Welcome to Motivating Mom, Episode 006. Today, we are going to talk about making 2015 your best year ever! We will talk about New Year’s Resolutions and how to make them stick.
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Ok, Let’s talk about New Year’s Resolutions and goal setting. How many of you set them each year? Do you even remember what you set out to do last year? Most of us try to do too much, too hard and too fast to succeed. We set goals that maybe don’t really mean that much to us and we rarely set out a plan to accomplish them. Intentions are not enough. You need to have a plan.
If you have not yet listened to episode 004, please start with that. We talk about creating your vision for 2015 and that really is the first step.
My suggestion is that you choose 3 MIT areas of your life that you want to make change in. Mine are typically: My health, My Family and My Business. Pause the podcast (unless you are driving) and write down your 3 MIT areas if you haven’t done this previously with me.
Now, take one at a time and come up with a goal for each area. As you probably know, goals should be SMART, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. But they should also be passionate. This might be more important than setting specific goals. If it’s not that important to you, you just won’t do it. I can easily set a smart goal to lose ten pounds but if I’m not passionate about the reason for it, I probably won’t follow through. I would rather you choose fewer goals and really make them happen then come up with a lengthy list that doesn’t get traction. Human beings are drawn to what gives them pleasure and avoid things that give them pain. Tap in to your goal in this way. How will it give you pleasure? How will it cause you pain if you don’t achieve it?
Here’s an example. Let’s say that your health goal is to run a marathon. The goal should be something like “I will run a marathon by December 2015.” Why are you passionate about it? I don’t know. Maybe it’s on your bucket list. It was on mine 4 years ago. Write it in first person and write it as a commitment. Notice I wrote “I will” rather than just “run a marathon”. In one year, is your goal something you can measure? For instance, if a client tells me she wants to lose weight, that won’t work. Is 1 pound enough? And, by when? One week or one month or by next year?
Do you have too many things you want to do? You have your whole life. Write them all done. Get them out of your head. Put them in a safe place like a journal or computer document. But then do triage. Figure out what is most important to you this year! Choose just a few in each important area of your life. I bet you would be happy right now if you had chosen a few and really made them happen!
Now we need to break it down. We can’t just run the marathon. I break my goals down into smallest most achievable chunks. Let’s say that you were only running a few miles at this point. I would break down the miles that I need to hit each month, then each week, then each day. Or, Let’s say that you want to start a business. Your next step might be as simple as doing a google search to see what else is out there. That step moves you towards your goal. Knowing next steps are so important to making progress.
But maybe your goal isn’t as concrete as a marathon. I know many people who say they don’t set New Year’s resolutions but plan to just be healthier or more loving in their relationships. Well that’s a goal. And it still needs a plan or you won’t make progress. Let’s say your health goal is just to have more energy or to be healthier than you were the year before. What most of us do is change everything on January 1. We start eating more veggies, drinking more water, reducing portion size, etc. All at once. How’s that working out for you? It’s too much change. It won’t become a habit. Instead list 12 things you could change to feel healthier. For example:
Drink 64 oz water day
Get 8 hours sleep
Reduce sugar to less than 25 grams per day
Exercise 5 days per week
Eat 6 vegetable servings per day
Cut out hydrogenated fats
Meditate for 5 minutes 5 days per week
Write down something you are grateful for every day
Cut down alcohol to 2 glasses per week
Replace fruit juice with vegetable juice.
Stop salting your food
Decrease portion sizes at every meal
Increase exercise by 10 minutes per day
You see, these are all specific. But don’t do them all at once. Take on one thing each month and make them a habit. Now many of you are thinking, “No I want to make big change right away in the new year.” Well, you probably wanted that change the year before. How did that work out for you? How happy would you be right now if you developed 12 new healthy habits in 2014? I know I would be pretty thrilled!
Start your steps with an action word. For instance a good goal would be to “Read 10 pages per night”, not “try to read more”
For family, My goals might be to go on a date once a month or to put my phone away during family time. Again, I’m not going to try to change everything at once.
Before you commit, ask yourself. Are these things really important to me? How would I feel if I actually accomplished this? How would I feel if I didn’t? Chances are, you have set similar goals before. Why will this time be any different. Write down how you will overcome the obstacles that will get in your way.
Most people write out resolutions and then put them away. Out of site, out of mind. They need to be in front of you. Print them and put them on your medicine cabinet, on your desk, in your daytimer. Wherever you will see them daily to check in.
Even I messed up on that one year ago. I set a financial goal but I put it away. I said that I wanted to have a certain amount of money put away in savings. But I didn’t make a plan for it. I should have said. I will put away $X in savings by the end of the year” and I will do this by
Cutting out starbucks
Eating out 1 less time per week
Increasing my pay by adding a class per week.
And I should have kept the goal out in front of me. I practically forgot that I set this goal.
So let’s recap.
Step 1) Come up with your 3 MIT’s
Step 2) Write down 1 - 3 goals for each of your MIT’s. You can use our goal setting sheet that’s in our show notes.
Step 3) Create Your Plan - Every goal needs a plan. You need to reverse engineer it. Break it down in to 100 steps if you need to. And then plug those steps in to time lines on your calendar. If planning out the year is too overwhelming, then just plan out the first quarter of the year or even the first month. But set a date to then check back in on the goal and set the next steps.
Step 4) Write down the obstacles that can get in your way. How will you overcome them? Make a plan. This is important or the same exact challenges will keep getting in your way.
Step 5) Keep Your Goals In Front Of You - Out of site, ouf of mind. Remind yourself every day what the target it.
There are a couple more things I want to say about goal setting. First off, be careful about getting too excited once those goals are written. There is a psychological phenomenon about feeling so good about your goal that you already let yourself off the hook. It’s a daily process that you need to reconnect to. Every day that you make progress brings you closer to the goal.
But it won’t be a perfect journey. Be prepared now that you will fall of the horse as they say. An airplane is off course 90% of the journey but still makes it to the destination. Know that some days you’ll be off, and then you come right back on track without sabotaging yourself. There is no benefit of judgment of beating yourself up. Just keep coming back on track. At the end of the year, it’s not about being perfect. It’s about being better than you were the year before. We are growing, evolving. Hopefully getting wiser.
I know lot’s of people who don’t do resolutions or any goal setting. If you are happy and have accomplished all that you want to, that’s great. But if you feel like there is more you want to do in life or want to continue to grow, then I highly suggest you set aside some time to make a plan. For me, there is more that I want to do then there is time to do, no matter how long my life is. When I do triage and set goals, it helps me feel on track. I hope I get to be a part of your New Year and can give you a little inspiration and motivation along the way.
That’s our show for today. Now, it’s time to take your questions.
I would so love to hear from you! If you would like to ask a question, or make a comment on the show, you can write it on our show notes or record it at www.fit4mom.com/podcast.
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