As one year ends and we begin to transition into a new one, it is only natural that we begin to think about all the resolutions we have planned for 2021. We start to think about all we want to accomplish, who we want to be, the places we want to visit so on and so on. We have all been there; we enter a new year with high hopes and high expectations for ourselves. We create a new years resolution or resolutions, we tackle them head on in the first two weeks and before you know it, you’re overwhelmed, you have no plan and frankly you are uninterested. Those once semi-planned goals now turn into a faint memory and not to be thought about again…well until next year, right?
I am here to tell you it does not have to be that way. Believe it or not, goals do not have to be these large ambitious tasks that take tons of courage and money to accomplish. The key to success is creating one large goal that lives amongst small, consistent goals.
At this point you may be thinking, where do I start? Take a look at the following EIGHT steps towards taking charge in 2021.
1. Write it down…all of it.
Yes, I’m talking the old pen and paper. Write down every goal you want to achieve, these can be both big and small. These goals may involve something you are currently doing, something you’ve never done or a goal you’ve been hanging onto for years. Write them down. Writing down our goals makes it more real for us. All of those thoughts we once had in our mind are now in writing and realer than ever.
2. Be real with yourself.
Be in a honest conversation with yourself from the beginning. As you are looking at the list of goals you’ve just written down ask yourself these questions
Is this goal measurable?
Is this goal realistic?
Do I feel obligated to do this or do I WANT to do this?
Can I honestly commit to this for 30 days?
Does it make sense for my life right now?
If you find that any of your goals do not align with any of these questions, cross it off. Don’t worry “not now” doesn’t mean not ever.
3. Start from the end and work your way to the beginning.
Create bookend goals with January and December. Assign a goal in December that you know will take you 12 months to accomplish and begin that goal in January. This could look like:
“I want to purchase a new car in December and will set aside $50 each month for the down payment”
“I want to run a marathon in December so I will sign up in January, meet with a coach to work on my running form in April, begin training in September, buy new running shoes in November”
This will be your largest goal out of all the ones you have chosen.
4. Each goal gets a month.
When you have your list, start assigning your goals to a set month. This alleviates the pressure of trying to accomplish every goal within the first month of the New Year. Assign goals as you see fit for your current life and lifestyle:
Think of it this way: If you have a goal to take an extended vacation, but you know that work gets busy during certain months then do not assign that goal to those months.
Assigning your goals will give you something to look forward to each month as you are finishing with a previous goal and venturing into a new one.
5. Tell someone.
Pick someone you trust and tell them what you plan to accomplish this year. By simply telling someone, you are opening a window for opportunity. This creates a space for accountability with no judgement attached. Chances are, we you see or talk to that person they will follow-up with you.
6. Enhance something you are already doing.
When it comes to your goals, you do not always have to start from scratch. Take something you are already doing and modify it in a way that is beneficial to you. The best thing about this goal is that you already know you enjoy it because you are already dedicating time to it. How this looks in real life:
You are an avid non-fictional reader, so you set a goal to read 2 fiction books a year.
Currently you are exercising 3x a week, so you set a goal to visit a new studio, gym or trail once a month.
7. Do something that takes you out of your comfort zone.
It is easy to shy away from this one because frankly you might be uncomfortable. I challenge you to stick with it. This could look like:
Eating lunch by yourself in a public place.
Calling someone instead of texting them.
Taking a class or get a certification.
Apart of growing as human beings is getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. I can’t promise that these tasks will ever become comfortable, but I can assure you’ll be more willing to do uncomfortable things.
8. Leave room for error.
It is easy to fall victim to the “all or nothing” mindset when it comes to setting goals. We easily convince ourselves to throw in the towel when we fall off track or hit a roadblock. One way to avoid this is leaving room for error in the beginning. Accept that the process won’t be perfect, you will have to adapt and adjust, and you may fall off track. Don’t throw in the towel, begin again.
It is no secret that this past year has given us a handful of challenges. We have learned to adapt and adjust in ways we never thought possible. The way we communicate has changed and we’ve had to get creative when it comes to keeping human connection and interaction alive and well in our lives.
As we head into a new year, I challenge you to continue to grow and learn. To try uncomfortable things and set goals you never thought possible.
You can do it; you’ve been doing it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia Gilmour is a Black Flag Athletics coach who transitioned into the world of functional fitness in 2016. She believes movement is medicine and plays a vital role in our longevity. As a health professional she focuses on personal development, goal setting and creating a balanced lifestyle.
She enjoys traveling, listening to true crime podcasts and taking long walks in The Rocky River Reservation. She also values a great pizza.
Olivia’s Credentials Include:
•B.S. Exercise Science with an Exercise Specialist Concentration
•Crossfit Level 1 Certified Coach
•Certified Sports Nutrition Coach