The beginning of every year is met with excitement for a fresh start, clean slate and new goals. As Brad Paisley said about New Year’s Eve, “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”
While Brad has a good point, mapping out your life for a whole year can be daunting. You don’t know what the new year will bring and let’s be honest: How many of us actually stuck to our new year’s resolutions last year? As leaders helping guide others to make goals, it can be difficult to even manage your own.
A reasonable solution? Let’s make “New Month’s Resolutions” instead.
Tackling the year as a whole can set you up for failure when you get discouraged three or four months in, knowing you’ve already gone off track and aren’t even at the halfway mark yet. But breaking the year up into 12 months and making goals for January, goals for February, and goals for March will increase the likelihood of success.
My goal for January is to workout 20 times total, or four times a week. However, I won’t set my February health goal until I’m at the end of January and can evaluate how it went. Life happens, things unforeseen always tend to come up, so after working at this for a month, I will set a more realistic goal for February if need be (whether it’s keeping the number the same or changing it).
A key to reaching your goals is being realistic about them. Yes, challenge yourself, but also know your limits and all your other commitments that will affect your plan.
As we guide others and maintain our own routines, using a wearable to measure and report is not only valuable for your clients, but for yourself. For example, the Apple Watch will track your actual activity each week and will make suggestions for a daily goal the next week based on what you’re doing.
Another important factor in completing your plan is to make it measurable. It is very easy to teach and this time of year more than ever it is important to do as we say. One of my goals is to eat on the 80/20 plan: eating whole foods that fuel my body 80 percent of the time, and being free for “cheat meals” 20 percent of the time. I can easily tell if I’m on track or off track for this by setting those parameters for myself.
The point is, set goals for shorter lengths of time to help keep you on track. Create a loose agenda, then take things one day at a time so you can be flexible and readjust when life happens.
As Og Mandino says, “The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them.”
With all this in mind, what are your goals for February? Share them below and with a friend as well for accountability. I look forward to conquering 2016 one month at a time, one week at a time, one day at a time, one goal at a time.
Lindsey Rainwater is a consultant and coach to the fitness and wellness industry. She specializes in business development and leadership. Currently she is working with the Fitmarc Team helping health club owners all over the south central region of the United States propel their business forward via group exercise solutions. For more information about Rainwater, follow her @lindseyrainh2o or www.lindseyrainh2o.com.