The Power of Micro Goals in the New Year
First off...Happy New Year! And welcome to 2023. We are officially on our 3rd snow/e-learning day in these parts and winter has just begun. I'm starting to think we need to keep a tally on this snow and cold because it's been AWHILE since we've have this much snow and cold this early in the season. My head is spinning in the chaos of life as a mom of 3 growing humans and their endless energy. But I digress...
It’s been a hot second since I’ve shared anything here. I’ve taken some time off and have been recovering from some things and because of that, feel a bit like I’m starting over…again.
Which is why I felt this was an important share this first week of a new year. Goal setting. And I'm not talking about setting big scary goals (although there is power in doing that too). Today, I'm talking about setting small, micro goals and reminding you of the power in setting these small goals, micro goals, and building on them daily. So much of the time I see patients, friends, family and even myself get caught up in the idea we have to go all in right away. We get consumed by the idea that if we don’t change it all at once, it won’t work or it won’t happen fast enough. Many of us treat this journey (health and otherwise) like a race that needs to be finished in a certain period of time. So we try to sprint to the so called finish line instead of treating it like the marathon and journey it is. (And if you didn't already know...there isn't an end goal when it comes to improving our mind, body, soul and spirit...it's a continuous and ever changing journey we're on until our life on this earth ends.)
Then we screw up or make a mistake because that’s life, and there are always curve balls, and not one of us is perfect…so we throw in the towel completely because it felt like too much, too fast and overwhelmed us, or just made us feel like a failure.
This time of the year can the most challenging. Why? Because after several months (or more) of putting others before ourselves and our own needs, socializing and being bombarded with many indulges and distractions, many of us feel more motivated than ever to make changes in the new year. In comes all the marketing for quick fixes, fad diets, gym promos, cleanses etc to satisfy this need to quickly feel better about ourselves. Trust me, I've caved to many of them too. And while they can help give us a jump start and sometimes can be motivating, for many of us we buy or do the thing, show up for some or all of it and then return to our usual ways of living because we think we got to the finish line...at least for now.
But this is a journey. And we have to remember to show up for the long haul, no matter what season of life we’re in. It’s about showing up the best we can, with what we have in this moment and letting go of where we were or where we think we should be. And most definitely letting go of where others are and comparing our own journey to theirs.
Which is why I'm giving you an assignment this week. I want you to set 1-2 small goals or changes you can easily make and stick with and share them with someone (or here in the comment section if you’d like). Stick with them for 2-3 weeks and then add on from there. Pick another small goal and just keep building until they become easier to accomplish and stick with.
Maybe you want to set a water goal, or decrease your soda or alcohol intake by 1 can or drink per day or week. Maybe you want to eat one more serving of a fruit or vegetable per day, move your body for 10 minutes or meditate for just 5 minutes per day. It doesn't matter what it is, it just has to be something that you can and will do right now, with what you have in this moment. Just start somewhere.
Are you going to screw up? Absolutely. You're going to get it wrong or make a mistake once in awhile. The goal isn't to avoid failure or making a mistake. The goal is to learn and grow from it and continue to build healthier habits so you can feel your best and live this one precious life we've been given. That's it. Cheers to the New Year and not getting caught up in all short term solutions. I'm here for the long haul and I hope you're ready to be here too.