1. Set your Goals
First you must understand what you want to achieve and work towards for 2018. If you set goals last year and fell short don’t worry because this is a new year and new you. Be proactive and do a personal inventory of what you want your new year to look like. Want to set healthy boundaries? Want to increase time management or lose weight? Want to decrease anxiety and depression? Make a list of all the items you want to make better in your life and select the top 3 to focus your time and energy. Making a concrete list will help you internalize the goal and visualize yourself reaching it including the necessary steps to achieve greatness. Afterwards see step #2. If you pushed through all 3 goals before 2019 go back to the list and repeat.
2. Be Specific
Don’t sell yourself short and be vague. “I want to lose weight” but “I want to increase in strength and lift/squat 15 pounds more or “I want to walk 20 minutes each evening with my partner” or “I want to learn coping strategies when depression slips in” or “I want to start saving for retirement and will save X% each paycheck for my 401K.” Get it? Be specific and SMART. This means that they are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely. The most important part of setting SMART goals is being specific. You can’t reach your goals if you are being vague with what you want to accomplish. Instead of setting a goal such as “save money” you need to know how much you are going to save, and then you need to know how you are going to save that amount. If you aren’t sure go to mint.com and see how much you spend, where it is going and it will categorize it for you in simple terms, then see how much money you have left over after paying bills and set a budget. If you still are having issues meet with a financial advisor and set goals. It has to be measurable and realistic to accomplish in one year.
3. Know Your Why
Why are you picking this goal? What motivates you to achieve it and put in time and planning into it daily? Is it because it is trending? Is it pressure from a co-worker and family member? Knowing your why will save you time and energy because if you don’t understand your why then you will fall short otherwise when things get tough you will get discouraged. Hard work requires sacrifice, patience, and planning. In life there are good days, in life there are bad days. You give up something to get something but knowing the why will keep the momentum. Some people don’t want to comprise anything today. If you want to set time for the gym it means sleeping in earlier or re-arranging your schedule.
4. Make a Plan
This is your cue to action. Once you identified your goals for your transformation put in on paper/laptop and get to it. Make a plan for how you will accomplish it. What will you do each month, each week, and each day to get you closer and make progress on your goals? You’ll want to work your way backwards and know exactly what you need to do. Also setting time i.e Sunday evenings or spending time Monday mornings to prep for your week will help you have a clear vision in your steps to success.
5. Act on It!
Start with action. If you don’t work on your goals each day you won’t reach them. If you are having trouble and need help reach out to professionals such as personal trainers, licensed mental health clinicians, financial advisors, and others that can help you reach your physical, emotional/mental goals and financial goals, etc.
Meal prep to save time and get the proper nutrients. Using myfitnesspal and other smart phone applications can help make life easier.
Surrender to your Higher Power. Understand that your burdens are not yours to carry and that He can sustain you and help you reach your full potential.
Learn from failures. Yoda said “failure the best teacher is” So don’t sweat the small stuff when you are having a tough day. Continue to push through and “pray until something happens”
Find a support group for accountability, a walking group, or join a group class for additional support. Austin Parks and Recreational has a list of free fitness classes. Also check out www.AA.org for free addiction recovery groups.
Make your calendar or smart phone calendar your BFF. Be sure to schedule down time for self-care to recharge your batteries. You can’t fill someone else’s up when yours is empty.
Learn to say no. As uncomfortable as it may seem setting limits for yourself will help you increase efficiency in your tasks and more time to do the things you love like spending time with family, reading a new book, or volunteering for an organization you love.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Having a hard time or losing motivation? Reach out to your support system or find a mentor to help your motivation last well into 2019. Tedtalks are great tools for boosting knowledge in areas that interest you.
Find a therapist that can help you with time skills, coping strategies, &, stress management, and learn how to increase emotional wellness.
Stay hydrated, eat nutritionally dense foods to fuel your energy, and breathe. You GOT THIS!
Remember each day is a new beginning and if you believe you can do it with God’s help, 2018 will be next level living. Cheers and Happy New Year!
Shanaz Ikonne, LPC, NCC at Hill Country Therapy and Testing 469-626-9085