I originally published this post privately to my newsletter subscribers. For 2020, I wanted to share some of the posts my subscribers received in 2019.
On Wednesday, I discussed setting attainable personal goals by using the S.M.A.R.T. model for goal creation. I shared one of my small goals for the year, which was getting more organized with dinner planning, but that was just one small goal I came up for 2019.
For 2019, I have 5 goals. My resolution lists tend to be one-goal long, but in my year of wellness, I am going to be more ambitious.
I am so ambitious because when I was fifteen I imagined where my life would be when I turned thirty-five. I had a very specific vision for myself professionally, but I also had a vision of where I would be emotionally and mentally. I always admired people who were relaxed, well-balanced, and seemed to exude positivity while not allowing negativity to cloud their behaviors.
I viewed them as healthy (physically & mentally) and well-adjusted. In my teenage mind, it was light years away from my reality and I wanted to be healthy “when I grew up.” Thirty-five was such an arbitrary age to pick at the time, but I think it gave me twenty years of experience and practice to become that ideal person.
Last week I turned thirty-five and I realized several months ago that I was inadvertently working towards my teenage goal through the blog. Now that thirty-five was here, I decided to make the commitment to become who I felt I was meant to be.
This desire to be my “best self” does not require me to fundamentally change who I am, I believe that anyone can be healthy & balanced emotionally & mentally, but pull out what is already there. I have had more moments of healthier behaviors since starting this journey, so this is a matter of augmenting and encouraging the healthy stuff while minimizing the negative stuff that caused me to be stuck in the past.
This isn’t a journey about perfection, but recognizing my imperfections and no longer allowing them to hold weight in my life. It is a journey about the actualization of a lifelong goal.
How I will Achieve This: the Main Goal
My ultimate goal of becoming a healthier person is rather intangible, so I have break it down into smaller, more tangible goals. As mentioned in Monday’s post, making an intangible goal like happiness or becoming a better person shouldn’t be the primary goal, but secondary to other more measurable goals.
I want one large goal that will take the entire year to achieve and four small goals that will work towards this goal in some way. Everything works together to ensure success by the end of this year.
My main goal for 2019 is to lose 10 pounds.
While this has little to do with the concept of living my best life at thirty-five, it does mean that in order to successfully achieve weight loss, I will need to make internal changes that increase my chances of success.
I have to be satisfied with my disease management, find inner peace, set an external goal to work towards, and work towards minimizing my stress. By doing these internal, secondary changes, my main goal shouldn’t be as big of an issue.
Think of losing 10 pounds as a red herring. Not really my main goal, but it’s what drives me to get to me where I want to be.
Don’t worry, this wellness challenge is not going to focus on weight loss, this is my own personal goal. I will not be pushing weight loss throughout the year and my discussion about weight will be at a minimum. All examples used will be more focused on chronic illness and other aspects of life.
Smaller Goals for 2019
The other four goals I have will be broken up in 3-month chunks for deadlines. While it will be good for me to be mindful of all my goals throughout the year, I staggered them apart to build on each other.
- Meal Planning – Done by April
- Do more yoga or cross-training during the week – Scheduled and done consistently by July
- Run a faster 1/2 marathon – I have a half marathon planned for November (but able to determine my speed by October)
- Work towards being more stress-free – End of December
As you can see, each of these goals ties in some fashion with my year-long goal. If I plan my meals better, I am more likely to eat healthier. More cross-training means I will be exercising more often. Run a faster 1/2 marathon is a measurable goal of success, and being more stress-free means less chance of emotional eating (which can put on extra weight).
Actualizing a Lifelong Goal
These goals create a situation where the secondary benefit is becoming a healthier person, emotionally and mentally. I am taking my abilities and limitations into account: I have found that with more physical activity, the more relaxed I am throughout the day. When I manage my time well, I am less likely to have a short-temper when dealing with others. When I do more yoga, I feel a deeper connection and compassion towards everyone and myself. Finally, when I work towards being less-stressed, I am more content with my life and MS diagnosis.
Through the work of these seemingly unrelated goals, I will become that healthier person I imagined for myself at fifteen.
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