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How to reach your 2020 goals

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Do you have ideas about what you'd like to accomplish in this new year? The following tips can GREATLY help those ideas to come to fruition! You can use them with any kind of goal, from health to finance to career to recreation/travel. Give it a try! I'm going to illustrate the process with one of the goals I set and achieved in 2010.

Step one- the Goals themselves

Take a quiet time to reflect on the various areas of your life and see where you'd like to improve. Write enough goals to get excited about, but not so many as to be overwhelmed.

Step two- the Why

Just setting a goal is often not enough to motivate one to see it all the way through. Example: The big goal I set in 2010 was to run a half marathon, which is 13.1 miles. (I use the term "run" loosely, lol!) I wanted to cross the finish line and I needed a big Why to pull it off.

I had just had a major surgery and couldn't do the exercise I liked to do, which is cycling. I actually hated running and was horrible at it, BUT... it was the only exercise I was approved to do. My Why? The surgery had made me feel weaker and I wanted to prove that I was still a badass. I was literally thumbing my nose at aging, "taking it down a notch", etc. This Why was enough to see me through, but I had to constantly remind myself of it to stay motivated. Believe me, training in the heat & humidity early in the morning was NOT what I wanted to do as I woke in a comfy bed! But the Why made me throw back the covers 97% of the time.

Step three- the How

Setting goals is great, but you need a plan to reach them. Work backward from the finished goal and ask yourself what milestones you need to reach in what time frame to get there. Ask yourself what tools and resources you need to make it happen.

For me, because I was a horrible runner, I looked for training programs I could actually do. I ran across Jeff Galloway's books (he's an Atlantan and Olympic runner). His method was alternating running and walking, which I felt I could do. Believe me, I had to start with 15 seconds of running and nearly 3 minutes of walking before the next run. I had to start with 1 mile. And even when I had increased to 30 seconds run and 1.5 minutes' walk, walkers would pass me by on the trail while I was "running", lol! But that was ok, because I had my Why.

Step four- Accountability

With a friend who was training for a full marathon

Pick some trusted, supportive people to share your goals with who will help to keep you on track. For example, if your goal is weight loss, this would NOT be the person who pushes you to eat the cheesecake when you go out!

For me, I joined an organization called Team in Training, who support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This caused me to actually pick out a half marathon and pay the entrance fee, then get sponsors. That was a LOT of accountability! But it really did help to keep me on track.

You can hire a coach or trainer, if you need to. You can join a group or organization of like-minded people. Whatever it takes to keep you accountable to your goal.

Step five- Visualization

Daydream about what it will feel like when you accomplish that goal. Create a vision board and keep it where you can easily see it. I like this one, because you can use pictures of multiple goals. Briefly write your goals each morning, as if you've already achieved them, and be sure to experience the feelings of accomplishment.

I remember when Olympic coaches first had downhill skiers close their eyes and visualize running the course over and over. They were beating everyone else in a way that made the other coaches sit up and take notice! Now, that's a common coaching practice.

Revel in your success!

You can celebrate each milestone and encourage yourself along the way. I did cross that finish line. It wasn't easy, because I had developed something called a Morton's Neuroma, which felt like a stress fracture. I had to cut my training to no more than 5 miles per session at the time I should be stretching to 10 miles once a week. But I did it. And when I went to change out of my tights, I literally had to hold onto the bathroom counter because my legs didn't have the strength to lift one while balancing the other, which made me totally crack up! But I did it. And there's nothing like that celebration at the end when you reach your goal!

I encourage you to set a meaningful goal for yourself this year. Drop me a line at debra@nature-heals.com and I'll cheer you on! Elizabeth, Andrea and I wish you a Happy New Year!

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