My Top 5 Tips for Creating Goals

It’s that time of year again. 2018 is soon upon us and everyone will be starting to make their New Year’s Resolutions, their goals for the new year of how they’ll change and what they’ll do. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for people making goals and achieving them, I myself am doing the same thing. However, I think that most people don’t know how to go about creating realistic goals that they can stick to as the year passes on. I mean you all have heard the jokes…and if you haven’t, see the memes below.

It’s funny, but true. But I don’t think it has to be this way. That’s why I want to share with you my top 5 tips for creating goals in hopes of encouraging you to write good goals that you’ll be able to actually plan, work for, and achieve!

1. See Goals Simplistically

If you view your resolutions for yourself as a daunting task or a huge deal, you’re likely going to quit out of fear. This also means that New Year’s Resolutions don’t have to only start January 1st. I am a firm believer that you don’t have to wait until the end of one year/beginning of the next to make a positive change in your life. However, if you make a big deal about your goals being New Year’s, you’re going to think you have to wait around until the next year to start them. Instead, think of your goals as just that…simply goals for you to achieve in the coming year, not only to start during a certain period. Also, seeing your goals simplistically voids the all-or-nothing principle, where if you mess up on just one tiny part of your goal you’re done for the year. WRONG! It’s not a big deal if you mess up because goals are just a work in progress for you to work on piece-by-piece all year-long. If you mess up, simply get back on track or start over–even if that means it’s August. Bottom line: Don’t make too big a deal out of your goals.

2. Make Them Realistic and Specific

This is probably my most important tip. All too often people make resolutions; however, they make them so unrealistic that they soon get discouraged and quit. Making realistic goals is so important to actually sticking to what you said you were going to do. What exactly is realistic is going to depend on the goal, the situation, your resources and past experiences, etc.  Also, creating specific goals will only help further your accurate achievement–the more specific the better. For example, let’s say someone put their goal as “lose weight”. Does this mean 5 pounds or 50 pounds? Without being specific, there is no end goal in mind. So now let’s say someone says they want to lose 20 pounds, (yay for specific), but doing so in 1 month is unrealistic. If someone set that as their goal, and one month later didn’t reach it, they may just give up on the whole thing, when in reality if they had said to lose the weight in 5 months, the situation may have been better. You don’t want to sell yourself short to make it easy to be lackadaisical (saying you’ll lose 20 pounds in the next 3 years) but, you do want to make sure that what you’re setting up for yourself is healthily attainable.

3. Make a Plan

Big goals can be scary and daunting to accomplish. Creating a plan where you break them down into smaller goals, can help you achieve more. Think of them as the stepping-stones to get to your final destination. Making a plan will also help you stay on track so that you can know exactly what to do to reach your goals. For example, I want to eventually be able to do 5 pull-ups in a row. Instead of daunting myself with getting 5 in a row, I’ll break it down. First, I want to be able to do 1 pull-up. Then, I want to be able to do 3 in a row. Then, I will focus on achieving 5 in a row. This of course applies to non-fitness related goals too. Say you want to change your mindset to being more positive/grateful by the end of the year–but this sets no timeline up for how you will achieve that because unfortunately, it won’t magically happen on its own. Instead you break it down: saying that you want to write 2 things you’re grateful for 4/7 days of the week. Then, once you achieve that for a few weeks, change it to 7/7 days of the week. Then, whenever something negative happens, you decide you’ll stop and think of a positive thing to switch your mindset. Breaking your goals down will help keep you going and give you small accomplishments to be able to celebrate on your way to achieving the end goal.

4. Set a Timetable

A timeframe for your goals will help you even further to have a plan-of-action. Without a set timeframe, many people will end up half-assing their progress and not really achieving anything that they want to. I suggest creating a timetable for both your end goal, and your smaller goals that you created as well. Going back up to my pull-up goal, I may set to get 1 pull-up by April 1st, 3 pull-ups by July 1st, and 5 pull-ups by October 1st. Or for the person wanting to lose 20 pounds, set a specific amount to lose each month or every few weeks to keep your progress on track.

