Do you ever have those days where you wonder what your future will look like and feel like?  Then you remind yourself that you can create your future, so you start planning it?  Hopefully I am not the only one.  Maybe it is because I will turn 29 in a couple of weeks, but the future has really been on my mind.  This will be my last year in my 20’s.  What do I want to accomplish?  What do I wish I had already accomplished?  Sometimes I start making these lists and then I get really technical on when and how I am going to meet each goal.  I think I have said it before, but I am a little Type A and I really like to plan things and then accomplish those things.  Maybe one of my goals should be to let go a little more? 🙂

I think it is appropriate to make a list of goals now that the new year is going to start soon.  I would much rather have goals than resolutions.  I want to start dreaming and living outside of the box I have built, and in order to do that, I need to plan for big things!  I also know I have to dream within my means.  What I mean by that is, my dream shouldn’t be something I can’t afford or can’t physically accomplish.  With my clients, we often create long term goals, and then we create short term goals used as stepping stones to meet the ultimate therapeutic goal.  I want to use this same approach with my personal goals.

I just want to share 3 quick things to keep in mind when you are setting goals for yourself for the year 2017 (It feels weird to type that for some reason..).

1. Make your goals measurable.

When creating goals, you want to make sure there is a way you can track your progress.  For example, the yoga studio I am attending just started a “40 days to Handstand” program.  The handstand is the ultimate goal, but there are small, measurable goals in between, such as accomplishing a low plank and a high plank in order to build the core strength needed to complete the handstand.  Setting a limit of 40 days and a small goal to reach every day helps you measure and track your progress.  When we can measure our progress, we are more likely to be proud of what we have accomplished and continue to work toward achieving that goal.

2. Find a way to hold yourself accountable.

It is always helpful to be held accountable in order to make sure we work hard and accomplish our goals.  I was listening to a podcast recently, I think I typed about it in my last blog.  The host was interviewing Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky about their cook book.  One thing Shalane said stood out to me.  When she was asked about her future running goals and whether or not she wanted to talk about them, she said she likes to make her goals public, in order to make herself more accountable.  She talked about how much harder she works when she knows people are watching her, but also how helpful the encouragement is on the days it is hard to get out and do the work to reach the goal.  We may not want to shout our goals from the rooftops, but we need to let some close friends/family in on our goals in order to have someone checking with us and being our cheerleader.

3. Don’t be afraid to dream.

There is an exercise I do with my clients in therapy sometimes.  I have them create a picture for me, either drawing or writing words, that describes how they currently feel, how they want to feel, and what it will take in order to get them to the place they want to be.  We often don’t know what goals to set unless we dream a little and imagine what it would take to get to the place we think we would be happy or at least content.  Sometimes our goals may seem difficult to attain, but that never means they are out of reach.  We just have to believe in ourselves, and we can accomplish so much more!  I was reading a blog earlier that I was recently introduced to, and she has a page of running quotes and I read one by Henry Ford that says “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you are probably right.”  Sometimes, all we have to do is first believe in ourselves.

I hope you are able to find something helpful and useful in this blog.  I hope you start believing in yourself, building a support system, and slowly create goals that you can measure.  A new year can be a powerful thing if we let it.  Challenge yourself.  Be brave!


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