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Archive for December, 2010

As I sit here at Oz Coffee (my current favorite coffee house) sipping on a long americano, listening to the soft hum of the music in the background, I realize how long it’s been.  How long it’s been since I’ve set aside some time to reflect, to relax, and to write.  The truth is, things have been awesome.  I’d say I’ve spend the past few months living life rather than dissecting it, but with all things, balance is key and so here I am again at my keyboard.

As New Years Eve looms, I realize how perfect my timing is.  It’s the time of reflection, the time of creation, the time of….. resolutions?

I’m on the fence about resolutions.  Most people feel really strongly YES or NO about resolutions.  I’m not sure why it elicits such a strong response but something tells me it’s about people’s experience with keeping their resolutions.  I mean, not many people are actually against goalsetting but maybe in putting it out there and not following up with it, things become a little more personal.

I do a lot of goalsetting with teams and the golden rule is that accountability needs to be in place to consistently accomplish a goal.  Why is that?  Well, for one, I think we forget what our goal was.  It’s usually not already a part of our life, and studies have shown it takes 40 days for something to become habitual so a friendly reminder from another person, or even on your bedside table makes all the difference in keeping the goal (resolution) current.

Secondly, I think that we tend to keep more promises to others than we do to ourselves.  For some reason, we are willing to do things like cancel our workouts and fill our “me” time with work, breaking our promise to ourselves.  This is why the buddy system works so well when working out.  Not because it’s more fun (which it is) or they push us more (which they do).  It’s because we are more likely to show up for them than we would on our own.  We show up so that we don’t let them down.  It’s a beautiful thing, really…. but maybe something to consider that we function like that.  Why don’t we show up so that we don’t let ourselves down? As if breaking our word to ourself doesn’t have consequences in how we view ourselves and our confidence…  I mean, imagine how many promises we break to ourselves on a daily basis- if we did this to a friend would the friendship continue?  Would they trust us?  Would there be a lot of love in the relationship?  And yet we do this over and over to ourselves and we think we are fine.  And we wonder why we date people who treat us poorly, why we sabotage our own goals, or work in a company that makes us miserable.  We search our past, get angry at ourselves, are unforgiving with ourselves, and keep doing it over and over. And we’ve missed the whole point.  We need to be own very own best friend.

For me this past year, goalsetting has become a random, everchanging system where I really couldn’t assess whether or not I accomplished my goals.  There was no list I can go back to of things I wanted to achieve, no milestones to assess whether or not my path was taking me to the goal, and no criteria that I met that I could actually say, “YES, I did it!”  Did I accomplish goals last year?  Yes.  For sure I did.  But how cool would it be for me to be able to say I want______, I did ______, and I got ________.  Not just to pat myself on the back, but when things aren’t going well, it is really really good to know and to have practiced what works to get what I want.

So when it comes to resolutions, this year I’m a YES.  But not some blue-sky one-off mention of something I want.  A plan, a project if you will, so that I can actually actively pursue a path, rather than just seeing what I get.  I’ll treat my life like a business – not as in being super serious about it, but to be deliberate and have intention within it.  And then see what happens and what I get!  And if what I want changes, I will change my plan, but at least I’ve got one.

For people that know me, it won’t shock you that I’ve created this massive goalsetting spreadsheet.  I’m a nerd that way and my boyfriend will attest to how I will probably analyze and graph my results at the end of the year 😉  And I’d be happy to pass it along to you if you want a template…. BUT, for those of you that want something simpler, I’m below is a little goalsetting process that you could do in 5 mins.  I mean, why not?   Just see if writing it down helps you to create it in your life, because there is nothing worse than sitting down a year from now with the same resolution.  Maybe it’s time to keep a promise to ourselves simply because we matter…

GOAL:  make your goal specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely- S.M.A.R.T)

Goal 1: ______________________________________________________

MILESTONES: Make them time specific if possible… Basically, what is the path to your goal?  how will you know you are on target.

Milestone 1:

Milestone 2:

Milestone 3:

REFLECTION AND ASSESSMENT: This is the date where you either cross off the goal if you have accomplished it, recommit yourself to it, or change your goal if it no longer serves you.

Reflection Date: _______________________

 

Example:

Goal 1:  Lose 10 lbs by May 1, 2011 (notice it is a S.M.A.R.T goal)

Milestones 1:  Jan.1 – Buy a gym membership, and begin tracking workouts

Milestone 2: Feb 1- Complete 15 workouts

Milestone 3:  March 1- Weigh 195 lbs (-5lbs)

Reflection Date:  March 1, 2011

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