How’s Your 2020 Vision?
Goal setting is very different than it used to be. When setting goals in 1990 there was no Youtube, Instagram, or Netflix. However, In 2020, I could see at least 1000 things that show me how vastly different my life could/should be every time I open my phone. There are thousands of posts per minute tell us how we could be wealthy, living in paradise, having our dream body, sipping something delicious while we solve world hunger. While there is nothing wrong believing the most, the distraction of it all can seem to get in the way of setting realistic and meaningful goals that will help build an actual life of service and meaning from where we are right now.
So, in a world of Kanye and Kardashians, how do we begin to set goals that actually pertain to our lives?
Step 1: Be Grateful to yourself.
Take a look around at everything and everyone you value. Pat yourself on the back for simply surviving this long in life and remember to celebrate your little victories.
- Project: Reflect
Take 10 - 15 minutes to write a list of what you accomplished this year. Most people will need to call a friend or talk to their spouse to remind them of the great things they’ve done. You probably accomplished much more this year than you can remember. Give yourself credit for what you got done, where you were brave, fun you had with friends and anything else positive in your life.
Step 2: Review your Vision and your Mission (and your dreams):
Most of us have at some point tried to write a vision and mission statement for our lives. If not… google it.
If you are happy with your vision and mission, go ahead and review them. Brainstorm ways you can improve your alignment between what’s happening now and your ideal vision for the future. These will be directional goals. They are not specific but serve as a broad outline.
If you don’t see anyway that your vision and mission align with your day to day, look for small ways to integrate your beliefs into how you interact with your people and the things you do in each part of your life. Implement tiny things into how you work, or communicate. If you're a barista and your dream is world peace, you can start by making each person you serve feel valued, and connected. This is an extrapolation of the “how you do one thing is how you do everything” theory.
No Vision or Mission at this point? There’s a good chance you already know it intuitively. Look at what you value and what you’re most proud of, and work backwards.
Finally, take a minute to dream. Anything you’ve left out? The things we dream of doing often get left off of the list. Take a moment to look at your dreams and see if your daily actions are supporting you in moving toward these…
Step 3: General Goals
The big general goals are often pretty easy. General goals can typically be categorized as health, financial, work, relationship, spiritual. Goals can be to lose weight, spend more time with family, etc. Most of us can name a few of these off the top of our heads. There is power in simply writing goals down on paper. Quite often things just begin to happen.
Next, look back at the goals you have that haven’t been getting accomplished. These goals are often areas where we have some mental or emotional baggage. Take a bit of time on these to look at where you might be stumbling a bit. if they’re important to you: set a goal to get some help.
Here’s to hoping that 2020 is your best year ever. Google the words goal setting and you’ll get thousands of links!
Losing Weight While looking the other way….
In the new year many of us will set some physical goals. Often those goals will be around weight loss or fitness. If you haven’t been able to budge the needle for the past few years, you might want to focus on some life balance goals before you go for your main goal of weight loss. Weight is arguably a very important metric in terms of health and longevity. However, too much focus on that number or on the scale alone can exacerbate many of the reasons that it our weight persists.
Balance tends to beget balance. Focussing on improving the your overall balance will decrease your stress levels, balance hormones and make eating better and exercising feel more natural. In addition, as people become more balanced and centered, very often happiness follows.
Instead of focusing on calories consider focussing on the quality of the food you eat. Learn some new and healthy meals. Eat enough fat and protein to keep your body happy and your blood sugar stable. Try to get the RDA of fiber.
In the last few months I have changed the order of how I eat my meals.
- Course 1: get full on carrots, and salad.
- Course 2: eat cooked vegetables
- Course 3: Proteins & fats
- Course 4: Carbs
This way of eating has balanced my diet. When I am stuffed with low calorie vegetables it is hard to overeat on the protein and carb courses. I’m still working on this but when I fail I find the carbs and fats and proteins eaten and I find less room for the good stuff. I am seeing that this strategy tends to boost my nutrition and fiber. In addition, it definitely decreases my overall caloric intake from each meal.
