New Year, New Goals, Now What?

Alright, so it’s been a few weeks since the beginning of 2018, and you’ve probably made some resolutions. How are you feeling about them so far? Super confident and motivated? Or are they already a thing of the past? If you fall under the latter, that’s okay. This happens to the majority of resolutioners, as we tend to set our expectations overwhelmingly high, ultimately setting ourselves up for failure from the beginning.

But not to fear! All hope is not lost. Small, realistic goals will be your best friend in progressing toward those bigger goals of yours. Let’s take a step back to do some reflecting, a little planning, and have a productive year! As you move through the prompts, be honest with yourself (it sounds corny, I know, but is important).

  • Think about what motivates you. Some examples may be:
    • Providing/receiving support from friends and family
    • Feeling increased energy, happiness, confidence
    • Writing things down, tracking progress
    • Being able to walk up the steps without being out of breath
    • Feeling stronger and more capable
  • Evaluate your goals.
    • What goals do you currently have? How can you prioritize these goals? Try to select 1-2 goals to focus on for the time being. Start small to grow big.
    • How do your motivations align with your goals? Motivations and goals go hand-in-hand. Think about some ways that you can use your motivators to productively influence your goals. For example, “I want to be in better shape so I can spend more time with my family.” Goal: Go for nightly walks after dinner with my kids.
    • How realistic are your goals with your current lifestyle and routine? As we all know, “life” tends to get in the way. So let’s try to work with life, rather than against it. For instance, if you’re not a morning person, is attending a 6am spin class every morning really a reasonable goal for you?
  • Create a plan for the long-term
    • What steps can you take to achieve your goal? Keep in mind, you do not have to begin with one giant step. Take one step at a time, moving forward as you feel ready.
    • What potential barriers might you encounter? Anticipating roadblocks better equips us for handling them. It’s always helpful to have a few back-up plans in your back pocket.
  • Frame your goals in a positive light
    • For some reason, we tend to talk about our goals with a negative connotation (lose weight, cut calories, drop pounds, less screen time, no cake). This gets our mind thinking about everything that we will be depriving ourselves of.
    • Instead, think about your goals in terms of everything you will be gaining (more muscle, ability to lift more, more energy, increased confidence, spending more face-to-face time with loved ones). We are more likely to stick to our goals when we know we are receiving something in return.
  • Accept that not everything will go perfectly, but hey, that’s perfectly okay.
    • We tend to be much too hard on ourselves, which is helpful for when we need a big push, but counterproductive when it results in constant discouragement. The fallbacks you face are not a reflection of your character, but rather, just a part of the journey.
    • And finally, nothing is set in stone. As your life changes, your goals can change too. So adjust them and change them up as you see fit. Trust yourself and enjoy the process. Everything will be okay.

Don’t forget the YMCA is here to help make your goals into a reality. Check out the Y’s Personal Training, Boot Camp, and Group Fitness Classes. To learn about all of these and more, talk to the membership desk to sign up for a free session with a Wellness Coach to get started today!

– Written by Taylor Chan, Personal Trainer and Bradley Dietetic Intern;  Instagram:@foodandfearless


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