At the beginning of every year (I am kind of OCD and need a new year, new month, new week to start something), I evaluate the previous year to determine where I have grown and what I would like to work on for the coming year.
Some people have words that they choose for the year. I tried that one year. My word was PATIENCE. Whew, I will never do THAT again. I was tested from the moment I made that decision. My patience muscle was exercised to the max!! I tried breathing IN with the good, OUT with the bad but it kind of turned into hyperventilating. I gave up. lol
The 4 “F”s (or areas of life) to look at when creating goals. They are:
Faith – Start the day with devotions, perhaps keep a gratitude journal, find a small group of like minded people that you can be open with and grow spiritually. Even if you are not a group person (like me), it helps. When trouble comes (and it will), know that there is a higher power at work; trust in that; tap into that power. Never give up hope or let your joy be stolen.
Family – Plan time with spouse and (grand)kids. They remember memories that you make even if you do not have a lot of money to spend. Time is more important that elaborate events or even money. Plan a night with your spouse or kids. Go outdoor (sports, hiking on trails, building a snowman, etc) or inside (board games, restaurant). The most important part is reconnecting and making memories. Take time to sincerely talk to one another and I do not mean through texts.
Finances – Get out of debt, go on a spending hiatus. Think carefully about each purchase. Do you NEED it or WANT it. If you are able to buy anything you want without going into debt, kudos to you. Go for it but most of us need a budget. Perhaps you are planning for retirement or even a trip. It was on the radio this morning that many people would rather sit in traffic than sit down to evaluate where they are in their finances. You have to know where you are NOW so you can determine what it will take to get you to where you want to be.
Fitness – Do NOT be a couch potato. Some of us have limitations but our bodies were made to move. It keeps the joints lubricated. Some insurance plans cover Silver Sneakers where they will pay for your gym membership. Check it out! I am loving it! Swimming is great for sore joints. Remember eating is part of this plan as well. I am a junk food person so this is tough for me. I HATE to cook so I tell everyone if you are what you eat then I must be cheap, easy and fast. I basically have a kitchen because it came with the house. I made a plan for this though.
You may rank the list differently and it is ok. The objective is to make you the best you can be mind, body and spirit because we are made up of all three parts. Do any of the above need a reboot? It is never too late to start but the beginning of a new year always helps with my mindset – starting fresh. Now that you have determined the area, make SMART goals.
I did not always do this. In the past, my goals were vague. “I want to lose weight” This year, I drew a line in the sand and said 2019 WILL be MY year! I set SMART GOALS – not resolutions.
What is the difference? I looked it up. A resolution is a firm decision to do/not to do something (often unachievable) whereas a goal is the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. I understand there is a fine line here but, admit it, resolutions get broken quickly. To me, it sounds like going cold turkey. In my mind: resolution: I will not eat bad food vs. goal: I can have a cheat day once a week (but only 1). I can plan, stay motivated and still reach my goal.
Back to SMART GOALS. It is not a new concept. I have heard it many times and used it in work but not in life. So, what are SMART goals?
S=Specific, M=Measurable, A=Achievable, R=Relevant and T=Time-Sensitive For example:
- (S) Instead of saying I want to lose weight (I wish I was the weight I was 20 years ago and thought I was fat), I wrote “I wanted to lose 21 lbs.”
- (M) This is certainly measurable (ask my scale – at least it is not one of those talking ones). I figured out how much I wanted to lose per month and the steps I would take to do it such as go to the gym and eat healthier.
- (A) Certainly achievable and realistic. I mean not even GOD can make me taller now so no matter how much I do, I will still be short – no sense in making THAT goal!
- (R) It has to fit with an overall objective that you have for your life. Yep, it is something that will benefit me overall. I will feel better, help prevent diabetes (runs in family), help my asthma, have more energy and have less stress on my joints. …and yeah, I will fit into those jeans!!! Total win!
- (T) You need a finish line. My time limit is June.
What areas do you want to work on? Do you have a plan? Have you heard that a GOAL without a PLAN is simply a WISH? I am calling 2019 to be the BEST YEAR EVER! With all the stuff that is going on in our world these days, we HAVE to remain positive. I believe that staying positive is half the battle.
Comments/Thoughts are Welcome. I would love to hear from you.