Keeping Your Goals

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Photo Credit: ASME Berkeley

The end of January is almost upon us, and with it will come the urge to slack on those New Year’s goals you’ve been working so hard to keep. According to the New York Times, a third of people who make New Year’s resolutions will give up on them by the end of January. Four out of five will eventually give up on their resolutions altogether. Think of the goals you set for 2014. Why did you set them? What motivated you to want to make these changes in your life? And will you be satisfied if you don’t reach them? 

Now is the perfect time to recommit to your goals! Maybe you’ve skipped more days exercising than you would have liked to, or have fallen back into the habit of eating unhealthy food. It’s ok- we all make mistakes and tend to get discouraged from time to time. When I start to get worn down, I turn to Galatians 6:9 for inspiration

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Galatians 6:9

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You are sowing the seeds of a healthy lifestyle right now. Even if you’ve had a few setbacks up to this point, keep working towards your goals so you can reap the benefits in the future. 

5 Tips for Achieving Goals:

  1. Make sure your goal is specific and measurable. Many people fall into the trap of setting a goal to “eat healthier” or “exercise more.” While these are great intentions, they are easy to ignore in the long run. Instead, try to make your goals more specific. Instead of saying you are going to eat healthier, set a goal to incorporate a salad into one meal a day. Instead of saying you will exercise more, set a goal to do your favorite form of activity (a walk, run, bike, etc.) every Sunday morning. You may occasionally miss days, but having a specific goal in mind will make you more likely to stick with it, and will allow you to measure your progress in meeting it.
  2. Make your goals fun. If your goal is exercise related, try listening to music while you work out or even doing something as simple as playing with your kids. A game of tag or soccer is a great way bump up your activity levels while getting to spend more time with your kids. 
  3. Taste test some new foods. Try different fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and find some new ones you like. It’s much easier to make simple switches, like substituting whole grain bread for white processed bread, when you find a variety of whole grain bread you actually enjoy. Eating healthy shouldn’t be a chore, it should be a way for you to incorporate some delicious food into your diet. 
  4. Limit your goals. This one may seem a little counterintuitive, but in the end it is better to make a few goals and stick to them, then make a bunch and give up because you are overwhelmed. Start out small, and then gradually add in more goals or adapt your existing ones once you start meeting them. 
  5. Remember that January 1st isn’t the only day you can set a goal. Too many people fall into the trap of believing once they set a resolution and give up on it, they should just wait until the next year to make a new goal. If your goals have fallen by the wayside this past month, that’s ok. Set a date like February 1st and get right back on track. 

Photo Credit: Cooper River Bridge Run

Seeing your strength and resolve this past month has made me so proud! Keep up the good work! If you need help with your goals or need some new ideas for inspiration, remember that I am always here for you!

Blessings,

Caroline