
- I will pray for ______ minutes every morning
- I will journal for 5 minutes a day
- I will wake up at ___ time
- I will go to bed at ___ time
- I will get __ hours of sleep
- I will have family dinner ___ nights per week
- I will pack my lunch ___ times per week
- I will workout ___ times per week
- I will post ____ blog posts per month
- I will write _____ words per day
- I will limit my glasses of wine to _____ per social interaction
Achievable. First, I am here to tell you I am your biggest cheerleader (even though I don’t know you yet, but if I did get to know you, within 20 minutes I could tease our your super power and believe in you and your amazingness (that is MY super power) and be incredibly excited for whatever it was you wanted to achieve). That said. We HAVE to be realistic. If you have NEVER ever worked out and you want to complete an Iron Man Triathlon by June 1, 2021, we might want to reframe a bit. If you have never cooked a family dinner, you may not want to start with 7 (or even 5) nights a week. If you want to lose 100 pounds, 100 in 6 months is probably not what the doctor ordered. While your goals should push you a little but, they should not shove you off the cliff. We want your 2021 goals to WORK! So, while I am going to encourage you to go bigger than you may think possible, I want us to be realistic as well and focus on what we can in fact achieve. Got it?
While we are talking about ACHIEVABLE. Let’s also not try to go after the whole enchilada at once. I give you LOT of ideas here . . . but think about Step 2. What enticed you the most about that woman. The MOST? Which of those goals did she follow to get to that specific part of her? Let’s focus on those. Maybe it has nothing at all to do with fitness. Maybe it has everything to do with honing in on her creativity and how she can best use 2021 to finally write that book or create that podcast. The point is, only she knows that, which brings us to the next part of SMART goals . . .
Relevant. Your goals need to be RELEVANT to you. YOUR goals need to be yours. Not mine for you. Not your neighbor’s. Not your husband’s. YOURS. Do your goals align with that woman you visualized in Step 2? I talk a LOT about a killer morning routine because that is my JAM and I am a tried and true morning person. That may not be you. YOUR focus might be on an impressive creative nighttime routine complete with word counts and publishing deadlines. As you write your goals, make sure that you are doing so because YOU want those things. Not because someone else things you should.
Time-Bound. By when are you going to achieve all of this amazingness? I am encouraging you here to set some goals to hit by June 1st. I am also encouraging you NOT to call this a Finish Line. If you think of your goal as the Finish Line, you will hit it, be super excited, and then have a mentality that you don’t need to work on your goal (or you) anymore. Unless your goal is a book and you are published and real deal DONE (And are you really done? Don’t you want everyone to know about your book and to purchase it? Aren’t you already thinking about the next one?), I am imploring you to use this time-bound date as a goal POST. A time to sit, reflect, and measure and chart your next course. Because . . . we are never ever done. I don’t say that to exhaust you. I say it to encourage you because think about all of the wonderful things you can achieve! Once you reach your new goals . . . it is time to go back to Step 2. Sit. Close your eyes. Visualize. Feel the liquid gold start running through your veins and ask WHO are you going to be 6 months from now . . . heck, look at your 3 year plan to and let’s get after it.
Ok – I like this – when do I start?
Easy. You start now. Are the kids already awake and driving you bonkers? Are you sitting in a doctor’s office and not ready to write all your goals and feel funny about closing your eyes? Are you scrolling your phone while the kids are watching Elf (again) or your significant other is watching sports and now is not the time? Fine. I get it. But here is what I ask of you. Look at your calendar NOW and set a time NOW for you to devote at least 30 minutes to this. Promise me you will set an alarm, get out of bed, and do this. Reward yourself with a cup of coffee, your favorite candle, sit in the quiet and give this time to YOU.
I tried this and I need help!
That is what I am here for. I know I am excited for my personal goals for 2021 and I cannot wait to help YOU 1:1 with yours if you need that added BOOST! If this intrigues you, please fill out this form so we can work together 1:1!
Can’t wait to see what is in store for 2021 for both of us!