Thoughts on New Year Resolutions

Every New Year we either make new years resolutions or we hear a lot about them. While I am a big believer in setting goals and shooting for the stars, instead of writing about resolutions, I wanted to write about how important it is to take time to pause, meditate, and plan before jumping into your goals.  

Before every forward movement there must first be a “Preparation” period.

The easiest way for me to explain this idea is by using physical movement and motion as an example. So think about a dancer or softball player, but think about their movements in millisecond frames.

First, the dancer or softball player Thinks Forward. The dancer thinks of what action is performed next in the choreography.  The softball player thinks and decides where they want to throw the ball.
Second, the athletes Prepare for their movement. When I was learning to dance I was taught that you “prep” for a pirouette before you can start turning. The dancer places her feet, slightly bends her knees, and contracts her leg and core muscles for balance. In softball, before you throw the ball you must first “prep” by having your feet and hips in the correct stance and then bringing your arm back first before throwing it forward.

Third, the athletes Perform the action. The dancers and softball players do not stop at the “prep” movement. They gracefully use the momentum and energy gained from the “prep” to perform their desired action. The dancer twirls through her pirouette, and the softball player sends the ball flying to their teammate. 

It’s the same thing in life when it comes to setting and reaching for goals. It helps to: Think Forward, Prepare, and then Perform.  

So exactly how does this happen when setting goals?

When “Thinking Forward” do not be afraid to dream. What are some things or events you would like in your future? 

When “Preparing” you put yourself into the prime position to reach your goals before you chase them. This is the step that people are most likely going to skip over, but with out this important time reaching your goals will be much more difficult. Here are a few tips:

1. Make your goal specific.

2. Write down the reasons why you want to accomplish this goal.

3. Have and write down specific plan of how you are going to work towards your goal each week. 

4. Think about and write down the things that can deter you from accomplishing your goal. Its good to know what might mess you up before it happens so that you can plan on avoiding those things and also how you will bounce back from a set back. 

5. Make sure you have a support team. Someone who can give you encouragement when you need it, but also hold you accountable to stick to your dreams. 

6. Have a Starting Day and an End Day for your goal. The day when you will accomplish your goal is one of the biggest motivators to staying on track and sticking it out when things get tough. When I was training for a half marathon I would have never trained for so long and hard if I didn't have a calendar where I was counting down the days to Race Day. 

The website is obviously geared towards kids and teenagers but they have a lot of great info about setting and sticking to goals.  Click Here for a really cheesy, but helpful "Personal Plan" to get you started with reaching those goals. 

The last step is to "Perform". This is obviously the hardest but most rewarding. Don't get stuck in the wishing and dreaming stages. Believe in yourself and work hard. 

"You have to choose between something you are accustomed to and something you want to have."
                             - Paulo Coelho The Alchemist  

Thanks for reading!   


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