Make 2019 Your Bitch 💪

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Goals. How do I set them? How do I achieve them? How can I live in the moment of today while incrementally working to achieve the results of tomorrow?

While I’m still working on it with the rest of the world, these are a few things that have helped me create a track and attempt to stay on it! You can’t change yourself overnight but the New Year creates a great excuse to stop making excuses. You can start the journey to being a better version of yourself, no matter what time of year it is.

REFLECT

Reflection is a double edged sword. While it ultimately helps us grow, true reflection requires a hard look in the mirror. Sometimes, you’re not always as great as you think you are - that can be difficult. Because I’m fucking awesome. But even when you’re awesome, there’s usually still a lot to work on. Admitting you’re not 100% fucking awesome is the first step!

I reflect and keep myself in check by keeping a journal. I write down my thoughts, dreams, poems, happenings from my day, draw doodles and more. Journaling helps me get everything out and gives me clarity. It especially helps with my anxiety before I go to sleep. Using your reflections, you can see where you want to continue growing! Maybe this means letting go of certain habits to make room for healthier ones. Or continuing habits you’ve already developed. What goals are you now working toward and how do you plan on keeping them?

For 2019, I want to work on my fitness routine, some side projects, my health, my personal growth, visit new places, save that mulaaaa and grow in my career. PHEW! That is a SHIT load of stuff - now how do we execute?

REALIGN

Realign with SMART goals! While I was talking with a friend about setting goals, she sent me a worksheet I hadn’t seen since college. I used these for branding and projects, but not for myself. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound. One must identify their long term goals with tangible milestones. What makes the goal attainable in a sensible way? What is your timeline?

Let’s break down one of my goals - to work on my fitness routine. I specifically want to work on my Yoga practice, target my abs and add in more cardio to my week. I am being realistic with myself in saying I will go to 3 Yoga classes a week, take 3 walks a week at least a mile long and do three targeted ab workouts a week. My gym has yoga classes, I live right near a nature center for my walks and I have an app for ab workouts.

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ROUTINE

Create a routine. DO IT. Seriously, we all need a routine. While I’m a very bizzy bee, that doesn’t always mean I’m a productive bizzy bee. A few things I live by? My Panda Planner, Reminders app and Google Calendar. This is the holy trinity of my personal organization. I love my Panda Planner because I personally prefer physically writing down my tasks in OCD-style lists. Panda Planner has areas for your intentions, to-do’s, hourly schedule for your daily outlook and more helpful tools to keep your time in check. If you are more into the digital and free options, the Reminders app and Google Calendar can just as easily keep you on task!

For my fitness routine, I have added the three yoga classes on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday. I have also scheduled my walks for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I will do abs Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

REMINDERS

Check in with yourself and even enlist an accountable-a-buddy. There are at least 2-3 people I share my goals list with and they send me theres. A few times a year we’ll text each other our list of goals to review. I also use the Reminders app to let me know what tasks are on the back burner and I keep a separate section called “Immediate To-Do” so I can focus on just three critical tasks at a time. Where are you succeeding? Which ones are you struggling on?

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REWARDS

Reward yourself! And that doesn’t mean eat a whole cake - even though I am totally craving an entire cake. It means if you lose those 15 pounds and keep it off, keep rewarding yourself with a new shirt or a beach trip instead of that cake slice. If you made it to yoga class three times a week for a year, go on a yoga retreat, don’t take a break from it. Keep leaning into your goals and new lifestyle habits. You will continue to reward yourself with a better you!

I have been rewarding myself with painting. It’s something I wholly enjoy and takes me completely away from the digital world.

Remember, if you fall off track, you can always get back on. The key difference between failure and success? Persistence. You cannot stop trying. Once you give into doubt, you’ve already lost. It’s ok to discontinue something that may not be for you anymore and it is ok to recognize that! But don’t ever put something aside because you just fell off of it. You never know where it might lead you.

We are never done growing! As beings, we are constantly in flux with ourselves, other people and our surroundings. Allowing ourselves to grow and shed to let new aspects of life in is a beautiful gift. Cherish it and have a wonderful, productive 2019!

Elizabeth Whiting