HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
We’ve all got them. Things we want to accomplish in the new year. Goals we want to meet. It’s a common thing to ask someone this time of year. “Got any New Year’s resolutions?” The Trader Joes employee ringing up my groceries last week even asked me.
Many times we set resolutions so grand that they are completely unobtainable. They take on the quality of dreams or things that may happen “if I get my act together.” What’s the point in that? I feel like this way of approaching it will only lead to disappointment, and who wants to start a new year feeling disappointed?
I’d rather feel inspired, driven, excited, ready to take on a new challenge and grow in a new way. Sounds a lot better right? When you set goals or resolutions a certain way, you make them more effective and increase your chances of achieving them. It also makes them less overwhelming.
So let’s look at resolutions and make them S.M.A.R.T.. By following this acronym, we will break down an overall goal into clear steps that can be tracked, so you can see your progress and improvement over time. And when you can start to see some real progress? That’s one heck of a motivation to keep on going…
So what does S.M.A.R.T. mean? We will walk through it using my goal for 2016, which is to begin a 200 hour certified yoga instructor training program.
S is for Specific
Be as detailed as possible in your goal. The more information you gather, the more you will achieve what you had in mind in the first place. Some good questions to answer include: Who is involved?, What do you want to accomplish?, When?, Where?, Why?, Which requirements and constraints exist?.
Using my goal as an example… My first step is to determine the approximate cost of programs, the location of studios that offer training and the amount of my time a program will require. I know most programs start in the fall and some studios within walking distance of my house offer them, which will save time and gas money.
Most importantly, I want to become a yoga instructor because I am very passionate about the practice of yoga and want to share it with others. Plus, I think it compliments my nutrition and health coaching background perfectly and I may someday want to do something for a career that marries both of them.
M is for Measurable
Establish criteria to measure your progress. How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal? One thing that may be helpful is to create a checklist of things to be done and mark each one off as it’s accomplished.
My checklist includes: research studios, take a class at each studio I am interested in to get an idea of what their classes are like, review my finances to determine how I should be saving up for the training, and continue to build my yoga practice. I will know when I’ve achieved my goal when I register and pay for a training program and attend my first session.
A is for Attainable
When we know deep down what we want to do or what our vision for the future is, we can establish goals that are in line with where we want to go. When a goal is aligned with who you are as a person, you already have that inner drive and attitude needed to attain your goal. So ask yourself, is my goal really what I want or is it only what I think I should want?
The practice of yoga is a part of me and an important part of my personality. I have a personality that tends to want to do too much at once and I can easily overwhelm myself. I also have a hard time slowing down. Yoga centers me, grounds me, calms me and helps me get back to what is important in life. We live in a society that is always on the go and I think it is so important to sometimes be able to just let go and let it be. Feeling like that plus getting a good workout is a win-win in my book.
R is for Realistic
You must be willing to work towards your goal. Are you committed? Is this something you can actually achieve or are you reaching too far? Do you need to break the goal down into mini goals? Be honest with yourself.
Make sure you have the time and energy to work towards your goal, as well as time to develop a plan of action before you get started. Going into something with no plan is like hiking in the woods without a map. Also, don’t make the goal too easy! If it doesn’t motivate you, you will get bored and won’t be inspired enough to keep on going.
I’ll be honest, teaching yoga to a class full of people terrifies me. But it also inspires me at the same time. I think if it didn’t terrify me a little bit I wouldn’t be motivated to really see it through. I like a challenge and this is one heck of a challenge.
T is for Timely
Set a deadline for you to work towards. When do you want to achieve your goal? Mark it on your calendar, put it up on your refrigerator or write it on your bathroom mirror. Make sure it is realistic and attainable!! Losing 20 pounds in a month is NOT realistic and it will not stick long-term. Slow and steady wins the race.
My goal is to decide on a training program by June 30, 2016. That way I can take advantage of any early registration discounts that may be offered. And once I have committed to something and made an investment, there is no backing out… :)
There is a reason that New Year’s resolutions are so popular. Having a new goal is a great way to start a new year off strong and positive. But make your resolution S.M.A.R.T. so you don’t fall of the wagon and lose hope. You can do anything your heart desires if you really put your mind to it. I believe in you!
Here’s to a new year of hope, positivity, love, laughter, fun and brand spanking new achievements! Happy 2016!!
~Peace, love and new beginnings~