Today, we have a guest blogger, Carissa. I actually met Carissa at my Zumba class at my gym! She's been such an inspiration throughout my marathon training last year. She's given me tips throughout the process and I'll always be so grateful for her friendship and her inspiring story. I asked her to talk about making a New Year's Resolution and ways to help all of us stick to our goals throughout the year! It's never too late so, let's all get started!
Carissa is a Certified Personal Trainer who has completed 5 marathons, a triathlon and many other races of varying distances. She is a community and ministry leader with a passion for helping people realize all that is possible for their lives. “Many people make changes when they are moving away from something bad instead of toward something good. Do not wait for your circumstances to force you into changing your diet, working out, lowering your stress, improving your sleep, etc. Choose wellness for yourself today.”
If you want to connect with Carissa or have any questions, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
At the beginning of a new year many people express wanting to make changes in their lives. Sadly, within a matter of weeks they have given up on their ideas. According to clinical psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud: “Intentions do not bring results…actions do.” You CAN make positive changes in 2015. It takes more than wanting it…you need a plan. Below are key points that I have applied in my own life and I believe they can help you. One goal that many people have is weight loss. This may or may not be one of your goals. For the sake of application, I am going to use weight loss in the examples below. You will then be able to substitute your own goals as you go through the process.
- Identify & write down your goals
It is important that your goals be specific, measurable and challenging, yet realistic. If you are too general it will be difficult for you to identify if you are on track. Example: “I want to lose weight” is not useful. Rather consider stating, “I want to lose 15 lbs by July 1st
.” This is more precise and includes a deadline.
- Analyze your goals
Now that you have everything in writing, it will be easier for you to review each one. Be honest with yourself about where you are currently at, why you want to reach each goal and what you will need to get there. Having a compelling reason will keep you motivated long after the excitement of beginning a new journey is gone. Example: “I currently weigh _____. I want to lose 15 lbs because I will be closer to my ideal weight, I will feel more comfortable and I will have more energy. I have tried dieting in the past which hasn’t given me lasting results so I think it is time for a lifestyle change. I could benefit from joining a gym and hiring a personal trainer.”
- List benefits & obstacles
When a goal is reached there are positive results. While we want to stay focused on those positive outcomes, we need to understand it won’t be easy. Along the way there will be challenges. Being aware of those challenges and having a plan to overcome them ahead of time can make the difference between giving up and going the distance. Example: “When I lose 15 lbs I know my overall wellness will improve. I often eat out because of my hectic schedule and active social life. I know that stress and eating out may be obstacles to my weight loss goal.”
- Create a plan of action
You have much going for you! The fact that you want to establish and stick to your goals means that you are already headed in the right direction. Now it is time to formulate a plan to move forward. I have learned 3 major lessons in my own life: 1. It’s okay to say “no” 2. Not everything that is good is beneficial and 3. I need to surround myself with inspiration. Learning to say “no” will alleviate stress, keep you on target with your plan and establish much needed boundaries. We all have responsibilities and commitments in life which are quite rewarding. However, when we take on too much it is not healthy. If you are not at 100 % how much do you really have to offer others? So don’t be afraid to spend time on “you”. Don’t be afraid to scale back. Don’t be afraid to say “no.” Determining what to say “no” to depends on the individual and their goals. When I have an opportunity come up and I am not certain what decision is best I ask myself: Will this move me closer to or further away from my goals?
Additionally, I have found that surrounding myself with positive images, quotes, reading material etc. is very inspiring. This can be simple and inexpensive. Such as signing up on-line to receive daily quotes or cutting out a picture from a magazine. Example: Since I know that I need to reduce eating out, I need to plan my meals for the week, go grocery shopping and decline some offers from friends to go to restaurants. To get me started, I will look up healthy recipes, write my grocery list and head to the store.
- Share your goals
We tell people so much in conversations and social media. Yet when it comes to our goals we tend to shy away. I think this is because we don’t want to reveal areas of weakness and we are afraid of embarrassment if we don’t achieve our goals. Those are legitimate concerns. That is why we need to share with people who we trust, who we know love us and who will be honest with us. Accountability works. When you tell someone you are going to do something you are more likely to follow through than if you kept it to yourself. Commit to it by sharing it! Example: Once a week I am going to check in with my accountability partner to share with them how often I am eating out, how often I am cooking at home and how the weight loss is going.
- Evaluate your goals
Sometimes adjustments need to be made along the way. Whether a goal has become too difficult or too easy, it is okay to make changes. Challenges don’t necessarily mean we need to give up on a goal. We may need to change our approach. Example: It has been ___ weeks since I started my plan and I haven’t seen any improvements. I know I can lose the weight so I will make an appointment to talk to a nutritionist.
This is going to take work and patience. Especially when you have a few goals you want to achieve in the new year. Remember that no one wanders into success. The fact that you are have read through this indicates that you have a desire to make positive changes in 2015. That’s a great place to start…now keep going!
Written by : Carissa
Thank you so much Carissa for your tips!