As we round up the first two months of the year, I have to pause and think about some of the goals I've planned for the quarter. One of the things I try not to do is goal setting for the entire year. For me, it doesn't work. I feel like it's the equivalent of sipping from a dam through a straw and hoping not to get wet. I DO set a primary goal for the year or a theme for the year, and then I create a series of milestones to help manage my work efforts. This approach helps me conquer the primary goal but in smaller bite-sized chunks. If you've read my previous blogs about goal setting, you know that I call this the increment. So I want to dig in and talk about some hurdles you might be feeling already because you got on the goal-setting bandwagon and are already feeling overwhelmed. As always, let's jump into my signature bulleted lists: 3 tips to staying focused and not getting overwhelmed by goal-setting.
Don't do too much- it can be easy to push yourself to the max when trying to reach your goals. When I was attempting to reach a specific fitness goal and hadn't hired a trainer, I tried to do everything. I thought every workout trend and diet fad at that time was for me. I was Keto Monday, Vegan Tuesday, Atkins Wednesday, Crossfit Thursday, and depressed Friday. I was emotionally and mentally all over the place and not making any progress at all. I had to learn that if I were going to reach my goals, I needed to create a sustainable routine, surround myself with people knowledgeable in what I wanted to accomplish, and focus on easy wins. Doing so would make the big wins attainable. Burn out is a real thing. Doing too much of the wrong thing quickly robs you of the joy and enthusiasm attached to the goal. So make sure you don't start something that you are not ready to handle.
Stay away from Nancy - Negative Nancy. There will always be that person who will remind you that you can't accomplish something or remind you of all the negative things that could happen. You don't need that. Don't share your progress or your vision with people who will only discourage you. The tasks ahead are hard enough. You don't need someone highlighting the potential pitfalls. Surround yourself with people that want to support you and that will encourage you to succeed.
Run your own race - You can easily become discouraged focusing on what someone else has going on. So to avoid this, don't compare your progress to their journey. Stick to your own. There is nothing worse than working yourself up over something that you don't understand or details that you don't have. Learn to be kind to yourself and, by all means, cut yourself some slack. You're new to this. Even if you've tried something before, this time is brand new.
Goal setting is a personal and emotional process. It's like raising a baby. If you've raised kids, you know that no matter how you struggle with them, they are your kids. You don't want to compare your kid to someone else's down the street (unless it's to brag about your kid being better), and you definitely don't want anyone saying something negative about your kid. Give your goals the same protections as you'd give your kids. Please don't overdo it. You'll figure out the best approach for you, and when you do, you'll be fine. Flee negative people and spaces and run your own race. You can do anything you set your mind to. It's really up to you. Yeah, you read that right. I said it's up to you.
As always, these are absolutely my thoughts...