I never really liked setting goals or New Year’s Resolutions.
I remember when I was 12 my goal was to run across Whoop Up Drive in my hometown. Although it’s only about 2.5 km long, the road dives down into the river valley before coming up what still seems to be a steep incline. I never completed that goal. I didn’t even come close. To this day I have never even walked across the bridge let alone run it. For a long time that reeeally bothered me.
It made me feel like a failure. I set a goal and I failed. That’s why, up until a couple of years ago, I stopped choosing my New Year's Resolutions.... because having a resolution or a goal was just setting myself up for failure.
The problem with that 12 year old’s goal was that she didn’t actually want to be a runner, She wanted to be skinny and she wanted to be skinny because that’s what she thought she needed to be so she would be accepted by her peers.
At that time, I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted for myself. It wasn’t a desire that came from within. I also saw that goal as unattainable. It’s unrealistic to think that I could put on a pair of runners and tap my heels and all of a sudden I would be able to run 2.5k. I didn’t have smaller, measurable steps that would lead me to this greater outcome.
One of my resolutions this year, which aligns with the vision I have for my life, is this: This year I will lead an active lifestyle.
Leading an active lifestyle, to me, simply means bringing activity into my daily life. I love to dance, practice yoga, wrestle, play tag, go for nature walks, hike, swim, dive, rock climb, canoe, and so much more. I don’t like going to the gym, lifting weights, or running. I want to take care of my body every day and be healthy because my body is what takes me through this life. I’ve stopped making goals that don’t reflect who I am and what I want and started making goals I know I can enjoy.
I was feeling quite lazy when my friends invited me to go snowshoeing and when we arrived to the mountains with freezing temperatures, blowing snow, and toes so numb I felt pain run up my leg, it was almost easy to turn back and head for the couch. But it didn’t take long for me to start having fun. My toes were still numb but we went off the trail and trudged through the deep snow and ran through the trees. I was completely filled with joy.
This was the perfect example of leading an active lifestyle; having fun with friends outdoors, doing something I enjoy and taking care of my body all at the same time.
I hope that if you struggle with accomplishing your goals, if you start to feel doubtful, if you feel like a failure, just know that YOU ARE NOT. You are not a failure, you are human. And maybe your goals need a little fine tuning to fit you better...
Tips for Setting Goals
Choose something you truly want. Not something you think you should do or that others want you to do. Set goals that motivate you.
Be specific about what you want.
Set an attainable goal. It’s good to have a goal that is outside of your comfort zone, or that you have to try a little harder to get it, but make sure it’s something you know you can do.
Write them down and keep them visible!
Make a plan on how you can accomplish
Do it even when you don’t want to!
Celebrate! Feel proud not only when you accomplish a goal but for each micro baby step of progress that you make on your way there!
You've got this! And if you don't, I'll be there for you! With love,