Every December 31, people all over the world make a promise or goal for themselves to fulfill during the following year. How many times has the same person made the same “I’m going to go to the gym!” or “I’m going to start eating better” or even “I’m going to quite smoking” promise for several consecutive new year celebrations? My guess is: a lot.
Unfortunately for some, what results is a fatigue of the effort it takes to achieve said New Year’s resolution, followed by unworn sneakers and sports attire, spoiled fruits and veggies, and a drawer full of nicotine patches and gum.
It is now 19 days past the first of the year, yet not too late to set a goal and begin working towards achieving it.
For as long as I can remember, I have constantly set goals for myself. No matter how minute or far-fetched they might have been, I went about achieving them the same way.
1. Write it down!
Ok, maybe you’ve heard this one before, but it REALLY HELPS! When you set a goal, physically grab a pen, pencil, stick of eye liner, blood (ew) and write it down! Write it over and over again and maybe in several places, if need be. Trying to be more confident? Scribble it on a sticky note and keep it on your mirror so you see it everyday. Trying to eat better? Put a picture of Hugh Jackman in your fridge as motivation…….I feel deeply motivated by him in so many ways. Writing down your goal(s) makes it real, concrete, tangible. Want to take this one step further??? Also write down the steps necessary to achieve that goal, that way, as you complete each task, you can physically check it off. That small, simple act can immediately provide the satisfaction needed to remind you that you’re one step closer to getting what you want.
2. Allow it to become a part of you
No matter what the goal was, I always made it the first thing I thought about when I woke up and the last thing I thought about before going to sleep. Crazy? Maybe. Too far? Possibly. Driven? Absolutely. My mom raised me to see the importance of working tirelessly for the things I want, because rarely in life are things simply handed to us. Yes, there were moments I didn’t want to practice my form 20-30 times twice a day and I wanted to cry, but then I wouldn’t be able to say that I hold 5 world champion titles in TaeKwonDo. Yes, I was too nervous to sing in front of people or even in my room out of fear of someone overhearing me, but then I wouldn’t have made the varsity choir my sophomore year of high school, wouldn’t have become a part of our show choir, and definitely wouldn’t have been accepted into a professional musical theatre academy at 15 years old. In my opinion, setting a goal for yourself isn’t just something you say you are going to do. It’s something that you live and breathe, and every chance that you’re given to work towards it is a gift.
3. Accept the fallbacks
It’s true, every journey has its obstacles. Sometimes you have those moments where you want to give up, or the temptation is too strong, or a task doesn’t pan out the way you want. I’m currently 10 weeks out from my next powerlifting competition and I’ve had some really rough training days where I start to think that maybe I’m not good enough – the weight seems way too heavy, my form is off, my head isn’t in the game, etc. This happens to even the greatest of athletes, musicians, artists, you name it. You’re going to fall or have a setback. Welcome to life. Things happen. It’s about how you pick yourself up and keep moving that matters. Take it one step at a time and use each fallback as learning tool.
4. (Optional) Keep it to yourself
Though I wear my emotions on my sleeve, there are times when I’d rather keep something inside where I can keep it close, not to be tarnished by the outside world. Currently, I have 2 big goals: (1) Set meet PRs at my next powerlifting competition in April and (2) …..it’s private. My private goal is something that I have not mentioned to anyone. I don’t want it tainted by the judgments of others and I don’t want it to be something I talk about – not yet anyway. If you like to internalize things like I do or to be fueled by an inner fire, maybe give this a try (not the most healthy way of living, I’ll admit, but I stand by it in this case). Still write it down, but keep it in a place no one will read it. Allow it to become something that is a precious treasure and the only way to keep it safe and all yours is to keep it locked away inside of you. Do NOT get this confused with #2. Again, this is just a personal preference, and maybe there will be judgments for this, but I know myself and I know the goal. And that’s all you can do: know yourself, know the goal.
With that, I wish everyone reading this a very happy 2016. 🙂 Thank you for reading!