Author: Vanessa I. Farrell, MPH, MCHES | Date: 16 July 2020
Okay, let’s face it – our 2020 vision board did not have global pandemic, lockdown, quarantine, economic collapse, record job loss, or a roster of people who were either dead or dying anywhere on it. It did not have any of the crazy truths that have enveloped us all and that have caused total upheaval in our lives in the first part of 2020. It’s time for a reset.
We all need to reset that vision, those goals and resolutions we proudly crafted in late December and early January. Whether they were in your head, on paper, or plastered on that infamous vision board, there needs to be a reset, especially regarding those health goals. I emphasise your health goals not only because I am a health coach and I want you to succeed and thrive at being healthy but also because the one lesson we have learned over the last six months is that your health state is a prime indicator of whether you will survive the coronavirus – especially if you are a person of color.
Many may ask, “How and where do I begin my 2020 reset? Is it even worth resetting my goals when we are seeing an upsurge in cases of the coronavirus? Should I just wait out 2020 and call my goals a wash?” You may even be saying, “I did not even have any goals to begin with as I ushered in 2020. Does it even make sense to create them now?” To these questions, I would say, “Yes! Start where you are!” It’s never too late to focus on or reset your health goals. Don’t wait for 2021 to roll around because there’s much you can do to improve your health in the last six months of 2020 – so it’s worth the reset today.
As you craft your goals or dust off the ones you began earlier this year, there are five tips to keep in mind as you can begin the process. These tips are intended to help you stay on track, reduce the overwhelm, and improve your chance of achieving your goals. Use the acronym S.M.A.R.T. to activate your reset.
- Ensure that your goals are Specific. This allows you to focus on what you must do. A specific goal is very clear on the what, so there are no misunderstandings. For example, which of the following three goals is most specific? (a) I want to get heathy, (b) I want to lose weight, or (c) I want to lose 10 pounds. The letter (c) is most specific and allows you greater clarity about what you are going to do.
- Ensure that your goals are Measurable, so you can track your progress and determine if you were able to achieve that goal. For example, if you plan to walk five days a week for 30 minutes a day, you will clearly know if you were able to do so at the end of the week.
- Ensure that your goals are Attainable, so you can see your success. Keep your goals at a level that’s doable. If you now wearing a size 12 and you want to be able to fit into a size 10 by December 31, 2020, ask yourself if that is attainable.
- Ensure that your goals are Realistic, so you know you can do it. If you plan to lose 50 pounds by November 1, 2020, that would not be realistic, and you may want to revisit that goal.
- Ensure that your goals are Time-bound, so you know when you get there. Always have a time frame attached to your goals. If you plan to complete a goal by November 15, 2020, you should be able to make a determination on that date about whether or not the goal was met.
My bonus tip would be to get an accountability partner. Tell someone you trust and who is supportive of your goals to check in on your progress over the next months. This will keep you on track and make you more likely to keep up with achieving your goals.
As you take these tips into consideration, also be smart about not setting too many goals and about setting a reasonable time frame for accomplishing each goal. My suggestion would be to set no more than three goals over a period of three to six months. Additionally, be mindful that there will be setbacks along the way. Life happens, but don’t be discouraged. Remember the way you are resetting today – you can always do so again along the way. It’s important to keep your eyes on the ultimate prize but also crucial not to forget to celebrate the small wins along the way.
If you follow these steps and follow through on your plans, I assure you that you will see results by the end of the year. Cheers to our health goals reset! Let July be the new January!
Vanessa Ingrid Farrell is a speaker, best-selling author, and CEO and founder of VI Health & Wellness Coaching, LLC. Her coaching practice helps busy women, especially those in leadership roles, unapologetically prioritize and preserve their heart health without sacrificing career and the joys of everyday life experiences. Born on the beautiful island of Montserrat, she currently resides on the island of St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands. If you would like to engage her coaching services, Vanessa can be reached at VIFarrell333@gmail.com. You can also find Vanessa’s work on Amazon.