I’ll be honest. February was a bit of a rough month for me and my 2021 goals. I missed my goal of writing a blog post for February. (This was part of my larger goal to write one post a month in 2021.) I also fell and hurt my wrist early last month. This impacted my ability to get in the two workouts a week that I needed to stay on track of my goal of reaching 100 workouts for 2021. However, rather than throw in the towel and declare that I’ll try again next year, (something that I’ve definitely done in the past), I realize that the year is far from over and that achieving these goals is important to me. Considering that around 50% of Americans start each New Year setting goals, but fewer than 10% are able to follow through for more than a few months, you may find yourself in a similar situation. If so, I invite you to join me in recommitting to your 2021 goals. Here are some steps to help us get back on track.
1) Connect to Your Why
As I mentioned above, these goals are important to me. Asking why this is so, and buying into my reasons to continue, will help feed my motivation to carry on. So, what’s my why? I know that seeing these through will build skill, resilience, and confidence. I have long struggled to write consistently. Growing up, I would start a journal with all these wonderful aspirations of writing my deepest thoughts and feelings only to turn the page and start a new entry…three years later. I want to prove to myself that I can write and stick with it. Bonus: The more I do it, the better I will be. Similarly, I have struggled with consistency in my workouts. I’ve made numerous goals to do yoga three times a week, lose 15 pounds, or stick to the latest exercise craze. However, it wasn’t long before I would get bored, miss a day, or find the costs adding up. This time, my goal isn’t to be a particular size or lose a certain amount of weight. My goal is to simply create a habit of movement. No set method or exercise. Simply commit to moving my body twice a week because I want it to be strong, flexible, and resilient and I want movement/exercise to be a natural part of my week. What is your why?
2) Grant Grace
Right about now, you might be feeling upset or ashamed that you’ve let go of a goal you felt so strongly about just a few weeks ago. Perhaps you were not surprised. After all, this happens every year. And perhaps you’ve berated yourself for your lack of follow through and self-control. I am guilty of all three. However, none of this is helpful. None is conducive to growth. Tearing myself down has never encouraged or motivated me to do better. If anything, it sucks me into a black hole of negativity and self-dislike. The real way we move forward is to acknowledge where we fell short, and grant ourselves the grace to leave our mistakes behind us and try again. The only true failure is never trying. While we are at it, let’s take a moment to consider all the things you did accomplish in the last month. Maybe you cooked more healthy meals than usual, survived a stressful period at work, or finally caught up on some chores around the house. Now, let’s use this grace to allow ourselves a clean slate from which to start over.
In the past, I might have normally said that my goal is now impossible. I wanted to upload one new blog post each month. With February, in the rear-view mirror, I will not fully achieve that goal. It also might not be reasonable anymore for me to expect to achieve 100 workouts if I need to suddenly do complete 4 a week to reach my goal. (If I wasn’t managing 2 per week, 4 seems even less likely.) If the original goal seems a bit beyond reach, now is a great time to revise. For example, I can no longer do one post each month, however, can I reasonably still post for the remaining 10 months? Could I do a bonus post one month to still achieve 12 total? As for my workouts, there are 52 weeks in a year. If I was doing two workouts per week, that is 104 total. I missed three weeks of workouts (6 workouts total) due to my wrist injury. If I do 2 per week for the remainder of the year, I will achieve 98 workouts. Am I happy with 98? Would I like to push myself to get an extra 2 in for the year? Would it be more reasonable to grant myself some grace and set a new goal of 90 for the year? Answering these questions will help me revise my goals to be specific, reasonable, and attainable for the timeline remaining.
4) Keep Your Goals and Whys In Sight
I realize that I got off track in February because I did not keep my whys front a center. I lost sight of what I would gain by sticking with my goals and instead reverted back to old habits. My final tip is to keep your goals and more importantly, your whys, in sight. For me, this means that I am going to write out my goals and my whys. I am going to put them on my nightstand so I see them each day when I get up and go to sleep. Constantly being reminded of my goals and why they are important will keep me motivated. Where will you post your goals and whys?
If you enjoyed this post, please join me on Instagram @ardent_joy where I will be posting their step and related quotes, affirmations, intentions, and actions all month long.