New Year, new me; am I right? I always used to have the mindset of believing that January 1st carried some sort of magical power that would allow me to reset, and everything would be perfect. Well, in my three decades of existence, I have recently realized life doesn’t work like this. Of course, we must want to make a change for anything to happen, but there’s a lot more that’s required that wishful thinking.
Whether it’s January 1st or April 17th, today is always the best day to begin working toward your goals, unless you started yesterday! When setting a goal, consider forwards thinking and backwards planning. Let’s say you are preparing to run your first marathon in six months from now. First and foremost, in order for this to happen, sign up and pay for the race immediately. You are more likely to follow-through with your goal is there is a date on the calendar in which you are working toward and paid. Secondly, figure out how many miles you need to be running each day, week, month in order to hit your goal of 26.2 miles. How many rest days do you need? What does your active recovery look like? Are you hiring a coach or following a program? Next, create a calendar mapping out your daily and weekly tasks (runs, lifts, swims, stretches, etc.). Consider your daily schedule. What do you already have going on workwise? Do your kids have games and practices on specific days? These details will allow you to pre-select your run/workout times a week ahead of time. Make these tasks non-negotiables; they will become habits that are engrained into your daily schedule with time and consistency.
Without an action plan, nothing will be achieved. Be intentional in your goal setting and create actionable steps that can be taken each day. Goals that are abstract, like lose 20 pounds or start a new business are hard to measure without tangible steps on how you plan on achieving those goals. Be as specific as possible when setting daily and weekly goals.
Whenever I have a goal, big or small, my brain makes sense of the action plan by visually mapping everything out on a physical piece of paper. I also like the satisfaction of crossing the tasks off as I complete them. Having a physical roadmap in eyesight helps me keep focused and on track.
Instead of thinking New Year, new me, let’s think of it more like, “New Year, new way of setting and achieving goals.”
Cheers to a happy and healthy 2023!