As we are in January, there tends to be a lot of buzz around setting “resolutions” in different ways. More recently, many have shifted to the idea of setting goals or intentions for the years. It can be hard for folks to follow through on these intentions or goals as they get swept into what is on social media.
I’ve seen plenty of people post about different workout challenges through boutique studios, and I urge you to be cautious about these as challenges can be a slippery slope for many. People may become obsessive with them, or feel bad about themselves if they don’t live up to the challenge. While they work for some, be kind to yourself if it doesn’t work for you.
As the idea of intention and goal setting isn’t going anywhere, these are five ways to sustain yourself if you choose to make them for yourself:
- Start small – I often see claims of people who are going to do whatever their goal is “every day.” Let’s be realistic, can you go from practicing yoga zero times a week to seven days a week? Maybe? What is more realistic is incrementally increasing your practice, which will set you up for success. Try starting practicing two times a week and when you successfully do so, then add more practices.
- Find a buddy – As we are in a pandemic right now, usual motivating factors aren’t as overtly present as typical, such as group classes. If you can, find someone to be your accountability partner to help you.
- Journal – Journaling can be used to track progress, as a blank space to process how you’re feeling.
- Choose a word or a theme – When you put your goals into themes or a word, it can help more so overall and lead to a shift. For example, I’ve chosen the word “boundary” for 2021, and plan to practice that theme in different areas of my life. The more I practice it, the more I embody it and can lead to greater success.
- When in doubt, SMART goal it out – SMART goals stand for “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based” and can help you focus on achieving these goals more sustainably.
As a reminder, it’s okay if you don’t meet these goals. Practice self-compassion and treat yourself like you would a loved one, reminding yourself you did the best you could, with what you had (in a pandemic).
Written by Alana Kaplan, Project Manager for the I Am Resilient Project.