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Tis the season – for setting goals and making resolutions to take one step closer to your idealized self. If you’re anything like me, you’re thinking, “This year will be the year I finally [insert aspiration here].” I think similarly, after moving abroad without a job, many trailing spouses feel inspired to achieve something new. Finally, write a book? There are probably endless coffee shops to spend free time working on it. Want to train for a marathon? The time to put in miles is abundant. Still, less than half of us make it through six months of sticking to a resolution – according to research conducted in 2015 (I honestly don’t think much of our behavior has changed since then, and I had to pay to see the latest data – rude). Even with the greatest of intentions, many of us don’t accomplish those goals. Why is that? Don’t be too hard on your hot mess side. The temptation to quit might be too powerful, or is it?
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Life coaches and other experts are teeming with tips and rules to adhere to for life-altering success. The virtues of setting SMART goals are front and center with just a quick Google search (There’s a great breakdown with templates for writing your own SMART goals here). The advice doesn’t stop there, and it’s a lot of the same. With all of this information, why can’t we follow through?
From what I could tell, we are our own worst enemy. It only stands to reason that being accountable and setting oneself up for success (with a clear plan) are reliable ways to reach goals.
Without a safety net to account for when plans take a step back or an aversion to shame, what’s left? I think it’s what few people discuss. What happens each day and what are the decisions we make that are taking us closer or farther away from our goals. Those goals, written on fancy, motivational stationery or typed in a template, aren’t going to be accomplished without some adversity. It’s true that nothing in life worth having comes easy.
For me, this year will be all about staying focused, not being too hard on myself and celebrating successes (big and small). There are so many tools out there to help us achieve our goals. Let’s use the heck out of them and if they stop serving our needs, find something new.
With that in mind, I leave you with some of my favorite tools and resources to aid my goalgetting. As I continue working on continuing my career this year, I’ll be sure to include updates on what’s helping me make progress on that front. What helps motivate the goalgetter in you?
I love this app because it always shows me how far I can go in achieving my fitness goals. The workouts are tailored to your fitness level and what you want to accomplish when you sign up for the coaching option. Otherwise, you can select one of their many workouts. The best part is that there’s little – if any – equipment required.
I have talked about my love for Glo before in a post about stress, but this app is so much more than that. I can use it anywhere when I find myself in need of some reflection, focus or just a jolt to achy muscles. I am far from a yogi, but Glo has helped me hone my skills, understand the disciplines I enjoy most and connect with warm, knowledgeable instructors. I honestly feel like I’m in the room with them sometimes. Who needs a class full of people when you can have this!
Even when I’m not so diligent about sticking with my weight loss goals, MyFitnessPal keeps me on track. It has helped me catalog foods that I eat regularly to help me understand portioning and how many calories I should be consuming in a day. I can also see the ebbs and flows of my progress over time when I need to whip myself back into shape.
Maybe this seems out of place among all the technology, but it is probably the essential aid for my goalgetting – mainly because I haven’t quite gotten a handle on the whole meditation thing. My notebooks are my constant companions, ensuring that tasks, priorities, and ideas are kept safe. People have talked a lot recently about bullet journals and how much they enjoy returning to a low tech option to wind down from the day’s tumult. It doesn’t hurt that many accessories come with them, which can turn it into an art project if you let it.