How do we get to where we want to go, when we don’t know where we are? Take a good dose of honesty, a fair amount of self-acceptance and the decision to make today the beginning.
Goal-setting is a hot topic in January. Rightly so, we all need direction. For some, new starts are exciting, others the process more daunting. Irrespective of mindset, there are three central questions to ask from the get go to ensure a positive depart on your journey.
1. Where are you now?
2. Where do you want to go?
3. Why does it matter?
Knowing the destination is key, but so too is understanding the starting point. So I'm kicking off this two-part post with question number 1. Where are you now?
I returned to the yoga mat before the year end after an unintentional break. My usual fab yogi went on her travels, I fell out of a routine and then I stopped. It happens. But this day, I was in class with dogged determination, steely focus and sub standard single leg balance. The words on the teacher’s vest resonated… ’Start where you are’. They reverberated through the following week as I thought about my training (yoga, running, mobility, weightlifting) and the areas I wanted to progress in. How did current competency levels compare to desired ones and what should my markers of success and improvement be along the way?
It’s easy to imagine a ‘stronger, fitter, slimmer’ version of yourself without a pause and ‘thank you’ for the hard earned positive qualities too. What last year taught me more than anything, is that fluctuation in motivation, fitness, strength and body composition is 100% okay and totally normal.
On the flip side, the body and mind have this incredible ability to bounce back into a healthy energetic routine when inspired or pushed. The key to reigniting this fire and passion, is locating and acknowledging (with honesty) your starting point.
Put aside some time to assess and analyse, gather actual numbers, data, measurements, photos and feedback. This may seem like a daunting task but it's well worth the effort to achieve some clarity. These are the foundations to build upon and look back to along the way. Importantly, this initial process should be conducted without judgement. Removing the meta layer of self-beration if you're not where you envisaged is a necessity to getting one step closer to your goals.
We can only be where we are. So if arriving at a mindful decision to make positive change and progress, start this journey with a dose of empathy and compassion for the current you. Instead of a clean slate in 2017, consider a fresh layer, take the lessons learnt in 2016 and build on those gains already made.
In the next post I’ll discuss how to pick the right goal for you and why the finish line is a figment of the imagination.