With the New Year comes a new beginning with endless possibilities. “This is the year! I am finally going to ____!” Then a few months pass by, and nothing has really changed- what’s the deal? Thoughts of shame creep in “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I stick to anything?”

First of all, I want you to stand up right now wherever you are- stand up tall and take a deep breath, shoulders back- now say to yourself (or out loud!):

“I AM STRONG, I AM CONFIDENT, I AM A GO GETTER! Now let’s do this 2020!”

Often we set goals without a real plan on how to reach them. Sometimes planning for success can include planning to fail: if you do get off track, what is your plan to get back on?

Change happens when we look deep within ourselves and identify our motivations and values- then make a plan on how to get where we want to be. What matters most to you? What motivates you? What are your strengths? Where are you now with your goals? Where do you want to be in 6 months, in a year, in 5 years?

Goals need to be in line with your values and your motivation. For example, if my goal is to exercise more frequently- but I can’t seem to figure out where to make the time- sometimes linking it to something bigger can make me more likely to make the time. “I want to exercise more frequently because I know I feel better when I exercise. Exercise helps me set a good example for my children and be more calm and relaxed at home and work.”

I wanted to share some things to consider when creating goals:

What motivates you? What is your WHY? If it is important to you, you will make the time. Is not having the time holding you back from reaching your goals? Is there something you can take out of your day or off you schedule to make the time?

What inspires you? Surround yourself with people, books, images, recipes, music, podcasts, ect that lift you up and inspire you!

Prioritize Positivity and draw on your strengths: The VIA Character Strengths survey is a great resource for learning your top strengths. Rather than focusing on how to correct or “fix” your weaknesses, draw on what is going right with you! For example, it is easy to get into all or nothing thinking “I ate the whole bag of chips last night and totally sabotaged my diet”- but what’s that you say? You stuck to it the whole rest of the week and got right back on track today- sounds like a success to me!

Change your mindset: Be wary of thoughts of “I should” or “I need to” or “I have to” and rather “I CHOOSE to”, “I am excited to”, and again connect to your WHY and your values.

Imagine what it looks like to reach your goal: How does it  feel? What does it look like?

In our LIVEIT learning library, there is a great SMART goals worksheet that can help you to make goals that are Specific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Realistic, and Timely.

You may or may not  have heard of the “jar of life” – an exercise where you have a large jar and say- baseballs, ping pong balls, marbles and sand. If you try to put the sand in first, followed by the marbles, followed by the ping pong balls and then add the baseballs- the baseballs most likely won’t fit. However, if you rearrange the order in which you fill the jar (the jar representing life), and put the baseballs in first-representing the important things in life (family, health, ect) followed by the smaller, less important things they all magically fit! The lesson being: prioritize the important things in life and the smaller things will fall into place!

If you’d like some extra support or guidance creating or reaching your goals, we are here to help!

Happy New Year from Lake Travis Integrative Medicine!