Look! The New Year is upon us! That magical evening in which the strike of midnight suddenly wipes the slate clean and all is new and anything is possible. The stressors of 2015 are gone, everyone is happy, and your life is perfect.
Now is the time to start something epic, so let’s see…
All of the above? Why not? There’s a whole fresh clean new shiny year ahead!
If you know us, you know we are not about drastic changes, and we certainly are not believers in magic wands that make everything perfect overnight.
On the other hand, we don’t believe in just leaving things to chance. Our BAM community is made up of real, awesome, badass women who face a myriad of challenges every single day, and who strive to overcome them and become healthier and stronger.
Some of you have shared your challenges from 2015: health issues, family concerns, job problems, kids who are a handful, relationship challenges – heck even broken teeth! And yet, we, as a community, come together to support each other to move through those challenges and remember to look after ourselves and continue on our journey towards health and strength.
We are kicking off the New Year with a guided process for setting realistic goals, holding yourself accountable, and ensuring you have the support you need.
The timing is perfect as My Peak Challenge is apparently right around the corner. If you know what your challenge will be, EXCELLENT – you can move right to step 4. If you don’t have an MPC goal yet, then start at the very beginning. (A very good place to start.)
We present to you: The BAM Goal-Setting Process. If you can, set aside at least 20 minutes in the next 24 hours to think through your goals for the coming year. You will:
- Ask yourself a few questions, and be honest with your answers.
- Ponder three specific areas for improvement
- Choose one, two, or three of those areas.
- Set a specific, measurable, realistic goal in that/those area.
- Sign up for the BAM Buddy program.
- Re-visit and re-assess quarterly.
Step One. Ask yourself a few key questions.
Find a quiet moment, make a cup of tea (or whisky, or both), and jot down your thoughts relating to the following:
- What is one thing I did in 2015 that I feel proud of?
- What things or conditions or people enabled me to be successful at that one thing?
- What is one thing that I wish I had done better in 2015?
- What were the barriers that prevented me from doing it?
- What can I do to eliminate those barriers (or at least make them a little lower to the ground and easier to climb)?
- Who can I ask for help? (hint: BAMs)
Step Two. Consider Your Health and Fitness, Personal, and Community Goals.
Now that you have an idea of your success factors, think about these three areas.
Health & Fitness. Do you want to:
- Be stronger? Maybe strengthen your back so lifting your kids or a snow shovel doesn’t hurt? Maybe deadlift a certain weight?
- Jump rope for 5 minutes and do double-unders without hitting your face with the rope?
- Fit into a size smaller pair of jeans?
- Lower your blood pressure?
- Decrease anxiety?
- Keep up with a CrossFit class at your local Box?
- Walk or Run a 5K? 10K? Half? Full?
- Do a Triathlon?
- Climb a mountain?
Note: goals here should be focused on well-being and strength, not numbers on a scale or physical appearance.
Personal. Do you want to:
- Improve relationships in your life?
- Continue your education? Learn a new language? Take a cooking course? Finish your degree? Get a Masters in something? Learn to do watercolours?
- Improve the quality and frequency of your “Me Time?”
Community. Do you want to:
- Perform Random Acts of Kindness?
- Get involved in your child’s school?
Step Three. Choose a Goal.
Now pick a goal (or goals) relating to one of the areas you pondered. Before you get all excited and choose all three, go back to the questions you answered in Step One.
Is it realistic for you to choose a goal in all three areas? Maybe it is, especially if you start with small goals. Maybe it’s not – you are just too busy and overwhelmed right now, and the least little thing will throw you off track, and you’ll be down on yourself.
Prioritize Fitness, Personal, and Community, and decide where you want to start. In which area are you most likely to be successful, and therefore motivate yourself to keep going?
Step Four. Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself.
Whatever you decide, make sure your goal(s) has/have the following characteristics (based on SMART goals, if you’ve ever heard that term! Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely):
- Make sure your goal is achievable. Ask a friend (or buddy) if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, or if you’ve set a realistic challenge for yourself.
- Make sure you are very clear about what your goal is. This means it is measurable and has a timeline.
|Non Specific – BOO!
||Specific – YAY!
|Firm up my waist
||Lose an inch off my waist by 03/31/16
|Lower my blood pressure
||Reduce my blood pressure by 20 points systolic and 10 points diastolic by 04/15/16
|Run a marathon
||Run the Main Street marathon in under 5 hours on 06/20/16
|Go to the gym more
||Go to the gym 3 times per week
|Add more variety and healthy choices to my diet
||Choose three meals from the Heart Healthy cookbook each Sunday night and add it to the meal plan for the coming week
|Get along better with my teenagers
||Spend at least 2 hours of quality time with each teenager each week. (What is quality time?)
|Take more time for myself
||Go for a walk/yoga/tea with a friend at least two times per week for one hour.
|Look into volunteering at the library
||Call Mr. Smith at the library by 01/10/16 and inquire about their volunteer program. Sign up for it or another program by 01/31/16.
|Go to church/synagogue/mosque more
||Go to church/synagogue/mosque at least twice a month.
Step Five. Employ the Buddy System.
You need a buddy who will:
- Review your goal with you and make sure it’s specific, measurable, and realistic.
- Check in with you on a weekly basis to see how you’re doing.
- Doing well? Great! High Five!
- Slipped up? Your buddy should NOT be someone who says either:
- Oh that’s ok. Better luck next week, OR
- You idiot. Why didn’t you do that?
- Your buddy SHOULD say:
- OK, let’s take a look at what got in the way. What needs to happen next week, and how can I help you be successful? OR
- This has been happening for a few weeks in a row. Let’s take a look at the goal – maybe it wasn’t as realistic as we thought. We can tweak it and start again!
Do you have someone who will do that for you? Family member, friend, co-worker?
If not, let us know. We will match people in our BAM buddy program, and you can hold each other accountable.
How do you sign up? Send us a DM on Twitter. That’s all!
Step Six: Go Forth and Kick Ass.
Go! Do great things! Achieve your goal! This should be easy, right?
Step Seven. Have a Quarterly review.
You and your buddy will review your goal quarterly and decide if it’s time to up the ante and pick a new or another goal.
If you’re joining in with MPC 2016, we strongly recommend you use this process to start things off. And if you’re not, well why not spend some time to be intentional about 2016 anyway??
As for a fitness program for January, we will continue with #K2C2 (find the blog for that here) and see how many more charity miles we can add to our tally. And for those who are #DoinTheirOwnThang, that’s cool too.
Let us know what you think. We would love to hear about your goals, your buddies, your achievements, your challenges, and your thoughts.
Happy New Year, friends,
Love your First Ladies,
Linda, Ruth, and Sarah