Setting Goals - Mindset First
Here we are with a brand new year ahead! For some the new year creates an opportunity to reflect on the previous year and set some new intentions. I am one for this and the first of January is my birthday too! I think it always helps to have a bit of a nudge to do this and so use this time. However, if it really does not work for you for what ever reason, or you are so deep in survival mode as some seasons of life call for....honestly opt out of this.
I find that setting goals and creating a plan to achieve them really works for me. I run my creative business this way. I have taken on many goal orientated challenges in my personal and family life as well....I mean there is not really a line in all of these for me (which is also my design) but more of a focus I would say.
Certainly from a business and creative project perspective I simply cannot operate without a some clear goals. I am now at the stage of working a good two, sometimes three years in advance. This year was well mapped out from about September last year.
I believe that what you take on in one area of your life can be applied to many. Not necessarily at the same time. But the growth and learning you do can definitely be used and helps you to also trust the process a bit.
As my work is centered in the field of nutrition and wellbeing I am going to spend some time giving as much tips as I can on setting goals in this area but I am interested in all areas of your life! When it comes to setting goals (nutrition or other) the following is crucial.
I have written many blogs on setting goals before. Have a read of this one waaaaaay back in 2015 when at the start of my final year of my PhD) (click here)....to be honest I chuckle a little as boy oh boy did I have no idea what I was in for! But there was a plan, a clear goal and I certainly achieved it - well the PhD. I would say not so much the me-time, in the manner I had set out to but in hindsight I setting myself up to fail with that. I had not tackled the mindset part which is what I want to talk about first.
These points are not separate from your food choices which is why I want to start here. Your mindset creates the foundation on which you begin to actions (or don't!) in line with this. Without feeling worthy or that you deserve good food in your body….or deserve even to have some budget allocated to certain foods (as an example) – you are not going to do it.
Big breath with this one.
I want you to allow yourself to check in deep down with what you truly want.
You may be stuck with this on the outset which is ok - there is a lot of social conditioning behind this (more soon). Often your needs may come from a place of ‘not this’ rather than knowing what you want.
That’s fine. Start there.
Let in the fact you deserve it.
This is the hard part. I still struggle with this and still have to constantly check in with this.
Understand there is a lot (like a tidal wave) of social conditioning to break through – and for some it will actually be impossible.
Quite frankly I am sick and tired of the ‘selfless mother’ narrative. The social acceptance of women giving up every inch of our beings for our children, families, households and partners being not only the norm, but the expectation and what is socially ok – and the opposite being against this grain and in fact not ok to talk about, let alone do.
When will it bloody end?
When we literally crumble under a mental and physical load that breaks us? If you are reading this and are like 'I am already there' hold that feeling. It's time for a change - it will be a fight but a fight worth having.
If you are struggling with these my two top people to follow and read their books are Glennon Doyle and Clementine Ford – start with reading Untamed.
What I will also say is that with practice, it gets easier – truly. I have read back on some of my older blogs on motherhood, taking time away from my babies and setting goals and I smile now – because I have grown so much…it makes me wonder what it will be like to look back in on another few years from even this?
Do not think for a minute I have this sorted. I do not know we ever will but am determined to make a good dent in this and encourage others along the way. I know what I was thinking about this year (which I will talk about in a forthcoming blog) one of my thoughts was "I can't lose me again". In a blog I wrote before my surgery I talk a little more about this and my third postpartum journey (you can read here).
The majority of my readers are female but if there are any male partners reading this – please know that it is not enough for you to be neutral here. You have it easier. It is that simple. If you are neutral and not encouraging to your partner with what they are taking on you are actually part of the problem. You need to actively encourage to help against this tidal wave. Do not get me going if you are actively discouraging.
I also want to say that you may need to create some space and even some space away from your home, children and the busyness of life to even think about your wants and needs - do it. You are worth it.
Who are my overthinkers!! Two hands up firmly here so do not worry you are not alone! While I want you to think about your wants, needs and goals....I do not want you to overthink them and get stuck into a self-doubt cycle:
*Do not worry about the ‘how’ you set goals too much and do not spend too much time on the actual task of setting goals – spend more time on figuring out what you want. There is a difference and it is key.
*Once you have a goal – write it down, share it with people who you think will be supportive – if they are not supportive well they are not our people and it is a quick way to discover this.
*If your goal is outcome focused, you want to break it down into actions – and if it is an action you can start right away (like right this second) then you know it is solid.
You cannot do this on your own – get ruthless with the people in your life – again as women we are programmed to be people pleasers – why?! Why keep hold of relationships and people who not only are not in your corner but are adding to your mental load or toxicity? This is both online and in person – but especially in person. It may also include family members. It will hurt to put in some firm boundaries with people and potentially mean you even lose some people. This is all part of growth and remember it will open up opportunities for other people to walk in often when you least expect.
Be Ready To Do The Work
At some point the rubber is going to hit the road. Have the accountability structures, have the broken down actions but also know that it is going to take something – you will not want to do it for the majority of the time.
So gear up for this. I also have a blog coming on facing a really tough year which might help here.
As an on the floor example, many of my books (if not all) have been written at 4am/4.30 in the morning with a bedtime of 8pm. In addition to writing on a Saturday – if you think I enjoy doing that you are grossly mistaken. Currently my strength training is done in the mornings (and I get up at 5am each day to prepare the house and puppies even before this) so its out of the way and I get my mind clear for the day – again if you think I always ‘like’ doing this, especially when battling a depressive period it’s the last thing I want to be doing.
In terms of food, while I will go into this in more depth, what doing the work might look like is actively choosing a meal or food which doesn't excite you but provides support for your metabolism to keep making positive choices. I am not saying be miserable about it as this is not sustainable, but there will still be a crunch time at some point.
Knowing that it will take something and being mentally prepared to do the work, even when you do not want to is an important part of your mindset heading into your goals.
Right that is enough food for thought to begin with! Keep watch for my next couple of blogs which are really going to help delve into your goals and plans a lot more - this is honestly like 90% of the battle! If you want looking for a bit more guidance even with your goal setting this is something I cover in our 1:1 consultations.
Stay tuned and happy planning,
x Dr Julie