2017 is here and with that there is a surge of energy in many places, new gym memberships, traffic to personal growth sites, people putting off what they want or should be doing. Last night I sat with a few friends, my eldest son staying up for his first midnight ball drop, and the subject of New Year’s resolutions arose. The consensus was goals are good, the habit of waiting to achieve your goals till the new year and ultimately letting them die is bad.
Help you to be a better person today then you are yesterday.
Get oriented. They are for all holidays, all seasons, a continual path.
What help you obtain this growth.
Need to be well defined so you can track your progress and you know exactly what you must achieve.
Need to realistic, start low and ramp them up if you are doing very well.
Are not written in stone. Life changes, adjust, but make new goals don’t just abandon them.
I always have several irons in the fire at any given moment as my family is working hard now for our overarching goal of early financial freedom. We are doing this primarily through base income growth, building passive income through real estate, and giving ourselves flexibility and more options.
So here are my Preliminary 2017 Goals. What are yours? What do you think of resolutions?
People struggle with different things in life, for me, the thing just so happens to be weight loss and maintenance. This article could also be called how to do anything when you suck at it.
Because it is all pretty much the same.
Everyone has things we suck at, the things that no matter how bad we want it, take a back seat to other priorities. The challenges, that when we fail, we decide to flail around in the mud instead of getting back up. These tend to be the things on the opposite end of our personalities. The things that not only do we not enjoy all that much but in addition cause us to reduce or eliminate things that we do enjoy. See: Whose life are you living? Is it time for a Priority Inventory?
On the flip side, we all have things that are easy for us. Some of us have no problems getting out and being active, or not eating some random indulgence. That, unfortunately, is not me. However, I am great at staying ahead of financial goals and nurturing my close relationships. Those are easy for me. It is not a chore to put effort into it constantly and they constantly rank high in my priorities.
When you are just naturally good at something, and you make the inevitable mistake, you have no problem getting back up and getting back to it. It is easy. When I impulse spend, I have no problems recovering, I don’t just slip into financial carelessness. I have a plan that I don’t even really think about. I minimize the damage, either with returns, sales, or cancellations and just continue on with my plans.
Abstaining from buying things is not hard either because I am always thinking about my goals. When I see something I want like a new couch, I think well I would rather retire earlier, sitting on a beach, not in my house on that nice couch.
With all this wonderful restraint, why can’t I just put down the cake!
You cannot change your entire lifestyle overnight. Weight loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise, and my suggestion would be to get control of diet and gradually incorporate exercise as you feel confident enough to stay on track with diet. Exercise can make you very hungry and hurt weight loss, it is, however, very important for overall health. Gradually increasing workouts also helps with not injuring yourself. Here is a great talk from the doctor Michael Mosely.
When you are choosing what diet to go on or what exercises to do, remember what is sustainable for you. If you decide to go on a juice fast, remember this is a drastic diet and not a sustainable lifestyle. So unless you already love drinking vegetable juice instead of a meal, it is even more difficult to transition to a whole other lifestyle once you are done with your fast. I would choose something else. The same goes for exercise, find what you enjoy physically and do more of it. If you like the social aspect join a sports league or go to group classes.
You can know exactly what you want to do, and you can even have great success at it. But you will stumble. Having someone there on the same path as you will not only make it easier to keep to your goals it will also help you to get back up again if you are struggling. I currently have three people each on a different journey with me (Diet, Fitness, and Motivation), and one professional (a life coach and consultant for health and wellness) I hold myself accountable to. A new trend in accountability is electronics, there are social communities online, programs to help you with your journey (I use the free version of myfitnesspal.com), and devices to track you and remind you to get up and get going.
Set up a vision board. Keep a journal. Follow blogs that will fill your email and feeds with things that will keep you on track with your goals. Hint. Hint.
It will be something that will have to be something you keep in the back of your mind all the time. The longer you work at it, the easier it will get. Just like everything else the more you do it, the more skill you get, eventually, it can be one of those things that are easy for you. You now enjoy things related to it, and have the tools to keep going. Your brain will now have the ability to quickly analyze the costs and benefits of an action and choose the right way to go.
There is a massive industry of people our there making money off of diet and fitness. There are new workouts and diets popping up constantly. New gadgets to buy. Fancy gym memberships. When in fact, you likely need nothing that costs extra money to accomplish your goals. Make sure to do your research, find unsponsored reviews, consult a licensed personal trainer and/or a registered dietician. See: How to be Smart: When Everyone Wants Your Money!
This is the camp I am currently in. Sadly, I have had more yo-yo weight losses then, I can count on one hand. Something always happens which knocks my health off my top priorities and because I’m not great at it, I’m just back in the mud. So I’ve decided to seek the fringes and am trying some not so typical things now. Link coming soon, I’ve been up to some interesting stuff!
Do you like your life or are you just passing the time? Are you doing what you want to be doing right now or do you find yourself jealous at other people’s highlight reels on Facebook? Are you working towards doing what you want or are you waiting for life to happen to you?
Many people feel like their life has gotten off track, or maybe that they have been going the wrong place the entire time. If this strikes a chord, it might be time to suss out why you are living the life you currently are if it is not what you want.
What is a priority? Priorities are the most important things in your life, what you deem most important to yourself. Whatever you make a priority in your life has a higher chance of flourishing as it is getting more attention. Priorities show themselves in the amount of time you dedicate to something and the amount of money(which is ultimately the value placed on your time) you spend on the things important to you.
I will use traveling as an example of goal achievement and priorities because I know many people claim travel as one of the things they would like to do more of and are not doing anything to fulfill that goal. Many people who claim to want to travel, never actually do, they like travel pages on Facebook, they have dreams of lounging on the beach or partying away in a foreign country. They do not work towards it; they do no research to find out how they could do it now, and when they do get a chance to take a vacation they visit relatives. Clearly, travel is not at the top of their priorities. People give excuses well I if I just had more money. False, you could travel now you just have to adjust your expectations and make it happen. Or maybe you should just own it, and know that traveling really isn’t that important to you and stop being wistful about it because truly you would rather see your family or play basketball with your friends.
1. Write a list of your top 5 priorities. Examples: Friendships, Spouse, Children, Security, Health, Success, Pleasure, Nature, Status, and Adventure.
2. Write a list of 5 goals you are working on.
3. Take your average week and tally up the hours you spend doing things. You will quickly see where your current priorities are. If you dislike your job and you are spending the majority of your week doing it and no time applying for different jobs or doing research or education on what you would rather be doing it might be time to reevaluate that.
4. Evaluate your monthly statements, where is your money going? Whatever you are spending it on is where you are placing your priorities.Do you have a new car payment, saying appearances is important to you? Do you have money going into savings every paycheck, showing security is a value you place importance on?
5. Compare and Contrast 1&2 with 3&4. Are you working towards your goals? Are you putting your energies into where you want them? Try to figure out why things might not line up, and adjust your life accordingly.