New Year, New Goals?
On January 3 I walked into my gym and wished someone I hadn’t seen since the New Year, wished her a happy one, and jokingly, the owner of the gym said, “It’s the 3rd! We’re past saying ‘Happy New Year!’” I don’t agree! Happy New Year!
So here we are on the 9th, and I’m writing about it. And I’m not going to apologize.
It took me some time to get my own goals in order. A combination of a bit of SAD and my fake-husband’s brand new retired status has me adjusting my game a bit. He and I are adjusting to his new life, and I’m trying to not give into the lower energy and temptation to nap and snack until spring. So far I’m doing okay, though a silly toe injury slowed me down for a few days.
I don’t like New Year’s resolutions very much. And I don’t think most people do either since the majority of the time they are history by the middle of January. Going from zero to a hundred only works for machines, not humans.
What I am a fan of is goals and intentions. Big believer in those. And having steps to reach those goals. Saying you will go to the gym everyday when you haven’t gone in five years might work for a week, but then, like most humans, you will revert to what you usually do - not go to the gym.
One thing that helps me is I’m ridiculously frugal. I can’t stand to waste money. I am so cheap that last year from my hospital bed I froze my gym membership.
If being cheap doesn’t work for you, set up a plan that will. Sign up for a class that you will feel guilty for not going to having taken a spot from someone who would have showed up. Make a plan with a friend to meet at a specific time to workout together. Tell people you are beginning a new workout regime and to hold you accountable. Sign up for something that delights you - a hip hop class, kickboxing, zumba, yoga - you won’t do it if you don’t like it that’s for darn sure. You have have to try a few things to find what you do like. I was always a dance person and for years took a dance-fit class. Now, I’m more yoga and on the days I don’t go to yoga, do the treadmill and strength training. I see people who love the elliptical, or jump roping and spin classes. The key is find something you like. You wouldn’t sign up to go to the dentist everyday, make this more fun than that.
Let technology help you too. Get a FitBit or find an app to track steps and time you workout. If you can, do a session or two with a trainer to get a good plan in place.
All these tips are pretty applicable to anything you might like to start in the New Year. Want to write a novel? Join a writer’s group in person or online. Set aside a time every day to write, tell people you’re doing it. I tell you to share your goal because you are a lot more likely to do it if you have someone to be accountable too. It’s a huge reason Weight Watchers works and lots of at-home diets don’t.
I spent about an hour the other day writing down my goals and intentions for both my personal and professional lives in 2018. The intention is the why and the reason. For instance, part of my intention for taking good care of myself is, yes, to feel good and be healthy, but also to be a vital and fun partner, mom and friend.
I want my play, “Love and Disaster” to be produced in 2018 for the advancement of my career, but I also want to employ actors, a director and crew. I also want to give people a fun night out and perhaps get a subtle message across (while they’re laughing) about love and forgiveness. Thinking about the bigger picture with your goals gives them more weight, more meaning. Wanting to make more money is great, but when we get clear in your intention - to make more money to buy a newer, safer car, or take your family on a memorable trip, it all means a lot more.
When thinking about changes you want to make in your life get clear and be specific. What steps are you going to take? Who can you ask for help and/or support? Why do you want to reach this goal? What could be a reward for yourself?
And lastly, I’ve saved the most important thing for last - well, I think it’s the most important. My overriding goal is gratitude. Being grateful makes you happier, It’s been proven! Being grateful will make you a happier and less angsty person. I’ve taken it a step further and many times a day randomly and silently wish people happiness. Especially people who may be bugging me a bit! It calms me down, and makes me happy. If you can find ways to be grateful even when things don’t go as expected, you will be well on your way to a happier life. And isn’t that what all of us want? Take the time everyday to jot down three things you’re happy for. The other night? For me it was when I miscalculated the bottom stair in my house I only injured my big toe - I didn’t break a leg, a wrist or something else. It’s pretty hard to be grateful and feel sorry for yourself at the same time…
Take some time to intentionally plan what you’d like your 2018 to look like. What do you want to accomplish? Why? And how are you going to get there? You know you always accomplish more with a to-do list? Think of this as your to-do list for the year, then see how much you accomplish!