New Year, New You?
We're two months into 2018, where are you with those New Years Goals?
So it's the nearly the end of February. You started the year off strong - wrote down your goals, made a vision board, purchased your new workout clothing, did your research on the hottest diet trends of the year, maybe even splurged on that shiny new appliance (*cough* Vitamix *cough*) to help you kick-off the year the right way. But it's now the end of February, and although you started the year off strong, you've all of a sudden lost all motivation. It's basically dark out for 62 hours a day, it's cold and wet, you don't want to leave the comfort of your own house, or bed, or couch, and let's face it, making healthy food is SO MUCH WORK.
Any of this sounding familiar?
Stop. Breathe. It's all going to be okay.
The bringing of a New Year is always such an exciting time - it allows us to reflect back on the previous year, refocus our intentions for the year ahead and brings us a feeling of 'starting fresh.' It's a blank canvas, waiting for us to take control of our lives, our bodies, our thoughts, emotions, strengths and weaknesses and go full-steam-ahead into the next 365 days of our lives.
But sometimes, it's just not that easy. And if anything, I find a New Year brings a lot of added pressure - pressure to all of sudden be this motivated, successful, goal-oriented, workout obsessed, smoothie-fueled machine. And for some of us, that is just not the case. And that's a-okay. I'm here to provide you with a few tips and tricks to get back on track, and allow you to make a sustainable, realistic plan to help you reach those goals - whatever they may be.
Tip 1. Set Realistic Goals
So simple, but very easily overlooked. I'm all for goal-setting - a goal-setting groupie if you will. But with all of us constantly being able to peek into the lives of others through our lovely friend, Social Media, it's so easy to get caught up in setting other people's goals, and not our own.
So, bring it back to YOU. What things - health, fitness, business or personal - will you be aiming to accomplish this year? Keep them attainable and realistic. If one of your fitness goals is to complete a marathon, but you've only ever ran a 5km before, your goal will be incredibly challenging to reach. (Not unattainable, but very challenging.) Instead, maybe tweak your goal to 'run a faster 5km' or to 'complete a 10km run'. If you reach it in 6 months - awesome, give yourself a gold star and re-evaluate your goals. You will feel much more successful, accomplished, proud, and most importantly motivated, if you reach your goals and have to extend them, then never getting close to reaching them all.
2. Small Steps = Big Changes
This is something I have to remind myself of on the daily. I'm the absolute worst for wanting change and success to happen as quickly as possible. (Prime example: I just recently decided to join a CrossFit Gym. I'm about 4 months in and I assume I should already be able to lift all of the Rx weight and have perfect form on all my lifts. BECAUSE THAT'S REALISTIC, AMY!) I digress.
Setting yourself small, daily tasks, in the end, will lead to big, sustainable changes.
What does that look like? So you decided this year that you are going to dabble with the idea of veganism. You've seen all the documentaries, you follow all of the cool vegans on Instagram (hello, Erin Ireland) and you are ready to make the big change. Well - and this might sting - but making a change that drastic overnight just isn't realistic, or sustainable for that matter. (I've been vegetarian for 6 years and only now do I feel ready to make the jump!) Instead, make small changes on a daily basis, which will eventually lead to a more plant-based lifestyle. For example, your journey to a meat-free lifestyle might look like this:
Step 1: Do some research! (What the heck does eating plant-based actually look like?)
Step 2: Cook meat-free meals 1-2 days a week
Step 3: Substitute dairy-free alternatives into your diet
Step 4: Cook meat-free meals 3-4 days a week
Step 5: Experiment with plant-based cooking staples (I'm looking at you, Nutritional Yeast)
Step 6: Learn the varying ways to substitute eggs in cooking and baking...
You get the picture.
Bottom line. Big changes in every aspect of your life do not occur overnight. But small, consistent steps towards your goals will lead to big, sustainable changes. Trust me.
Tip 3: Make a Plan
We all know the quote "Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail". It's cheesy, super direct and hits you right in the gonads. And if you've ever experienced failure - which unless you're a mythical creature, I assume you have - then you'll know this is extremely accurate. (Damn you, Benjamin Franklin.) So, I am here to remind you that it's all well in good setting some sweet goals for yourself, but without a plan, you're going nowhere fast.
Tip 4: Find an Accountability Partner (or 5)
This one is fairly self-explanatory. As humans, we thrive when surrounded by others who are lifting us up. It's much easier to make those changes and crush those goals when you have others doing it with you. My goal this year is to run my first full marathon. I've ran a handful of half-marathons (ask me about the time I ran with Mickey Mouse), the 30k Around the Bay and now I'm ready to tackle the big 42.2. Yikes, that number seems daunting. But, luckily for me, I have some pretty bad-ass pals who are also training to run a marathon, and together - along with our running group - it makes those long, cold, winter runs not only bearable, but so much more realistic to achieve.
Tip 5: Cut Yourself Some Slack!
Last, but definitely not least, cut yourself some slack! We're only human, and we can only do so much. Go easy on yourself, listen to your body and your mind, take a step-back if needed and when you're ready, refocus, revisit your plan and I promise you, you will crush those goals.
What kinds of goals did you set for yourself in 2018? And what strategies work for you to help you reach them? I'd love to know, so comment below.