5. Just Get Started

Lastly, this one is short and sweet. As Nike says…Just Do It! So many people wait for the “right time” or when life is less hectic. Let me just tell you, life will always be crazy busy and hectic, there will always be excuses and roadblocks; there will never be the right time, there just won’t. Instead, you just need to get over the hardest hurdle: starting. Once you get started, assuming you set realistic goals with a plan and timeline, you’ll start seeing positive changes in your life and you’ll be able to run with it: All the way to achieving your goals/resolutions. Starting is the hardest part, but I promise you it is the best thing you’ll ever choose for yourself.

My 2017 Resolutions

New year, new me. It will be my year. A new chapter. Perhaps you’ve said heard some or all of these phrases before. On the first of the year, everybody makes their resolutions, and guarantees they’ll stick to them. Check back a few months later and you’ll find most of those people have left their resolutions back in January. In light of the holiday, people get in the spirit and make their plans yet they are often unattainable and unrealistic. Or they’ll list them in their head, but never write them down or say them out loud, which helps with accountability.

I have never been huge on making set goals and resolutions, but I decided to make this year different. This year I have big changes I want to see in myself. This year I have goals for myself to improve and become healthier, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And this site and my blogs are perfect for accountability and a supportive community. I have a passion for self-improvement and a healthy lifestyle and I am super excited to watch my hard work pay off this coming year!

With that, here my 4 resolutions that I am making for 2017!

Resolution #1: Gain Muscle

As some of you may know (or as read in my ‘about me’ page), I have struggled with an overly obsessive unhealthy relationship with food, exercise and being healthy, which has caused me to lose weight. So my most important resolution is to gain weight aka ALL MUSCLE! I am determined to get lifting gains all over my booty body and become more muscular and stronger than I am now. There is nothing wrong with being skinny; however, for me, I am choosing strong over skinny for myself (I was skinny in an unhealthy way). With this resolution, also comes dedicated to being in the gym 6 days a week and putting in so much work lifting, doing HIIT, and eating right and enough so that I am able to see this goal through. It definitely won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it…so, so worth it!

Resolution #2: Spiritual Growth

I know that through life, I am constantly growing in my knowledge and relationship with God. But to be honest, I’ve been in a dry season lately–not that God isn’t there or that he’s not faithful–but that He has not been the center of my life and who I am passionately living for like I should or want to be. This year, I want to focus on fully trusting God and having abundant faith as well as continuing to grow in my walk with the Lord. In my life, this will look like spending more quality time reading The Bible and praying everyday as well as getting involved in my on-campus Christian community. I also picked up a handout at my church, that will challenge me to read the whole bible in a year.

Resolution #3: Personal Growth

A few weeks ago, I decided that one thing I really wanted to focus on is personal growth/improvement. I’ve been going through a phase of “going through the motions” of life and I decided to turn that around in 2017. To do so, I have set aside 30 minutes each weekday to work on it. Currently, I am reading through “Living Forward” by Michael Hyatt and following what it says to create my Life Plan. So far, it’s been helpful and I highly recommend you check it out–it’s never too early to start planning your future. After I finish this book, I’ll most likely continue reading other books to help with my personal growth.

Resolution #4: Healthier Mindset

My last resolution is to work on having a healthier mindset with myself and my fitness journey. I want to listen to my body more even if that means I eat unhealthy junk food every now and then. I want to feel more comfortable and confident in my own body, and learn to focus on me–not comparing my journey to others’. I want to be proud of myself, my progress, and my effort to reach my goals. I know I have the physical health down pretty well, but this year, I want to really focus on my mental health as well and being an overall, well-rounded healthy person!

So, there you have it: my 2017 New Years Resolutions (also happens to be my birthday resolutions because yeah I’m a New Years baby). I plan to make check points throughout the year to ensure I am focusing and working towards my goals. Like Avicci says, “I can’t tell where the journey will end, but I know where to start.” Who knows what my future looks like, but I know that these resolutions are a starting point for myself to improve and become the most beyoutifully healthy self that I can!

2017…I’M COMING FOR YA!

What are your New Years Resolutions? Comment below!