It has been a week (or less for those procrastinators out there!) since we all wrote out our resolutions or picked out our word for the year, and yet, I bet that many of us could raise our hands to say that we have already dropped the ball on some of those goals! (Don't worry, I won't be asking for a show of hands)
Why is it that we can start out with such intention and motivation and then crash and burn so hard in the first week? There are a million different reasons that are unique to each of us, but over the years I have discovered 5 core things that we need to take into consideration when we are setting goals and then living them out in the mundane everyday.
1.) Find Your Why
We are often really good at thinking we know why we are setting our goals, but a lot of us, if we looked closer would realize that we aren't getting to the real root of the issue. Maybe we think that we want to balance our hormones so that we can predict our periods better, but if we looked closer we would see that we have some deep shame over the anger and mood swings that happen every month and the yelling and hurt feelings it causes. THAT is a goal that will keep you going through the mundane every day habits, and the days when you want to pull your hair out because you just. want. the. icecream!!!
So look closely at yourself, what are your deepest fears and dreams? Because creating new habits is not just hard, its frankly, pretty boring sometimes, and it takes a big WHY to pull us through those days.
2.) Realize the Importance of Baby Steps
Habits are made up of doing the same things day, after day, and like I said before, that gets pretty boring. However, doing the same little things every day, and building on the habits that you have already created is crucial for avoiding that overwhelmed feeling that we can get when staring down our big dream. Not to mention that some days, it feels incredibly hard and we might even trip up! It takes a mindset shift to keep from giving up on the whole thing on those days that we aren't perfect.
Think about a baby. When babies are learning to walk they fall ALOT! But every fall teaches them something. Every fall gets them one step closer to being able to run! And that is the same for us. Every time we fail, we learn a boundary that we need to set, or a pitfall that we need to avoid next time, and before we know it, we are running full speed at our dream!
This is also a great reminder to avoid biting off more than we can chew. Maybe our goal for this year is to run a 5k, but if we just get off the couch and go outside and expect to be able to run even down the street, we will likely be disappointed and discouraged. Break your goal down into a much smaller step. Maybe your first step needs to be getting enough sleep at night so that you have energy to get up early! Whatever it is, starting slow and steady is the only way to have sustainable results.
3.) Find Accountability
We were not created to do this life alone! It takes a team (even if it is a small team!) of others who can cheer us on when we are discouraged, who can share wisdom from further along the road, and who can remind us of our WHY when the going gets tough.
4.) Check in Regularly- But Not Too Regularly
Setting up check-in dates with yourself regularly is a great practice. It could be a weekly date, a bi-weekly date, or a monthly date depending on your goals. But it is just as important not to micro-manage yourself. If you are checking in on something like weight-loss every day, then you will likely get frustrated with yourself for not making the progress that you think you are "supposed" to be making.
5.) Celebrate Accomplishments
Finding something that is exciting and motivating, and yet also not food-related or expensive can be hard. But I encourage you to think outside the box. For me, as a busy mom, something as simple as leaving the kids with my husband or mom for a few hours while I spend some quiet time at a coffee shop or bookstore is super motivating!
Maybe for you it is getting your hair done, or taking a long uninterrupted bath, or getting a book you have been wanting. Make a list of some things, and then start celebrating!