Start The New Year Off Right With Realistic Goals

Realistic New Years Goals

Happy New Year!

Traditionally, this is the time of the year when many of us reflect on the last year and our lives in general.

We think about what we want to see happen in the new year and what we want our life to look like.  All of this reflection usually leads to goal setting.  While setting new goals is usually exciting, it can also be a little intimidating.  Adding new things to our lives means we need to make space for them and that’s usually easier said then done.

One of the main reasons people have a hard time keeping their resolutions after the new year is that the goals they’ve set are usually unrealistic.  Even the most disciplined person on the planet is going to have a hard time meeting a goal that is so lofty, the odds of winning the lottery are better than achieving the goals they’ve set.

For example, if you only have thirty minutes a day to exercise and it takes twenty minutes to drive to the gym, setting a goal of going to the gym five days per week is a recipe for failure.

No matter how good you are at setting realistic goals life can cause us to get off course or make necessary changes.  Last July, my husband and I packed up our house, put most of our things in storage, and moved into temporary housing while we sold our home.  We have been living in a a 600 square foot house with our three dogs for about five months.  I am happy to share that we will be moving into our new forever home at the end of this January.  And yes, our dogs will finally have a nice big yard!

We are very happy with our decision to move and have zero regrets.  However, the past six months have reminded me that different seasons in our lives can require us to spend our time differently.  It’s not a bad thing, it just means that we may have to give ourselves a break and not get upset if we aren’t meeting all of our goals exactly the way we planned them on our calendars.

When we first moved into our tiny and low maintenance beach house, I had it all laid out in my mind that I was going to write my book, finish my on line classes, and launch a new product for my business.  What I didn’t take into account was that I was in charge of over seeing the sale of our home, settling us in our new area, house hunting, doing all of the paperwork, and working with the consultants.  Needless to say, I was much busier than I anticipated and had set unrealistic goals for myself.  There were moments I felt like a complete failure in my business.

Fortunately, I coach people on how to set realistic goals as part of my personal training business so I was able to give myself permission to put some things on hold.  I didn’t give up on the goals, I simply reset the timeline.

I reminded myself that we were moving, house hunting, and purchasing a new home so I needed to stop focusing on the things I was unable to do and should focus on the things I could do instead.  For example Instead of finishing all of my classes sitting in front of my laptop, I listened to them while driving and doing other things like exercising.  Will I need to go back and watch them to pick up things I missed? Yes. However, do I have more knowledge than I did before?  Yes!

This year, I’ve decided that when it comes to my goals I’m going to focus on what I know I can do and I’m not going to stress or beat myself up about the things I can’t do right now.  I’ve decided to give myself a break and I recommend you do the same.  Focusing on what you can’t do can paralyze you.  However, when you focus on what you are able to do momentum begins to occur.

Maybe you aren’t able to devote six days a week  to your exercise routine just yet, but you know you can start with twenty minutes three times per week.  Those three days per week are going to take you way further than doing nothing at all or waiting until you have more time.  It’s really important to take care of your health.  It’s also important to remember  that doing what you can stress free is way better than feeling guilty about a workout you aren’t able to fit into your day.

None of us can or should neglect our current responsibilities so if we want to add something new I believe it’s important we do so with thought and care.  I also believe we should prioritize things based on our values, self care,  and what we want our life to look like.  Those are very important things to think about  when setting new goals.

Here’s to a healthy, happy, and super productive 2018!

With Love,

Jennifer

 

Why It’s Important To Set Your Own Goals

The Importance of Setting Your Own Goals

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

As a personal trainer part of my job includes asking clients to share their goals and what they would like me to help them with when it comes to their health and fitness.  It’s during this initial consultation that the client will share with me what has worked for them in the past, what they like, don’t like, etc.

Human beings are designed to want to set goals and achieve them.  Goals fuel the desires of our heart and help us to live out our lives to the fullest.

I don’t think anyone ever sets a goal or takes on a challenge with the intention of giving up. However, I do think that setting goals that are unrealistic or not your own can be a recipe for failure.  What’s motivating you is a very important thing to consider when pursuing your dreams and goals.  Is it a strong desire in your heart or are you wanting acceptance from another person?  It’s okay to prove to the world they were wrong about you as long as it’s something YOU want.  Simply wanting “revenge” is still allowing another person or society to control your life.

Once you’ve determined that the goal you’ve set is something that is important to you and you would do it whether people cheer you on or not, take a moment to look closely at the goal you’ve set and ask yourself whether or not it is aligned with your values and current priorities.

While looking like your favorite Hollywood celebrity may seem like a fantastic goal, after discovering what’s required you may decide that it’s not the goal for you.  Even more importantly, you might discover that due to your natural body type it would be extremely unhealthy and painful for you to even attempt to get there.

To achieve true success it’s critical that your goals be your own. Copying someone else’s life will  never feel quite right because it wasn’t meant for you.  It’s okay to follow general guidelines and success patterns, but your own goals need to be customized to fit your life and should be meaningful to you.

It’s also important to set boundaries around your goals.  Some trainers and/or coaches can unintentionally set goals for you.  While their intentions are good, they can set the client up for failure if they are imposing goals that are unrealistic or do not fit and serve the client’s lifestyle.

