Not Just Setting Goals.

The middle of January is about the time when people get tired of winter, have stopped dating things with the wrong year, and have probably dropped off the resolution band wagon. It’s not to say that we don’t try; resolutions are always made with good intentions, but realistically its harder to stop eating all bad foods and work out for three hours a day. Resolutions should be seen less drastically and more as goals to better yourself long-term, ones that can actually be achieved and not just written in a notebook.

[ FITDEETS | Dress: H&M. | Shoes: Aldo. | Necklace: H&M. ]
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This outfit I tried to keep simple and streamlined but still powerful and confident. The dress could always be paired with a blazer or cardigan but I liked the fitted look. The accessories were chosen to compliment the outfit by looking classy and intelligent (why is it that you feel smarter in glasses?). Standing in the snow adds a hint of what its like to try to be chic and business-y while living in Canada…the weather can’t stand in the way of fashion.

Setting goals is a little like choosing your outfit: you have to think about what you want to achieve that day and choose the pieces that will make it happen. You have to take a look at what you have and make something awesome out of it; something worth being proud of.

Okay, maybe that is a little bit dramatic but it is a good metaphor anyways. Mid-January is a good time to let go of the unreasonable resolutions you made, possibly while drunk, on December 31. It is now a good time to think about what you actually want to achieve in 2015 and how to make these goals happen. If you have your New Years resolutions written down, use the list as a reference and update what’s on there. There are a few steps to keep in mind when you are creating your list.

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[ Be Specific ] Big, sweeping goals like “Get Fit,” “Be Happier,” or “Write a Book” are not very helpful. Yes, that is what you want to achieve but they sound intimidating and can be too overwhelming to actually achieve. Be more specific: Exercise three days a week, train to run 5km, meditate once a week, compliment you partner once a day, write one blog post a week, take a creative writing course, etc. See how much easier these seem to accomplish? And as you go through the year and are able to cross things off you will be more motivated to keep going.

[Be Realistic ] Making a list of 20 goals, even if they are specific ones, is not realistic. How will you continue living a functional life while trying to achieve all of these things each day? Even keeping track of them could be hard. If you have specific goals there are two options: pick the most important five and work on those–you can’t change your whole life tomorrow; or order them by level of importance and start at the top and as you accomplish one begin the next one.

[Break it Down] To make these goals even more achievable, break each one down into simple steps. For example if you want to be able to run 5km think about how you will go about that. It could start with walking 5km twice a week, then running 1km twice a week, etc. Every goal can be simplified and you will find more success if you take the intimidation out of achieving them.

[Keep Track & Celebrate] Track your progress as the year goes on. Not only will this keep the goals in mind, it will allow you to see how far you have come and when you have achieved something. When you achieve a goal make sure you celebrate. It takes time, dedication, and motivation to better yourself so make it worth your while.

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“You may only succeed if you desire succeeding; you may only fail if you do not mind failing.”  – Philippos

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