The Year of You: Setting Goals and Intentions for 2018
Make It Yours. That’s our mantra this year and theme for the January challenge. It’s time to find what nourishes you, allowing your best self to thrive.
This January, instead of setting restrictive resolutions that simply can’t be maintained due to their unrealistic nature (and not to mention bring about a sense of frustration and disappointment), why don’t we channel this renewed energy to find what truly nourishes us from the inside out. Let’s shift our perspective to set intentions and goals that enhance how amazing we already are, while encouraging (or nudging) our inner badass to unleash. You in?
What does it mean to set goals and intentions that align with a better version of you?
Simply put, it means taking inventory of what makes you feel healthy, strong, alive, and vibrant—and finding ways to invest your time, thoughts, and actions in more of those things. Don’t worry so much about what to remove from your life, or eating patterns, rather focus on including more of the good stuff. By adding in more of what you love, you’ll naturally lessen space for other things—in life and on your plate—without initiating feelings of deprivation. There’s no one perfect roadmap to health and wellness. No one-size-fits-all diet or lifestyle. We’re different and all have vastly different needs, and this acknowledgment gives you the freedom and space to find what best nourishes YOU.
Ready to get started? Follow these steps to outline your goals:
Step 1: Identify your goal
Whether you prefer to call them intentions or goals, the first step is self-reflection. Slowing down, and reviewing your past year can provide insight on how to move forward. What brought joy or ease to your days, and what did the opposite? What made you feel healthy, energetic, sexy, or unstoppable? Looking back helps us understand what we crave more of and why.
Next, decide what it is that you want. This may come easily for some, and take more digging for others. Be honest with yourself, here. Cut through the noise and think about what you truly want and what helps you feel your best—not what you think you should want or do based on messages from society (or Instagram!). Once identified, it’s time to streamline your want into a goal.
Step 2: Establish a realistic framework
You can list your goals and action steps however you like (there’s no right or wrong way), but write it down—it signals to your brain that you mean business. The emphasis here is to make sure that your goal is within reach and can match realistic behavior change. When you start with smaller goals and consistently achieve them, you build the confidence and desire to continue doing more of what makes you feel good, and can more easily move back into balance when you fall off track (it happens!). Some find the S.M.A.R.T. acronym to be a helpful tool. This framework states that your goal should be the following:
· Specific: Establish a well-defined goal. For example, if you want to exercise more consistently because you love feeling energetic, set a goal to plan out X number of workouts each week including what activity and when. If you want to practice meditation, you could start with the goal of 5-10 minutes, 3 days a week using an app such as Calm or Headspace. Turn your goal into an action step.
· Measurable: How will you track your progress? A measuring system allows you to quantify and visually track how far you’ve come. Log your progress in a journal, notebook, fitness tracker, or find an app—whatever works for you.
· Achievable: Is this goal within your reach? It’s easy to dream up lofty goals when we’re excited and motivated to enhance our lives. Ensure that your goal is achievable given your current circumstances and resources.
· Realistic: Start small. If you feel better when you eat more veggies, set the goal for half of your plate to consist of veggies for one meal per day. You can always add more!
· Time-bound: Setting a timeframe helps you focus on an end point versus completing your goal one day in the future. You don’t have to plan yearlong goals; you can set new goals and intentions each month or start anytime throughout the year.
Step 3: Support Yourself
In addition to establishing a realistic framework, you’re more likely to achieve your goal and prevent burnout if you’ve got a support system in place. Our tips to help you stay the course, include:
· Self-Care: The act of self-care extends beyond hot baths and massages (though whatever relaxes you is strongly encouraged), to really having your own back. Be unapologetic about what makes you happy and say no to obligations that don’t energize you at the core. Exert kindness towards yourself when you encounter setbacks. Supporting yourself as you would a dear friend or family member (which includes the tone of your inner voice) will help you develop stronger self-integrity, influencing behavior.
· Mindfulness: Slowing down and tuning into ourselves enables us live in the moment and be more present. Instead of perfecting the art of multitasking, focus on a specific task at hand, especially as it relates to your goal. By paying attention to how we feel, we learn to recognize when we need a break—from exercise, electronic devices, or people—which helps preserve our energy. Practicing meditation, yoga or just taking solo breaks helps us remain centered so we don’t sweat the small stuff (and thus, lose our sh*t less often!).
· Community: Surround yourself with people who lift you up, encourage, motivate, and celebrate you. An accountability buddy can help you track progress while providing motivation along the way.
Finally, remember that goals and intentions are fluid. They may need to be altered as circumstances or visions change. We evolve; it’s our nature. Each month, check in with yourself to see if your goals are still on point or need to be adjusted. Don’t forget to acknowledge your wins along the way!
No matter your goal, we hope you’ll prioritize more of what makes you feel amazing and invest in yourself year-round.