Written by Jessica Weirich, VMRC Wellness Center Manager
Change is inevitable. It makes us stronger and wiser while pushing us outside our comfort zones. It can also be scary. We can learn to embrace change and make it our tool for growth. When it comes to choosing a goal, one tip is to make it a conscious decision and be in a place in life where we are ready to take on the challenge.
Whether your goal is to get back into the gym, organize your home, or make more time for yourself, the one thing that each of these requires is changing something in your day to day life to help attain your goal. To make it more achievable, break the goal down into several small goals that will set you up for your larger goal. It can even be broken down into weeks. For instance, set an "action plan" for your week. Make this plan something challenging but achievable. For instance, if your goal is to lose weight, one action plan could be to make small food changes. Set your action plan for something like "3 days out of the week I will avoid sweets/snacks/etc." Once you achieve 3 days, increase that to 4 and eventually 5. Then move on to your next goal: "3 days out of the week I'm going to exercise 30 minutes a day". Once you achieve that, increase the amount of time or the number of days in the week that you exercise. Set your goals and hold yourself accountable. You could even find an accountability partner and hold each other to your action plans!
By making these small changes along the way, you're setting yourself up for long term success. The year is LONG. There are curveballs that life throws at us, and there's nothing we can do about some of them. The key is sticking through it, and knowing that it's ok to fail a little bit! Give yourself some grace and remember that big changes take time! Also, if your goal for the year is something you want to make a lifestyle change, know that you have even longer to keep this up! Keep the 21/90 rule in mind. It takes 21 days to build a habit and 90 days to build a lifestyle.
Focus on your goal, set a plan, and tell someone. Keep track of your progress by writing it down and look back every now and then to see how far you've come!
If you’re looking for more assistance in achieving your goals, consider joining the upcoming Wellness Coaching program hosted by the VMRC Wellness Center. This eight-week program begins March 2 and will walk you through the Six Stages of Change, teaching you the science behind making a lasting life-change. For more information, contact the Wellness Center at 540-574-3850.