It’s tempting this time of year to double down and decide that we’re going to call our mom daily (hi mom!), work out every single day, and never eat sugar again. And this is why most New Year’s resolutions either (a) don’t get started, because why bother failing again? or (b) start out strong for about 13 days and then crash and burn.
The good intentions that propel us to discern what could make our lives more fulfilling also push us over the edge of trying to take on too much. We get excited by the idea of the person we want to become. We see ourselves overcoming our fear of public speaking and getting adulation from the crowd, or finishing the LSAT with really strong numbers. But what we don’t see is the trudge. The ridiculously painful, long, boring day in and day out stuff that actually turns into the foundation, scaffolding and last step of the achievement.
When we make goals or New Years resolutions, we often don’t think of the everyday trudge. But, that’s the foundation to achieving the goal.
I had just that experience for the last 12 months. I made a ridiculous goal of being able to do the splits. I had some vague notion that it would be hard but not “hard-hard“ and that if I could do the splits, it would mean that I was healthy everywhere else. It was like the splits were my canary in the coal mine (which sounds morbid … but you know what I mean right?) So, I started on my trudge: every night, 15 minutes of hip opening yoga. That wasn’t producing the results I wanted so I bought online courses, but still nothing. I took yoga classes, I went to a rolfer, and did 3 hour yoga intensives.
In about 6 months, I stalled out at like 4 inches off the ground. No progress in the next few months. Nada. Zip. I added in some crazy myofascial torture pain that called itself a massage. The last three months were painful trials of persistence. I kept track of my nightly stretching. My record for the year is 93% consistency of doing stretching for a minimum of 10 minutes. Ninety-three percent. That’s 340 nights this year that I spent stretching for 15 minutes or 3,400 minutes, over business trips, illnesses and lazy weekends. My wallet will never be the same again after the yoga intensives, thai yoga, the rolfer, the online classes, etc. I could have funded a small deep sea exploration submarine for the investment in those hips and my (foolish?) goal.
So did I reach my goal? Is this an inspiring tale of triumph or a fizzle of four inches? Below is a photo that shows some of my progress. The answer is technically … sort of? I did reach my goal (yay, high fives all around) but there’s zero chance I can hit the floor without an hour+ of yoga in a warm room to ensure my muscles are limber and stretchy. So, it’s a draw. When you’re setting goals for this year, start where you’re at and be realistic in your goal-setting.
While I did make some progress, all my stretching and classes did not result in being able to do the splits without an insane amount of prep.
My goals last year were centered around family time, physical (in this case, the splits), diet (no sugar), daily movement and continual learning (reading). From these yearly goals, came my quarterly goals and monthly goals and then weekly goals and finally daily goals. Goals become the North Star, the guiding light, for your entire year. They affect how you plan your day, your week and your entire life. They affect who you hang out with, how your spend your time and how you spend your money.
Because of this, making goals can feel daunting. Sometimes, it’s easier to figure out where you want to go personally and professionally in 3 to 5 years and then work backwards. For example, do you see yourself married with kids? Do you see yourself leading a team of people doing interesting and inspiring work? Do you see yourself walking across a stage with a diploma in hand? All of those visions mean different goals for 2017.
I categorize my goals into different categories including business goals, personal goals and family goals.
I’ve thought a lot about what I want to commit to for 2017 versus what is realistic for me to commit to in 2017. I am coalescing around personal goals, work goals and family goals. Some personal goals include:
- Twenty minutes of uplifting reading and/or planning per day.
- Three stretch sessions per week.
- Read 55 books.
- Actively improve myself by participating in a Mastermind Group of female entrepreneurs worldwide with a formal mentorship program.
Family goals for 2017 include:
- Two family trips.
- Continue saving for Lily & Jamisen’s college (note: this will get a specific number once we’re done with family budgets for the year)
- Research and save for a new (used) car for myself.
- Research schooling and childcare options for Jamisen and Lily.
Business goals for 2017 include:
- Run 4 fitness/nutrition challenges with Best Day Ever.
- Expand the wholesale line for Best Day Ever.
- Do a face-lift on Bramble Berry’s brand (design new brand, roll it out, upgrade marketing plan)
- Develop a bulk / large customer program tailored to unique needs of larger businesses
There are more goals for each category, but those are the top four. Each one of them has a purpose that will help get the business, my family and my personal life to the 10 year plans and working them consistently – daily – will help get to that next level of stability and success. It takes planning, but it’s worth it! Are you inspired? Do you feel daunted? Work on your own goals for the year; write them down and post them below. Let’s inspire and accountability ourselves to our best futures.
I’d love to sweeten the planning incentives by picking 3 comments to win some planning & soaping goodies: We have chosen the winners! They are Sherry, Ami and Andrea. Thanks to everyone who entered, we loved reading your goals for 2017.
– An Entry to the Best Day Ever January 16 Fitness & Nutrition Challenge + Paper Best Day Ever 42 Day Journal