Bodywork & Exercise
Bodywork can help you;
- Get out of pain.
- Build body appreciation, and awareness of your body as it is
- Help improve serotonin and hormone levels.
- Keep up your cardio.
- Get outside! Too many people sit inside in the winter. Even when it is cold Nature is a healer and balancer.
- Hiking is mosquito, bear, and tourist free all winter!
- Snowshoeing is an amazing way to get out & explore.
- Plan a fitness vacation or take up a new fitness hobby!
Acupuncture is designed to build balance in mind body and spirit. Having the support of a good practitioner can help lend balance in periods of stress or lack of sunlight. Plan on getting several sessions to address things like sleep, anxiety, mood or energy.
Do what you can to improve your quality of sleep. Make your bedroom a beautiful, orderly and restful place. If you can’t sleep, you might as well be able to relax while you are counting those sheep… Other recommendation - find a boring podcast and listen to it on 1/2 speed…
Basic Blood and Health Tests:
Make sure you get tested to keep your thyroid, hormones, and basic health measures in line. Low thyroid and hormone imbalances can make your life feel hopeless! Get your screenings.
Additionally, you might want to look into what foods are best for you. Work with your doctor or naturopath if you expect food allergies or intolerances. Allergies and intolerances can destroy your mood, digestion, and energy levels.
Clean out the Cupboards:
Clear the junk out of your house! The biggest problem with sugary foods and simple carbs is that they launch many people on a blood sugar roller coaster. Once you get on a blood sugar roller coaster, it is hard to resist simple carbs because your blood sugar is bouncing all over the place. Your body is literally begging for its next fix. Suggestion: Get all of the high carb, high sugar, processed foods out of the house. If you get a sugar craving, you can drive to the store and satisfy it. Make sure you throw these items out rather than finishing them. I love ice cream and sweets… However, they are simply bad for you. Keeping them at home is committing to finishing them or even worse tempting someone else.
Note: People are loath to throw out sugary treats. It is wasting “food” in many the mind of many people. However, would you keep “extra” cigarettes around (or worse smoke them) so that they don’t go to waste? Would you leave booze around if you had a friend who had a drinking problem? Or worse yet, offer it to them? The jury is pretty much out on sugar. It’s bad news. I still eat it. I just try not to contribute to the problem by sharing it very often. Just something to consider.
Balance Your Structure and Energy:
Understandably, I am a huge fan of Rolfing and Pilates. Both can be used to add energetic as well as physical balance to the body. As people become more centered and grounded, most people find that stress levels begin to drop. Stress eating tends to drop as the body becomes more balanced.
Therapy: Hurt, anger, and resentment tend to create stress and poor mood. Clear up the emotional stuff and you might feel less need to tamp the negative emotions down with fat & carbs!
What I can do in 2020?
Now that you have your general and dream goals you can begin to get more specific.
If your goal is really important to dive into it. Look at the who, what, where, and when. Haven’t made progress on a goal for a while? Is important to you? Get some help with it. Call in a friend, coach, or consultant. Consider going to a class or retreat that deals with this topic?
1. Ask yourself: What can I actually accomplish in 2020?
- Make a list of your general goals.
- If possible add a couple of small actions/goals that will take you toward your dreams.
2. Get specific:
- Carefully pick your top goals in each area.
3. Use SMART goals.
- With each goal and figure out a way to stay on top of your goals. We all know SMART goals. There are a thousand templates online. They can be very effective.
- Get clear on your outcome. What evidence would you look for that you have achieved your goals?
- Assign specifics.
- Assign specific metrics to know your have achieved your goal:
- The more subjective that your goal is the more important it becomes to have a specific outcome. For example, be more social could be measured by something like I will meet a friend for lunch, go hiking with a friend, and attend one function in the evening each week.
- Is your goal a stretch but still achievable?
- Can/will you realistically achieve this? Is it worth your time and effort?
- Assign a date - describe the look, feel, qualities of the outcome.
4. Schedule the time, money, and resources for at least the most important.
5. Take action as soon as possible on the most important goals.
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