Goals Are Like Oxygen

The fitness industry often makes too many assumptions that everyone wants to live and look just like a fitness model.  While that might be something everyone would love to naturally achieve, not everyone wants to live the lifestyle of a fitness model nor do they have the body type to look like the models most fitness magazines hire.  Avoid allowing a coach or trainer to try to stuff you into their box of what they think your goals should look like.  This principle doesn’t have to be limited to health and fitness and can apply to any area of your life.

Goals are like oxygen.  They help us get out of bed in the morning.  No matter what the goal is related to (i.e. family, personal, business, etc.), I encourage you to follow your own personal path. I personally believe that God has a unique journey planned for each and every one of us and when we follow that inner voice, we walk toward our destinies.

Shared with love,
Jennifer

How To Set New Year’s Goals That Work

How To Set New Year's Goals You'll Stick To by Certified Personal Trainer and Healthy Lifestyle Coach Jennifer Ledford

Happy New Year!

A brand new year is upon us and, for many of you, that means setting brand new goals or, in some cases, resurrecting old ones.  For some, setting New Year’s goals is exciting and for others, it can be a bit intimidating.

If you find yourself in the camp that’s hesitant to set new goals, you are not alone.  It’s a normal feeling that usually stems from fear of loss and/or failure.  Based on the statistics that  1/3 of the goal setters will have already broken their resolutions by January 7th, it’s understandable why the fear to commit to new goals exists.  Whether you are someone who is all fired up to set new goals, terrified, or somewhere in between, the good news is it’s entirely possible for anyone to set goals that they can stick to.  It just takes a little reflection and some know how.

How To Set NEW YEAR’S Goals You’ll Stick To

One of the main reasons people have a hard time keeping their resolutions after the new year is that the goals they’ve set are usually unrealistic.  Even the most disciplined person on the planet is going to have a hard time meeting a goal that is so lofty, the odds of winning the lottery are better than achieving the goals they’ve set.

For example, if you only have thirty minutes a day to exercise and it take twenty minutes to drive to the gym, setting a goal of going to the gym five days per week is a recipe for failure.

Five Tips To Set Goals That Work

1) Make it personal. Take a moment to look closely at the goals you’ve set and ask yourself whether or not they are aligned with your values and current priorities.

While looking like the model on the cover of a magazine may seem like a fantastic goal, after discovering what’s required, you may decide that’s not for you or, even more importantly, that’s not your body type and it would be extremely unhealthy for you to even attempt to get there.

It’s critical that your goals be your own. Copying someone else’s life can be like wearing shoes that are a bit too tight. It never feels quite right. It’s okay to use general guidelines but when you finally set the goals, they need to be customized to fit your life and be meaningful to you. You are an individual which makes a cookie-cutter approach  tough to stick to.

Look at your calendar and be realistic about how much time you can commit to your new goal. This is really important! Often times, we can get so caught up in the excitement of setting our New Year’s goals that we forget to think about the time involved.  Most of us have existing commitments (family, relationships, jobs, pets, etc.) that don’t go away at the end of the calendar year.

If you are struggling to find time, ask yourself if there are other commitments that you should put on hold or can delegate to someone else.  In order to create time for new goals we usually need to let go of other commitments or, in some cases, habits that are not serving us well.   Consider multi tasking when it’s appropriate, like exercising while you listen to a conference call or walking during your lunch hour. Do what you can. It’s better to get started with a smaller goal than to never begin at all.

2) Change one thing. The people that usually see the most success do so by setting one to two goals they know they can implement right away.

Start by committing to your new goal for thirty days and then evaluate whether or not it’s working for you.  Don’t be afraid to change things up and tweak things.  Adding a new “thing” to your life usually requires an adjustment period so allow yourself some time to figure out what works for you.

3) Write it down. People that commit their goals to paper have a higher success rate. So take a moment to write down your goals for each area of your life for the new year. If you are keeping your list realistic, it shouldn’t be too long. You can always add more later in the year once you’ve accomplished the first set. Keep your list posted in a place you’ll see it daily to help you stay on track.

4) Do the work. Once you’ve set your realistic goals, follow through and do your best to stick to your plan. Research shows us that once one healthy goal becomes a habit, momentum occurs which then leads to success in adding other healthy habits automatically.  This applies to every area of your life, not just health and fitness.  Goals that serve you well should all be considered healthy. 🙂

5) Don’t be afraid to change things up. From time to time circumstances may throw you off track. This is normal and happens to everyone.  Oftentimes, all you have to do is get up, shake off the dust, and get back on track.  Other times (like when I recently broke my foot) you have to pivot and make some temporary and/or permanent changes.  That doesn’t mean you are a failure.  It means you are living life and adapting to whatever comes your way.

New Year’s resolutions should advance and take you forward long-term but not be so lofty or torturous that they are completely unobtainable. Keeping this mindset will allow you to set yourself up for total success.

Have a Happy New Year!

With love,
Jennifer

P.S. Have a question or comment? Please post it below in the comment section and/or on my Facebook page. I love to hear from you!