Happy New Year! This is my first official blog entry. I thought January 1st was the perfect time to start a new adventure.
You can read all about me and the goal of this blog here.
Each new year I get off to a good start (like most of the population), and then veer off track. This year, with this blog, I can stay accountable and reach my goals, because who wants to fail publicly, right?
A few years ago I began setting goals for one month, not a full year. I feel it has helped me focus a bit more and not get overwhelmed looking ahead at 12 months of trying to succeed.
I like to make 10 reachable goals every month, and change them as they fit my life. It has been a journey of a few years getting to these specific goals. If you are looking to make a similar plan, don't get overwhelmed if my goals seem big to you. I am a believer in starting small and working your way towards something.
Here are my 2016 January goals. I usually make a top 10.
1. Eat a healthy breakfast every day
2. Exercise 6 days/week
3. Get to 10,000 steps every day
4. Drink 16oz of water during the work day
5. Eat 5 fruits and/or vegetables every day
6. Keep a food journal
7. Meditate 2 times per week (starting small here)
8. Be in the moment while driving and listening to podcasts
9. Take my vitamins every day
10. Limit junk food (this one is vague, but if i say "limit junk food to 2 times a week" i will surely eat it that often!)
In the coming months I might keep all 10 goals the same for every month, if they still need work. But I only have January in mind right now. Each day I can look over this list as a reminder. You can make a pretty print out and post it at work and at home, so you have a reminder in your most frequented spaces. You need to make it fun and visible, otherwise it's just a list that's hidden away and easily forgotten about. You'll find it in a drawer three years from now and say "hey, yeah, I was going to do that"!
In my opinion, goals should not be dreaded tasks. I enjoy taking a few extra strolls around the office to meet my daily step goal. I actually think it makes me more productive, because I step away from a task and come back more focused. I love fruits and vegetables, I just need the reminder to make sure to include one at every meal and snack. These goals are all things I want to do - to be a better me. These 10 things are positive reminders for my day.
I think where most people, including myself, get into trouble is trying to recreate yourself in one go. The “all or nothing” approach. “Tomorrow I am going to start working out and will work out 7 days a week”. That’s huge if you don’t work out already. I have started and failed about 50 exercise programs, trying to do too much too soon. I’ll do it for 6 weeks, then nothing for 8 weeks (or more, who am i kidding?). I have finally found a 30 minute exercise routine I can actually stick to and have been successful for over a year. That is a first for me!! So, I have the goal of 6 days/week, because I am finally there. Goals should not be too far from where you are starting. “Eat a healthy breakfast” is something I do often, I just need to make it a habit. If you rarely eat a healthy breakfast, saying you’ll do it every day is a huge goal to jump into, and one you will probably give up on.
Changing our set behaviors is hard. You have to make small, progressive changes to get to big change, or I just don’t think it will stick.
Each day, each month is a step along my journey. Each success moves me closer to my goals. Each “failure” is a step back, but just a step - not a fatal mistake. I don’t like the word failure, cause it does imply an end. I guess “misstep” is a better word.
I find it fun to have a reminder of my goals. I am an introvert, so I am not going to post my goal sheet publicly at work, but I can remind myself of what I am working on. I have a ridiculous number of tiny temporary tattoes that I have collected over my life. I have begun placing one on my inner wrist, so I can see it during the day and keep my goals in mind. They are colorful and whimsical, they make me smile as I remember to drink more water or get some steps (or not eat that office donut!).
My number one goal is to eat a healthy breakfast. I love breakfast and I have a ton of healthy recipes, I just get busy in the morning sometimes and am unprepared. Well, I'm not so much busy as sleeping as late as I possibly can. But while I'm busy sleeping late, I am not making a healthy breakfast,
This pumpkin oatmeal recipe is one of my favorites! I know pumpkin-everything season is pretty much over, but I love pumpkin all year long. It is especially fun and warming this time of year, and this recipe uses real pumpkin, not just flavoring, so it's a boost of nutrients too. This recipe is fast, easy, and soooo good.
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/3 cup soy milk
1 packet Truvia
2 pitted dates-chopped
10 toasted pecans-crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar-free Brown Sugar Cinnamon flavor syrup (Torani)
1 tbsp light cream
1. Stir together the oats, pumpkin, milk and Truvia.
2. Microwave for 1 minute.
3. Stir again and microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute more.
4. Stir in Brown Sugar Cinnamon flavoring.
5. Top with chopped dates and pecans.
6. Top with just 1 tbsp of light cream, if preferred.
The main thing to think about when making a new goal is - why are you choosing this goal? Did someone tell you to try it? Have you heard someone talk about it and you want to be more like her/him?
This goal has to be for you and it has to be something you are ready for. I have done a lot of research on habits and behavior changes, and readiness to change. Not being ready to make a certain change is not a flaw. It’s normal human nature. True behavior change is a complicated process and we beat ourselves up for it not coming easily. I think we all need to cut ourselves some slack and come at our goals from a different perspective: small changes we can make last!
I enjoy hearing or reading about what other people are doing. And then I think about if that’s a goal I would make. Train to run a 5K?? No thanks, that’s not for me! I do not enjoy running and it’s hard on the joints. Cut out processed foods? Yeah, I could and should work towards that goal--it’s just healthier and adds more real/whole foods into my diet.
What resolutions are you thinking about making this year? How did you choose?