So it’s February 2nd and I’m finally settled back into a routine after all the “holiday” rigamarole that started about December 23 until the end of January and consisted of visiting family, family and friends visiting me, countless holiday dinners and get togethers, doing extra shifts at work to cover for those who went away for the holidays. And, like so many others I convinced myself that because it was the holidays it was justification for not making the time amidst the hustle and bustle to still go to the gym and eat right and do things that are supposed to be a priority for me, like posting on my blog. For some reason I believed the lie that December to January is a time for justified debauchery.
Now it’s all over though, and I told myself it’s time once again to set some goals (notice I said goals and not resolutions) for the new year. I wanted to start off on the right foot, and after just having come off the 100 Day Challenge (I’ll tell you more about that shortly) I wanted to regain the momentum.
So I signed up for the The 100 Day Challenge around September. It’s an online challenge that runs twice a year; the first 100 days of the year and the last 100 days of the year and is used by both individuals and organizations to help you set and achieve your. Basically, they have you choose up to three goals, and write out why you want to achieve those goals and then you are prompted daily with “lessons” that offer both encouragement and “tough love” to inspire you to do what you gotta do to achieve. I won’t go too much into it, if you’re interested you should check out the link and if you have any questions about it that you didn’t see on the website I’d be glad to answer.
Anyway I followed the program for the last 100 Days of the year and my goals were:
To lose 10lbs
To increase my pullups from 4 – 10
To increase my strength by 25% in several strong lifts
To write everyday
Yeah, okay my goals may seem really easy, but everyone’s challenges are different. I had to choose things that were challenging but doable and to be honest I was stuck at 150lbs FOREVER, I was stuck at only being able to do 4 pull ups for over a year, I wanted to increase my strength in specific stronglifts and was having trouble due to some injuries, and I was procrastinating with my writing.
So I gotta say the program did inspire me to put more effort into achieving those goals than I had the past two years, and I definitely saw some gains. I lost 7lbs (although I don’t know what my weight is now since my holiday binge that lasted for over a month), but I was happy with 7lbs. I increased my pullups from 4-9 (the last video I took I was at 8, Ill have to post a new one to prove I’m at 9. I was really happy with the strong lifts because I got stronger by MORE than 25% in all of the stronglifts except overhead press (the strongs lifts I was attempting to get stronger at were deadlift, back squat, bench press, bent over row and overhead press.
I also wrote ALMOST everyday.
So this year I wanted to set some new, more challenging goals and I plan on documenting it better this year with my blog so that people can ACTUALLY see the gains I made in the different areas of my life, rather than you just taking my word for it.
I wanted to share the goal setting process with my best friend Jen, so I asked her if she wanted to sit down and share in the process with me. She agreed, but then I thought, why not open it up to more women. I love to see people achieve and succeed, ESPECIALLY when it’s a woman, I find it so inspiring! A secondary benefit was that it was a great excuse to get out and be amongst the people seeing as how I can become a bit of a hermit during the cold Canadian winter months.
So I took to Facebook and created a Goal Setting Brunch event and invited about 26 ladies of which 10 said they’d cone but 7 showed up.
My original vision was to just meet at a restaurant where we’d all talk and at least get the ball rolling in writing out some meaningful goals, but then a couple of attendees asked if I was going to help them with the process and explain the best way to write it out. I hadn’t thought about people possibly asking me for advice, so I switched it up. What was supposed to be an informal brunch turned into an informal goal setting “event” with me going all out, renting a space and actually “hosting”.
I DO NOT purport to be an expert at goal setting, but I am very interested in the art and science of it, and have noticed that whenever I followed the process laid out in the many books I’ve read on the topic, that what I wanted was accomplished or at least made significant gains. This was true in areas of travel, saving money and fitness What I’m lacking is the consistency apply fundamental goal setting principles ALL the time in ALL areas of my life, which I am working on, I know its the difference between me having a really great life (which I am grateful for) and having an amazing over the top magical life.
My goal was to just share what Id learned on the subject of goal setting from the books I’d read and from the 100 Day Challenge I’d just been involved with, and how I managed to achieve a some of my most inspiring goals. It was pretty much a student teaching the students type deal. Im sure much of what I talked about they already knew, but it’s never a bad thing to have positive things reinforced, especially when we get competing negative reinforcement on a daily basis.
Another plus is that doing this rekindled my love of speaking, a love I discovered when I was a member of Toastmasters back in the day. I love the butterflies before speaking to a group no matter how small, I love helping and or entertaining with my speaking. I guess it’s in me, because my step father said he thought I’d be a lawyer one day, based on how I’d stand up in my bed as a baby and make these elaborate speeches (which was really just gibberish because I was only a baby) but I’d be speaking loud, standing up, using hand gestures, as if my goal was to sway a jury to let a man off the hook for murder lol.
Okay enough about my little me! If you want to start the year off right by setting some goals for yourself then here are some tips that I picked up along the way to help you maximize the chances of you actually achieving them:
1.Make sure your goals are SMART. For those of you who don’t know what that acronym means see below.
2. Be sure to write down your goals. Writing down your goals is the first step in making the invisible visible. It’s the logical first step to turning a thought into reality. It’s also something you can look at over and over again to reinforce it in your subconscious.
3. Know why you want your goals.
If you want to lose 10lbs then you should also write down why you want to achieve the goal. If you want to lose 10lbs, what is the reason? Is it to be healthier? Is it to get in better shape for a marathon? To feel and look sexy? All of these are valid reasons.This relates to the “is it Relevant” part of the SMART acronym.
4. Choose your words wisely.
I have recently taken to writing out goals in the present tense rather than the future, I just feel it gives it more of a sense of urgency. I also add in adjectives such as “easily,” “happily,” “diligently,” use words that resonate with you as long as they are positive and reflect what you want and not what you don’t want.
5. Think about, recite and visualize your goals often and with emotion.
Without emotion you’re goals are just empty words and won’t leave the impression on the subconscious needed to greatly increase your chances of achieving the goal. If you know you really want to achieve the goal but aren’t able to feel the emotion yet, then you can try these tricks:
*Play music that stirs up emotions while visualizing your goal
*Act as if you just achieved your goal (I do this one sometimes) I jump up and down, punch my fist in the air, yell out how I’m so happy I’ve just achieved the goal, smile and laugh while visualizing. It looks a little crazy but it helps in getting emotional.
*Think of a past success and how it made you feel, really focus on it until the feelings of happiness, joy, pride and gratitude come to you, then begin to think of your current goal while holding onto the feelings you just brought up.
I hope this info is enough to get you started on the path to achieving your goals, below are a few of the goals I’d like to achieve for 2017. Id love to hear what goals you would like to make happen this year!
I have easily saved $12,000 for my summer trip and my big trip at the end of December 2017
I can easily hold a free standing handstand for 15 seconds
I can expertly perform a front lever
I can easily perform a muscle up
I happily and easily post two articles a month on Blackbird Fly as well as practicing my writing daily