New Year, New Outlook?

I am not a fan of New Years Resolutions.

Which is a good reason for me to write this piece on the 11th January.

You may have found by now that your resolutions might be a tad too restrictive or just plain unrealistic. And if that’s the case you may already have beaten yourself up for ‘failing’.

I am not saying you should never have things you want to do or change in your life, but as a coach, I want you to focus on these as goals. Something to work towards, rather than expecting yourself to be there straight away.

Want to set a goal? Great! Let’s do it!

First, write down what you want to achieve. For example, I want to be able to run 5k.

Next work out how you might get there. So in this scenario, perhaps you would download the couch to 5k app (or pledge to sign up to your local OneFitRun course )

Then you follow those steps. Sounds perfectly logical right? Good! In principle it isn’t hard to set a goal and move towards it, but there can be things that might stop you. Lets take a look at these now.

You goal isn’t realistic

Sometimes our lives are just too busy to complete the workouts, get out running, search out new recipes. As much as we might want something, sometimes goals do need to wait until we have the time, the motivation or even the money, to work towards them.

The all-or-nothing trap

I had a chat with a friend last week who had previously mentioned she wanted to do Veganuary. When I asked her how it was going, she said it didn’t happen. There had still been meat to eat in her fridge.

It’s very easy to fall into an all or nothing trap. These are the ones that point the finger at you if you sip the wine or eat the cheese.

Last year I also wanted to follow a more plant based diet. It took me three months to move from cows milk to a milk alternative. If I had beaten myself up for those early cups of tea and quit, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

Treat January (and beyond) as a transition period. You might not be getting it perfect, but each week or month, you could work on making a small improvement.

You have several goals and you are trying to do them all

I have worked with clients who either show up with a list or can write a list of goals very easily. If you have loads you would like to achieve, good for you! But let’s start with just one. If you are unsure which to start with take a look at your list and see which excites you the most. Then loop back and check it’s realistic.

It’s not your goal

Here is the BIG one. How many of us list a goal we think we SHOULD have, rather than want to have? Such as ‘lose have a stone’ or ‘complete dry January’. The media seems to spend the first few weeks of the year suggesting how we may want to get fitter or slimmer as though we should all be pursuing the same widely expected resolutions. So what really is it that YOU would like to achieve? Still unsure. Sometimes it can be helpful to imagine yourself sat somewhere warm at a grand old age, sipping a cocktail and looking back on your life. What is it you want to see yourself doing?

You are not accountable

As a coach, I hold my clients accountable. When they next see me I ask them if they have done what they set out to do.

But you don’t need to pay a coach. When teaching groups I ask people to find an accountability Buddy. Someone to share your goal with, then, and this is an important step: agree a time frame, and the pledge to check in and hold each other accountable. You could arrange this with a best friend or partner.

So they you have it. Goal setting in a (sort of) nutshell!

Happy Goal Setting!


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