Rosie from Mamawell writes as to why you don’t need to get the January dread about the pressure of resolutions & ‘the new you’.
Welcome to the New Year and the time we all rush to improve and tweak our lives before the dust has even settled on the spot where the Christmas tree was.
Let’s be clear, there is NOTHING wrong with the current you. You are rocking it daily in a multitude of ways, and don’t let any ‘expert’ tell you that you need to change anything. However, there’s nothing wrong with having some long- and short-term goals written down if you are someone who likes to know where they’re at day to day. And you’ve got to agree, the new year (decade!) is a good time to do it.
Here are my thoughts about goal setting, and why I think goals don’t need to be something be scared or even antagonistic towards – just a great addition to your daily life.
MAKING THEM CLEAR…
- Feeling frustrated about progress (or seeming lack of it) or wondering if you’re on the right track with life/career/health etc can be tracked much more accurately if you’ve set some goals. Quantifying your objective is so helpful to benchmark progress. For example – “I would like to network more in my industry” – instead could be “I plan to go to 2 industry networking events for the first three months and make 5 interesting connections to email/have a coffee with, in each session”. This focus on metrics enables you to see quickly if you’re achieving your goals or are way off track. And it’s FINE to change the metrics after a bit of testing to make the goal more realistic.
- This brings me to the REALISM of the goal. As humans we all like to win, our ego loves it. Each day we feel like we have failed, our confidence takes a hit, and we are less likely to continue with our goals. So, make them REALISTIC and ACHIEVEABLE. For example, in my mind there would be little point of me setting a goal to not eat chocolate for the next 6 months. It’s just not going to happen! But if my goal is to cut down on my chocolate consumption, I would realistically resolve to maybe just eat two squares after dinner each night for example. I feel I could do that, I do it for a few days and feel like an absolute winner, the habit is then set, so I manage to carry on for a few more days – and so the positive spiral of confidence and achievement grows.
BREAK DOWN THE BIG PICTURE…
- Have big picture goals – they are great for long-term focus, and sometimes our goals are just REALLY big. But set out as one huge task, they can be very daunting. For example, “we want to move out of our house and into a 4 bedroom one” – this seems quite an undertaking. Instead, think about the incremental goals that will take you to that point, and then find ways to work through them individually. This way, you have your hit of achievement month by month, but you know you’re contributing to your big-picture gaol as well.
BE VERY SPECIFIC…
- Get SPECIFIC with your goals. This is particularly useful with fitness/weight related objectives as when we are vague it is much easier for us to make excuses for ourselves. Someone who just says “I want to lose 10lbs” generally doesn’t get all the way there because they haven’t been specific. A better way to frame it would be “I want to lose 10lbs by my sister’s wedding in June, because I have a fabulous dress bought to wear” or even BETTER, as I don’t believe weight is a true indicator of health: “I want to fit into this fabulous size 12 dress I have bought for my sister’s wedding – and I want to feel toned and fit, able to run 5km, by June”. Again, be realistic, we want to be winners – a good trainer should be able to advise you if your goals are out of the realm of heathy achievement.
EVERY DAY IS A NEW START…
- January is the not the only good goal setting month. You can start at ANY TIME! So, if you’re like most people and haven’t had a chance to figure out what day of the week it is yet, don’t worry! You have a new chance EVERY DAY to make a goal and work towards something new. It is so much better to take stock properly of where you’re at in your live right now and formulate a plan than jump into it in January just because you think it’s what everyone else is doing.
NOTICE WHAT YOU’RE HAPPY WITH…
- Which brings me to my last point, which I think us as women are often particularly bad at doing. Notice what is GOOD and what you LOVE about your life, and especially yourself. There is no need in most cases to change much, but goal setting can be done for personal growth. Before just embarking on a crazy restrictive diet, take time to notice the things you love – like maybe you HAVE fabulous arms/strong legs/a gorgeous round bottom! Appreciating what you have is so important and observing the positive things in your life. From there, and using these positives, you can make your goals from a much kinder place. Which I think, in the end will make them much more achievable and relatable to YOU and your life!
Rosie is the founder of Mamawell – wellness and fitness for all women, but with a particular focus on the conception, pregnancy and early motherhood years. She provides motivation and coaching through her private sessions, classes, Instagram @mamawelluk and her online fitness programme: The MAMAWELL Method.
Followers of just_chill_mama can get 15% off their purchase of The MAMAWELL Method (RRP £55) by using the code: JUSTCHILL15 – valid until Feb 1st.
The MAMAWELL Method is a series of workouts incorporating cardio circuits, resistance training, stretching and core work to promote energy, fitness and strength – both mental & physical.
Find out more: www.mamawell.org/the-mamawell-method