Keeping the January momentum going throughout the rest of the year can be a challenge.
The first month of a new year is typically seen as a fresh slate, a time for setting goals, whether they are long or short-term, and making plans for the coming 12 months. Goals are important measures of personal growth, and a practice that centres on forward thinking, mindfulness, and the development of physical and mental wellbeing.
However, establishing goals and resolutions are only the first part of the journey. The trick is seeing them through past the excitement of the New Year.
Make Them Attainable and Sustainable
In order to be successful, goals need to be both attainable and sustainable. Even though it is always a good idea to challenge yourself and to explore avenues outside of your comfort zone, choosing a goal that has little chance of success of ever being completed is a recipe for disaster. On a similar note, having goals that are sustainable are just as important. If mindfulness is a practice that you want to be a bigger part of your life, perhaps mediating for an hour each day isn’t the best method to choose as the first step in implementing that change.
Carrot or the Stick?
How your goals are framed in your mind can also have a significant impact on how attainable and sustainable they are. For example, goals can be stated with either a positive or negative (not to be confused with good or bad) phrasing. Rather than having a goal with negative wording, such as “I want to lose weight,” Try expressing it as a positive, “I want to gain strength” or, “I will achieve X fitness activity by Z time.” Another example of a positive goal would be “I will learn how to cook one new dish/ingredient a month,” versus the negative goal of “I will cut out sugar from my diet.” Goals that seem like a punishment, such as the elimination of sugar – which is delicious – are much less sustainable than goals that seem like a reward, such as adding new and exciting – but healthy – foods into your diet.
Now that you have made your goals for the rest of the year, tracking the progress of them is essential. However, it is equally important to realize that your sense of success is not based on how many items you have crossed off of your list. Seizing opportunities as they come and acknowledging new and unplanned achievements must also be taken into consideration. Discounting these surprises, or worse, not following the opportunities because they are not in your plan, closes doors that could lead you in exciting directions that you could not have foreseen when outlining what you wanted to accomplish at the start of the year. So while these new developments may distract from achieving the planned goals on time, they must also be included in how you measure your success and growth.
Tips and Tricks
Sticking to goals and keeping track of unplanned accomplishments can be a daunting task in itself. Below are three methods to make this just a little bit easier:
o Doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Simply making note of reached milestones or notable events in a calendar can help keep perspective.
· Daily affirmations
o Speaking the day’s achievements out loud to yourself, a partner, or friend can help solidify it in your mind.
· Having a shared goal with a partner or friend
o Having someone to help keep you accountable, and who is reaching for the same end as you can be the extra push you need to continue the journey you have set out for yourself.
We are so excited to dance our hearts out with you, and to help you accomplish whatever goals you have set for yourself this year.
Bring on 2018!
Your Ballet Barre Works team