“New beginnings are in order, and you are bound to feel some level of excitement as new chances come your way.”
—Oscar Auliq-Ice, author
I love the start of anything new. Heck, Mondays are one of my favorite days simply because it means I can start fresh. Give me a new planner, exciting, brand new goals and I am ready to slay the day.
This past year I set a goal I had had for over 10 years … to lose weight. If I were to guess many of you reading my column today have set that same intention for yourself in 2023. I am elated to say I actually reached my goal. I lost about 25 pounds last year … a HUGE deal to me! It’s true, I have gained a few of those pounds back, but with the same discipline I will lose them again along with 10 more. How did I do it? How, after 10 other tries, was I finally able to reach one of my New Year’s resolutions?
I set small, doable goals every week. Instead of saying “I will lost 30 pounds this year.” I broke that goal into mini monthly goals and saw great results.
It’s so important when setting a goal or intention to have a plan. I love creating a vision board every year that has not only goals on it but a visual reminder of where it is I am trying to go in the new year.
This year I decided to take a piece of white card stock and a sharpie and simply cut the card stock into four pieces and write my goals and affirmations on them. I pinned them onto a bulletin board that hangs in my art studio so I can see them daily. I reminded myself I am worthy to work on my goals as this has been a problem for me in the past. Along with the goals you can choose a motivational quote to hang up that pumps you up and keeps you going throughout the month.
The whole idea is not to stress yourself out and make you feel guilty but rather excite you plus motivate you to achieve anything you set your mind to. An excellent place to find images to use in your vision board is old magazines. Elle, Cosmo and Teen Cosmo are some of my favorites. Along with images you can most always find words, headlines and quotes to add pizazz to your board. Last year I pinned all of the elements of my board directly to my bulletin board but this year I decided to use an 18x24 piece of paper and cut out images and words that best inspired me to keep going for my dreams. I then pinned that to my board along with the cut card stock filled with my monthly goals and art projects.
As you work on your goals in the new year remember how important it is to take good care of you. I am serious here. Self care is perhaps one of the single most important things you can do this year. What does self care look like?
It can be as simple as taking a 30-minute break out of your day to drink hot tea and look out your window or as intricate as taking an hour to create in your art journal, take a long soak in the tub or binge watch a Netflix series.
Self care is anything that feels indulgent to you and helps you relax. I love brewing up a nice hot cup of tea and milk and going to my studio. I sit at my desk surrounded by my art and feel like I am in heaven.
Sometimes self care looks like me in bed with my journal and a nice cup of tea or binge watching a series Dave doesn’t want to watch. The whole point of self care is just being there for yourself. As women we tend to take care of everyone but ourselves. Let’s promise ourselves that this year will be different. The key to keeping goals is taking everything in baby steps. Don’t get overwhelmed. Stop thinking you can do it all. Choose one big goal and a few smaller goals and see where that takes you.
Last year I focused on my health for nearly five months. That was all. I had no other goal … just eat healthy and lose weight and I did.
If I can give you one great piece of advice it is this … do not overwhelm yourself with lots of trivial goals rather focus on the big goal and a few smaller ones. Ask yourself what is the one thing you want to accomplish this year.
Maybe it is losing weight … but maybe you want to renovate your home or read more or learn how to sew. Take the big goal and create 10 smaller goals under it that support your big goal. Losing weight was my big goal and my other goals were moving my body more, learning some new recipes and wearing smaller size jeans. I also wanted to learn better habits when it came to eating at night and eating out. By just focusing on one big goal it really helped me to stay focused and be a success.
I know you can do this! I am so excited for you and me as we head into a new year. What kind of goodness will it bring?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to visit, let me know what your goals are or ask a question.
Until next time,
Leslie Ackman is a former writer of The Forum and currently a local business owner.