you know what fascinates me? how we are these multi-faceted, wonderfully-made, perfectly-complex individuals - and yet come new years our sole focus dwindles to a tiny microscopic obsession on one thing. our bodies.
"finally, lose the weight in 2016!"
"this is your YEAR to look your best!"
"new year, new you!"
what? why?! i was fine with who i was in 2015, thank you very much. see, there is nothing wrong with wanting to get healthy in the new year. but the message that our worth is based on our weight? it doesn't fly with me. this may come as a surprise coming from me, the creator of a products to help people live life fit.
but here's the thing: fitness is a PART of our life, not life in its entirety. it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) define us. i came to the realization that if my happiness is dictated by the size of my jeans or the number of the scale, i’m severely limiting my moments of joy in this lifetime. this doesn’t mean i’ve overcome or mastered this. it means i’m aware. aware that my life has completely revolved around health/fitness/nutrition/body-image for the past (almost) 8 years since starting fitlosophy. don’t get me wrong, i LOVE what i do. and yet part of my occupation is to maintain this physical appearance that at least partly communicates that i practice what i preach. and i do, but i’m human. i stumble. and then i get back up again. but what i’ve realized is in the process of focusing intently on this one area of my life, i’ve partly lost touch with who i am. what makes me me. [pardon me as i toot my own horn in an attempt to make this point].
i am a smart cookie. i have a big heart. i’m really creative and a bit crafty. i can be funny, or at least i crack myself up. i love intensely. i love to laugh. i have ideas out the wazoo. i am witty. i love to read. i love writing. i am most me on a horse. i am loyal. i love coffee, wine, chocolate + froyo. i love to cook. i am softhearted. and i am feisty. i love God. and my family. i am extremely driven. i have crazy-big goals. i work hard. i love learning. i really do love working out. i surround myself with positive people. i love helping others. i am learning to love myself.
[if you know me, you know that's not easy to share. but i challenge you: do the same. before you set any goals: what's wonderful about you? it's not easy. so, do it.]
this is who i am - but my goals determine who i will be. and yes that includes, but isn’t limited to, fitness. see if we just talk about goal setting in your fitbook and completely look past all the other areas that make YOU wonderful, i’m doing you a disservice. there’s a time and a place to get hard core about health goals. but there’s also a time and a place to realize that a myopic approach doesn’t always result in reaching your goals. sometimes it just becomes your obsession. day-in and day-out defining yourself by your physical appearance may just be what is standing between me/us and reaching our true potential. can focusing too intently on one area of your life be the problem in itself? i think of it like this: i have all these (7 to be exact) extremely pivotal parts of my life that truly bring me joy. and if i’m only focusing on setting goals in ONE area, i’m missing out on maximizing my happiness. if i was setting and reaching goals in my future growth and putting more energy into my faith, could that inadvertently positively affect my health? absolutely. so it’s with this enlightened mindset that i’m going beyond just health + fitness and setting LIFE goals for 2016.
i don’t do resolutions – those were made to be broken. therein lies the reason that i find myself instinctively poo-pooing this commonplace new year’s custom, repeated year after year despite the fact that fewer than 10% of the people who make them actually follow through. einstein once said “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” so let's not waste time on lofty resolutions. instead, let's set goals and prioritize action items that will help us achieve them. how, you ask? great question.
the "how" is precisely why i developed the goal-getter grid, a simple one-page layout designed to help you map out + goal-get your way through an entire year. here are my 4 simple guidelines for effective goal-setting:
1 [identify your 7 key goal-getter areas]
what are your key priorities? what are your non-negotiables? what do you want to achieve? where do you want to be in 5 years? use the answers to questions like these to determine 7 areas of your life where you want to focus, then write them across the top of the goal grid. to give you ideas, here are mine: faith, financial, fitlosophy (career), fitness, future growth (personal development), family + friends, and free time. (note: yours don’t have to all start with f. sorry...ocd over here.)
2 [set a few BIG goals for each area]
once you’ve identified your 7 goal-getter areas, you'll set 3 BIG GOALS for each. for example, my “free time” goal area might include: read 2 books per month, spend 1 hour per week working on my book + go horseback riding once a month. make them measurable + think about creating well-rounded goals that get you from where you are to where you want to be. write those out in row 2 next to the little checkmarks.
3 [break it down + map it out]
now that you have goals set, let's break them down even further with corresponding action steps to make everything less overwhelming. for instance, if one of my big finance goals is saving for a down-payment on a house, and i know that i can save $12,000 per year, i break that down into $1000/month (which is only $32/day), and it becomes a bit less intimidating. a corresponding action step would be setting up a monthly auto-transfer into my savings account so i can put my goals in motion. another example: if one of your “faith” goals is to find a small group in your church, that’s a good goal to accomplish in january – so in the january column, jot that down. want to run the nike women's half-marathon (boom, done it!), you would jot that down in the september box. mapping it out makes things more manageable and less daunting, which makes you much more likely to achieve those goals. note: you may not have ALL boxes filled in…it’s only january! hence, the next step…
4 [check-in monthly]
create a reminder in your phone to revisit goals monthly. this step is pivotal!!! you'll reflect on the previous month’s progress, fill in any new action items you’ve come up with and reset goals, if needed. i always do this on the last sunday of each month, blocking out an hour in the evening to really home in on my big picture, as well as the steps I’ll need to take to get there.
love this idea in theory, but not sure where to begin? here's a sneak peek at my goals. (apologies in advance if you can't read my chicken scratch)
see how much i love you? i share my very personal and very real goals with you. i dare you to do the same. what are your goals? how will you be a better version of YOU in 2016? share below.
now get up and go, goal getter. the year is new, the time is now! and get your goals on track for 2016.
your goal guru,