The ball has dropped. The Christmas tree is away, the cookies are stale, and the Visa bill has arrived.
And how’s it going? Maybe you’re feeling pale and fat and broke (like one of my favourite vloggers posted on Instagram). Or perhaps you’re eating up all the New Year’s talks of goals and are so excited to dive into 2018!
I’m with you on the excitement, and also on the taking stock and wanting to make some changes. Over here, I’ve looked back and looked forward using some simple prompts, I’ve spent some time with friends who remind me to shoot for the moon, and I’ve found some quality time with my journal to put words to all of the things I’ve been thinking about and learning over the past few crazy whirlwind months.
While I was scrubba-dub-dubbing the floors and the pine needles and the glitter of Christmas up this afternoon, I was listening to one of the Another Mother Runner podcasts. They had a coach on who was talking about setting realistic new year fitness resolutions. One of the points she made was around how people tend to have big athletic dreams—things like qualifying for the Boston Marathon or racing an Ironman, for instance—that seem like one goal but are really made up of an astounding number of smaller changes required to achieve them.
I agreed with much of what the podcast had to say (and highly recommend listening to it while you scrub your floors!), and as I mopped up the glitter and thought about clean slates and fresh starts, I started to think about what it's like to take away the glitter from those shiny goals--to look at them for what they really are. I think we can all fall into the habit of setting these sexy goals—things like wanting to run a PR or other outcomes that we associate with success. But along with these goals that focus on achievement in the sense of an end goal or an accomplishment, we need to keep in mind some of the habits and the day-to-day things required of the type of person who achieves them. It’s these ongoing things—the habits and the choices that set us up for success—which are the key to making it to that end goal. It’s also these often seemingly miniscule things, perhaps like foam rolling daily or making sure to get enough sleep (two of the things I’ve identified as areas of improvement for myself), which are instrumental in the journey to achieving the goals we’re most excited about.
This goes beyond the realm of athletics, too! It’s not as thrilling for me to think about the spending and saving habits required of me daily as it is to talk about goals like, “I will pay off my OSAP by my 30th birthday.” Things like not buying a coffee on the way to work or getting my nails perfectly manicured year-round seem petty, but it’s our daily choices and the way that they add up that determine where we’ll be when New Year’s Day 2019 rolls around.
So, I'd encourage you to look at your own goals. Maybe this is the year, you're telling yourself, that you'll finally get to that goal weight. But what does that require of you? And are you really willing to do it--to give up the junk food and eat the veggies, to put yourself first? I'd love to hear about what you're working on in the comments below, and hope this post left you thinking a little deeper--and on the way to your goals! Whatever your big sexy goals and the mundane, everyday habits they require are, I wish you success in 2018!
Happy New Year!