• Dr. Carolyn Frost

Remember those January Goals? How and Why to Check Back In!


Can you even believe we’re halfway through 2022 already?


Now is the perfect time to check in with those goals you set in the beginning of the year.

Remember January?


Back when you were younger and full of hope and promise for the year to come, and not just driving your children all over the universe to every activity under the sun?


We all know how easy it is to get caught up in the promise of New Year, New Me with all the lofty goals and big aspirations:


* Lose 40 lbs!


* Run 6 miles per day!


* No social media!


* No weekday wine!


* Sleep 10 hours every night!


Yet setting goals like that is a recipe for failure.


Too big, too vague, no plan, and an unwillingness to feel discomfort is a road to nowhere.




So, our goals this year were SMART-Y Goals:


  • S - Specific; what exactly do you want

  • M- Measurable; how will you know you’ve achieved it

  • A - Achievable; attaining this goal is within your reach

  • R - Relevant; this goal aligns with how you see your future self

  • T - Time Bound; there is an end date

  • Y- Why; your deep down reason for wanting to achieve this goal.


And most importantly, we remembered that the #1 Most Important Habit to Cultivate this Year; the thing we really needed to work on the most, was to check in and cultivate trust within ourselves.


Letting go of how others think we should be, act and show up and instead cultivating the habit of looking inward.


Recognizing that we have the answers already. We don’t need to look to others for them.


We know way more than we think we do.


Here’s how:


Step 1: Check in with yourself (pause, take a deep breath, yoga, journaling, meditation, dance, etc...)


Step 2. Ask yourself what you need and LISTEN for the answer (what do you really want to eat, how much sleep feels right, how much movement do I want and what kind, do I need more time alone, or more connection with others, etc...)


Step 3. Act on it (most importantly!). This helps you build trust in yourself so you can continue to make decisions based on what is important and feels right for YOU, not for anyone else.



We also know that when we’re creating new habits, a critically important part of helping them stick is to check back in with them often.


Remember ASPOC?? The ‘C’ is our Check In, or our Course Correct.


  • A - Awareness of current thoughts and beliefs

  • S - Start Small

  • P - Plan (5W’s & H)

  • O - Obstacles - plan for them in advance

  • C - Course Correct as needed


It's the same with goals.


Ideally, we’re checking in either daily or at least weekly or monthly.


But life happens and we lose sight of them.


And the more distance we create between ourselves and our goals, the less top of mind they are, and we slip right back into old habits, and outdated ways of thinking, doing and being.


But this year is different.


This is the year we are going to check back in and recommit.


Here’s how.





 

CHECK BACK IN


 

If you were going to take a road trip across the country, would you look at the map once, stuff it under the seat where you’ll never see it, and then just cross your fingers and hope you get there?


Of course not!


You would keep the map out - maybe even on your lap - so you could refer to it frequently, checking back in to make sure you’re on the right road.


That's exactly what we should be doing with our goals.


If we took the time to think about them and write them out, then why not take the time to check back in and reconnect with them.


A Goal Check-In is an opportunity to revisit goals, assess your progress, update and revise as needed and identify your Next Best Steps.


Start Here:


Step 1: Find the goals you wrote out in January (or whenever you last wrote them out)


* If you didn’t write them out, don't wait! Here’s a printable and a guide to help you.



Step 2: What comes up when you look at them?


* Are they still relevant to your values, priorities, stage of life etc…? I don’t know about you, but I can be a little all over the place at times, so sometimes when I look back I think, "Oh that?? Why did I ever want to do that?" Or maybe they don't align with who you're becoming, or the stage you are in life.

*Important! Take care not to let go of goals because they are challenging, scary or difficult - that’s where all the growth is!


* Reflect on what's going well and what's not. Celebrate the wins and identify opportunities to spend more time or place more focus.


* Are you making progress on them? If yes, amazing! Keep it up. If not, why? Are they not inspiring? Are you afraid? Are they too easy, too big?


* Reconnect to your 'why'


If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, not the goal




Step 3: Update and Revise as needed


Goals should be big. They should make you feel scared, excited and a little nervous all at the same time.



If they don’t, update them so that they do.


Be bold. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?



Step 4: Identify your Next Best Step


This is especially true for those BIG goals.


You don’t need to do the whole thing at once. Break it down into bite size pieces so you can start accomplishing right away.


This creates momentum - remember, it’s so much easier to keep going than to start.


Start with doing one small thing. Those small things add up to big gains.



 


YOUR GOAL CHECK-IN DO NOW LIST



 

* Put your New & Improved goals up where you’ll see them

* Create a reminder on your phone to properly check in daily or at least weekly/monthly

* Recognize that discomfort is part of the process - growth requires discomfort

* Take the Next Best Step - what step can I take TODAY toward this goal


Let me know how it goes!


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