It's that time of year again.
The time where we reimagine what we want our lives to look like.
There is something so refreshing about a new day, a new week and especially a new year. So many of us start off the year with the best of intentions but find that by February we're back to the same lives that we were living the year prior.
If we're so passionate about our goals when we set them, why do we lose steam so quickly? Even more so, how do we stay focused to create the lives that we've always wanted?
Here is your guide to becoming your BEST self and creating your BEST life in 2023.
Stop Shooting for The Stars, Think Small Instead
Just because you have the vision, motivation and energy right now doesn't mean you always will.
We have a tendency to set goals that are larger than we can realistically achieve like make $1,000,000 when the most you've ever made is $50,000 or lose 30 pounds in a month when healthy and sustainable weight loss is 4-8 pounds per month.
So start small.
The beautiful thing about having small goal instead of large goals is that they are easier to achieve and as you achieve them you will become more motivated to keep pushing forward.
In the book Atomic Habits by James Clear he talks about the concept of 1%, each day you either get 1% better or 1% worse. That 1% seems small and insignificant but over time adds up to create significant change.
Put Pen to Paper
Studies have shown that you're 40% more likely to achieve a goal if you simply write it down.
That's crazy, 40%.
Just by writing your goal on paper.
Additionally, there are studies that show that having reminders in your environment help you to be more successful at your goals. Example: setting out your gym bag by the door, putting healthy meals in the fridge, placing water bottles around your work space, etc.
Having the reminders in your environment significantly increases your success rate.
So after you've written down your goals display them in places where you'll see them frequently like your nightstand, your bathroom mirror, your desk and/or your refrigerator.
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
You might tell yourself that you are going to start going to the gym or that you're going to spend more time with your partner. But unless you have a concrete plan for achieving your goals you'll likely not make forward progress.
As the old saying goals "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."
S.M.A.R.T. goals are a way of setting actionable goals that you are responsible for meeting, they are process oriented rather than outcome oriented. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for:
"I want to lose weight" isn't super specific, how much weight do you want to lose?
It also isn't measurable, you'll never know whether you have reached your goal or not.
Sure it's achievable, if you lose one pound you've officially lost weight.
It's relative of course but not time focused.
Is your goal to lose weight this week?
Over the next 10 years?
Here is the S.M.A.R.T. goal that I set for the month of January:
"For the month of January I will complete one 30 minute workout, 3x per week"
It's definitely specific it states how long the workouts will be, how frequently they are and the time period I will be working on this goal.
It's measurable, at the end of the month I will be able to look back and either say that I did or did not complete this goal.
It's achievable, it only requires 1.5 hours per week (just under 1% of my time each week).
It's relative, we know that working out and weight loss are related and it's time focused because it is for the entire month of January.
Now, let's make our S.M.A.R.T. goals even smarter!
Science suggests that we are even more likely to achieve our goals if we state when and where we will take action.
For my smarter goal, my plan is to exercise at my local gym on Monday's at 7:30 pm, Wednesday's at 7:30 pm and Saturday's at 9:00 am.
Now let's take our goals from smarter, to smartest!
Studies also suggest the concept of habit stacking, this is simply the idea that the new goals we put in place are attached to habits we already do on a regular basis.
If your goal is to meditate in the new year you might habit stack by sitting for a 10 minute meditation everyday after you brush your teeth. You already brush your teeth daily, so adding the meditation habit after your teeth brushing habit makes it more likely that you will achieve it.
For my smartest goal, I will be exercising after dinner on Monday & Wednesday and after Breakfast on Saturday. So I am habit stacking my daily meals with my exercise routine.
This is A LOT of info that has taken me YEARS to master.
If you are looking for support in setting up your new goals, consider working with me 1:1!
For the month of January, I am offering 23% off my coaching package.
You will receive two sessions for just $68 each. Savings of over $40!
I only have space for 5 clients at this discount. To apply, simply fill out the form on this page and mention GOALS in the form to receive your discount.
Your package will include an initial Goal Setting session as well as a follow up session for accountability and assistance adjusting your goals.
Wishing you blessed and abundant New Year!