January Series: Fresh Start
I love January! A new year always feels like a new beginning to me. We get to decide who we want to be and what we want to focus on this year. We also have the opportunity to leave behind traits, mindsets, behaviors, and people that don’t support our goals for the year. It’s the time to wipe the slate clean and put up nice, new, neat lettering that clearly shows who we want to be this year.
Creating Goals (a.k.a. New Year’s Resolutions)
Happy New Year! During this time, lots of us choose to make New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions are goals; things that we want to achieve. The problem with resolutions is that we tend to start strong, but our determination slowly fades. At some point, we end up asking ourselves why we didn’t stick to our resolutions.
The actual choosing part of the goal is the most important piece. The goal must resonate with our hearts. If it is not something that we truly want, then we aren’t going to put in the hard work to achieve it. We must find the Big Why for our goal and hold onto it. Here is a link to a blog I wrote on finding your Big Why: https://kathystoddardtorrey.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/goals-big-why-and-little-hows
Even if we really want to achieve a goal that resonates with our hearts, it sometimes still takes a little creativity to achieve it. Let’s say that becoming fit and lean is a goal that I really want to achieve. I know that I will feel healthier, have more energy, and keep up with my granddaughter better. However, I hate to run, and I detest crowded aerobics classes. In order to accomplish this goal, I need to get creative. Maybe I could learn a martial art or take a kickboxing class. Perhaps I could join a bike club. It could be that I just need to find a buddy to go walking with me. The key is to think creatively and find a way to accomplish the goal without forcing myself to do things I hate.
Sometimes heart goals need a dose of realism attached. For example, I am physically limited in the exercise that I can do. I had brain surgery in 2009 that resulted in a few tiny platinum coils of wire being inserted into my brain. Since the surgery, if I exercise enough to break a sweat, I become ill. I get nauseous and a little dizzy. For up to a week, I will have a rocking headache.
I must accept that I am never going to run a marathon or even a 5K, no matter how much I want to do so. Although those could be real, heart goals that resonate with me, I need to acknowledge who and where I am, and honor that.
Trust me, I went through a huge pity party when I first figured out that I’d recovered as much as I was going to recover. I wasn’t fond of my new normal at all. However, there wasn’t a way to change my limitations. I had to work with them ad adjust my goals accordingly. I can still reach my own highest level of fitness, but it requires creativity as well as some trial and error.
Since I usually work from home, I take short exercise breaks every hour or so. I use three pound weights and straps that attach to a door to do exercises throughout the day. The straps are in the bathroom so I do modified squats each time I go in there. I don’t break a sweat, so I can be dressed for the day. In addition to strength training, I try to walk 30 minutes each day. That gives my heart and lungs an extended workout at a pace that I can handle.
I do have fitness goals, but they are realistic goals that I can achieve without making myself ill. Setting goals that are challenging (and a little intimidating), but also within reach can be a difficult dance best done with a partner. A life coach or trusted friend can help you sort out dreams from pipe dreams. Spending time and energy on a goal that cannot happen is an exercise in frustration and a waste of time.
So here is our summary of how to achieve our goals:
1. Establish a goal that resonates with your heart.
2. Make sure it’s doable. It’s OK for the goal to feel scary and little out of your reach. However, do a firm reality check on it. One way to know if something is possible is to make sure you can do the actions needed to reach that goal. Make the goal achievable. I can’t run a 5K, but I could work up to walking one!
3. Get creative. We can overcome a lot of obstacles, both mental and physical, with a little creativity. If you feel stuck, a life coach is a great person to help you expand your awareness and create new possibilities.
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