2014 - Ready, set, GOALS!

According to John C. Norcross, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Scranton and author of Changelogy:  5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions, New Year’s resolutions are difficult to keep. Although 40% of resolutions are maintained until July, 60% of people are not successful.

But, around this time of the year, it’s likely that you are one step (literally) ahead of most people in our society. Assuming you are reading this blog because you are an athlete or fitness enthusiasts, you likely focus on your health (in some way) on a daily basis. 

With the typical New Year resolution dedicated to “health”, it’s exciting to know that your passion for health and fitness will continue to inspire and help those who are seeking a more healthy and balanced lifestyle.

While an idea of a goal may seem doable in your head, it isn't until you break down the steps to reaching that goal that you may find yourself second-guessing yourself along the way. Therefore, goal setting always comes before an action plan. This process is very helpful for individuals who seek new challenges outside of a comfort zone and for those who desire change or new habits.

Bottom line: goals must motivate you to get up every morning and keep you excited for another day.

Regardless if enjoy helping others follow through with their resolutions in the New Year or you feel that the New Year is a great time to dare to dream big, use the following questions to ensure that you will have great success with your goals in 2014.

My exercise, diet and life short-term goals (6 months):
My exercise, diet and life long-term goals (12+ months):

Based on each of your short-term and long-term goals, use this step-by-step process to keep you on track with your goals for 2014.

Example: “I would like to increase my intake of fresh foods and decrease the amount of processed food I eat in my diet.”

1) Why are you setting this goal? Because more fruits and veggies will help to nourish my body
2) What are the risks/benefits and pros/cons of your goal? I can reduce risk for disease, have more energy throughout the day.
3) What will change in your life if you reach your ultimate goal? I will feel more balance in my diet and cleaner inside.
4) What will change in your life as you attempt to reach this goal? I would like to learn how to cook more fresh foods. I hope to improve my culinary skills.
5) Is this a realistic and specific goal? Yes.
6) Do you have a plan of action in achieving this goal? I will replace my afternoon granola bar snack with a piece of fruit in the afternoon to start. Then I will gradually incorporate more fresh foods to my breakfast.
7) Do you have a strong support group? No, but I hope to inspire others.
8) Do you have the right resources to reach your goal? Yes, I have a dietitian in mind who I can contact to help me stay accountable.
9) Are there any obstacles in your way in reaching your goals? Yes. I am very busy with work and I often have an all or nothing approach.
10) How will you overcome barriers before you reach your goal?  I know all is not ruined in one day. I will always have at least 1 fresh food option at home to help me get back on track.
11) How will you track progress? I will keep a food log.
12) How will you maintain your enthusiasm for your goal if you being to experience a setback?
I will remind myself that some progress is better than no progress.
13) What’s your realistic timetable of reaching your goal? There’s no exact deadline. I hope to continue to explore my real food options like whole grains.
14) How will you celebrate when you reach your goal? I want to cook a 3 course meal for my friends.
15) What will it mean to you when you reach your goal?
I know I am improving my overall health so this goal means a lot to me for my quality o life.
16) How will you maintain your success when you reach your goal?
I would like to start a blog and perhaps I can blog about my recipes.

As you can see, goal setting can be very empowering but the ability to plan and execute a vision is a powerful process and with the right attitude and course of action, both short-term and long-term goals are within your reach. As you build self-confidence through goal setting, you will learn to create healthy habits of achieving even your most difficult meaningful goals and ambitions.
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