I love January the same way I love “Back to School”. It’s another chance to start fresh. To clear the slate and “start right” (again).
Forgive me if this musing ends up sounding a lot like January 2021’s musing. Because, even if it does, I’m sure we all need to hear this again. I know I do.
Last January (aka, the adult version of September’s Back to School), you had goals and dreams about how you were going to behave. How disciplined you’d be. What you wanted to achieve.
How did that go?
January 2021, I decided I was going to have my healthiest year yet. Because of finishing my PhD and then a COVID quarantine year, I had packed on some pounds and had been lacking energy. So, I started 2021 pumped to lose weight and get back to running.
The very first week of January, I started feeling sick. I assumed (hoped, really) that my body no longer really liked healthy foods and that’s why I was feeling sick. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
SURPRISE! I was pregnant!
Out the window goes my health plans because the only thing I could keep down was toast and other delicious, hardly nutritious carbs.
So here I am, January 2022, with the same goal: to have my healthiest year yet.
It’s beyond frustrating when you have a goal and then you realize you didn’t stick with it, right? It’s a little easier to swallow when you have a valid excuse:
– COVID pandemic
– I got pregnant
– We were short-handed at work
– Can’t disappoint Aunt Marie and skip the buffet of cookies she baked
– Etc, etc, etc… the excuses are endless
So here we are again. On the precipice of a new year. Able to make promises to ourselves (again).
So, what’s it going to be?
Will we actually change our lives?
Will we actually reach our goals?
Dear God, I hope we do….
So how can you be better at doing that this year?
It starts with clarity. It continues with productivity. It continues with discipline (I think you all know I hate this word…but unfortunately, it’s true). It continues with dedication.
When this “car” that we call life starts to veer off the rails, we need to adjust quickly. Don’t wait until you’re on the berm. Instead, be acutely aware and steer that baby in the right direction the moment you start to cross the line.
How do we do that? I’m going to use my goal to illustrate my point. Then, I challenge you to think about your goal in this way. Take 5-10 minutes to ACTUALLY DO this exercise. It will help you stay focused.
Q: What do I want? Why is it important?
A: I want to be healthy. I want to feel and look healthy. I want to be confident in a bathing suit. Selfishly, it’s important because I’m getting married on a beach! There will be enough to worry about without worrying about how I look in a wedding dress or bathing suit. More importantly, it matters because I have a family to take care of. I need all the energy I can get. Even more importantly, I want to live as long as I can with an excellent quality of life so I can see my two sons grow up and I can enjoy a fulfilling life with Patrick (since it took me a while to find him).
Q: What is the first right step? What gets in the way of me doing these things? How can I eliminate obstacles?
A: The first right step is to go back to clean eating. Get out the book that helps me stay focused on this. Connect with my friend who will support me. Another first right step is to download the Couch to 5K app and begin it (again). Things that get in the way of me doing this are convenience and comfort. It’s easy to stay in bed when it’s cold. It’s easy to grab whatever food is readily available. I will eliminate these temptations by planning and having a true accountability partner will not cut me any slack – is it you?
Q: How will I keep on track for the long haul? I have a family to feed too.
A: I KNOW the proverbial bumps in the road WILL happen. If something arises that messes me up and I can’t run that day, I will ride bike instead or adjust my caloric intake and recommit to running the very next day. As for the rest of your household, talk to them about your goal. They may want to join in or have ideas to help you stay the course. Let’s see if I can convince/rope Patrick into running and eating healthy, too! It will help tremendously to have us both living that way. I mean, we both packed on the pregnancy pounds… (just saying)!
Q: How will I remember how important this is to me? How will I stay connected to the emotional feeling that is making this important right now?
A: This all goes back to clarity and why I am doing this, so every day…
… I will visualize the reasons that I need to be healthy.
… I will think about my family.
… I will visualize how it will feel to be confident in that bathing suit on the beach.
… I will visualize my future grandchildren, and how I want to live a long, healthy life to be here to enjoy them.
What are your 2022 goal(s)?
How will you get there?
Who will support you?
How will you stay focused when bumps arise?
How will you remember how important this is to you?
How will you make 2022 different from 2021?
Remember, it is not how will 2022 be different from 2021.
It’s: how will YOU make it different?
And don’t let others in your life dismiss your dreams or goals. Remember… If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck. If you hang out with eagles, you are going to fly.
LET’S DO THIS! If not for ourselves, at least so my January blog in 2023 will be a completely different topic (Ha!). All kidding aside, I believe in you. Be the eagle I know you are.
If you need help figuring out how to make your goals a reality and need an accountability partner, you might benefit from 1-1 Executive Coaching! Not only do you get to work with me 1:1 to create progress and success, you also get the power of a group of other executives working on their goals as well. Let’s talk – no obligation. #soarwitheagles
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