Goals for 2018: mine and yours
ďTree tops glisten and children listenÖ.Ē Well I beg to differ.
Thereís a big shiny star at the top of my tree, but my kids arenít listening to anything.
They are in a pre-Christmas frenzy: making lists (checking them twice), figuring out if theyíve been naughty or nice. Belle was genuinely worried last night. Sheíd been naughty all day and was wondering how much Chippy (the Elf on the Shelf) had really spotted. I explained that he sees everything, so if she could avoid getting lipstick on the sofa that would be appreciated. Itís also not a good idea to swipe the Christmas chocolates and pretend you didnít when there is chocolate all around your mouth.
But as naughty as Belle is, sheís also a little dreamboat. She called me up at the office today to ask me how my day was. Sheíd obviously dodged Supergranny and was playing with the phone (see, naughty).
ďSo,Ē she said, ďhowís your day going mum?Ē Sheís always been genuinely interested and likes to listen to stories from work. Thinking outside your own little bubble is rare at this age.
I told her I was working on this and writing a list of goals for 2018. She thought that was a pretty terrible idea and said I should be making smoothies at Devilís Isle (she thinks thatís what I do all day). I asked her if she had any goals for next year and she said: ďNot get caught by Chippy?Ē So we can see how this is going to pan out when she is a teenager Ö Help!
Anyway, I think goal setting is a great way to round off a year. Not so that you can beat yourself with a stick if you donít achieve anything on your list, but to help get you motivated and focused. My major fitness goals for this year were: 1) to learn how to cartwheel (long story), and 2) to run a 5k in 25 minutes or less. I failed at both. But I DID do May 24 and at that moment in time, I was fitter approaching 40 than Iíd ever been in my life (donít be impressed, that bar was not that high, ha).
This time around Iím picking four goals to do with exercise, nutrition, admin and self-esteem. Iím sharing them here for some accountability (because now Iíll be too proud not to achieve them, or at least to try) and also to see if it helps motivate you too. Most of us go all out at Christmas, which is definitely fun but it helps to know what your goals are come January 1. Otherwise, it will be January 31 by the time you get moving and lifeís too short to sit on the sidelines. Iím also giving you some tips for setting your own goals ó so get planning, even if itís with a glass of bubbles and a mince pie in hand.
Goals for 2018 ó mine and yours
Mine: This year, Iím running May 24 from the other end. Itís so annoying that the route switches ends because now I feel like I havenít done it, until Iíve done it both ways! Iím going to keep the cartwheel and the 25-minute 5k on the list too. But I reserve the right to bump them again, OK?!
Yours: Training for May 24 worked for me because I was training with a friend. I had fun as I did it and was accountable to someone else. We didnít do every session together, but we did run once a week together and I would have been letting her down if I didnít keep up. So working out with friends might work for you from a motivation and accountability perspective.
Itís also important to be realistic about how much time you have. If you only have time for 30 minutes of exercise in your day, thatís fine. But then you canít fit in the distances for long-distance running. Pick something thatís practical for your calendar! Having a support network in place is also important. Do you need someone to take care of the kids while you work out? What happens if you get any injuries? Organise your babysitters and book in for some preventive chiropractic magic ó I work with Reid, Danielle and Craig at Inside Out Wellness Centre and they are amazing at stopping injuries in their tracks.
Mine: My biggest problem area is breakfast. Iím an optimist and always think I have more time than I really do. So I often panic at the last minute and end up starving at my desk. Thatís the kind of behaviour that leads to eating stale nuts and chocolate (or whatever is in your drawer!) for breakfast. Iím going on a strict rotation of green, berry and chocolate protein smoothies for breakfast in 2018. Itís the most practical option for me as I can blitz them and run. I go low sugar, high protein and high fibre and they keep me full and happy.
Yours: Whatís the major area thatís tripping you up? Are you snacking badly? Skipping meals? Missing essential fats? Relying too much on takeout? Identify what it is and put a plan in place. If you need help identifying your weak areas, or thinking of solutions, book in with me for January. Iíll be back at my desk on January 2 and have tons of ideas for getting you started. We also have our two-week cleanse kicking off on the 11th. You can take part as a member or non-member too. Message me to get on the list and mark it in your diary!
Mine: I need to get my grocery bill down and that all starts with planning. Multiple trips to the store and buying lunch every day (because I ran out of time to make it) is a pain! Iíve started using Plan to Eat again recently and it makes life so much easier once you are set up. Then you just drag and drop your menu into a weekly planner and it makes you a list. Perfect.
Yours: There are tons of meal-planning apps, so pick one that suits you and go for it. If you want to check out Plan to Eat, go to natural.bm, then click on resources. Thereís nothing wrong with just making a simple list either ó just take a look at whatís standing in your way of shopping well or doing a little meal prep, then make a plan around it.
Mine: Most of us are our own worst critics. Through no fault of anyone else, Iíve had a rollercoaster year and itís shaken my self-belief a little. Iíve been super critical lately about the things Iíve dropped the ball on ó in life and work. Taking a step back, I know I have to simplify and try not to be all things to all people. And I have to try not to do All The Things. When it comes to work, or life in general, itís OK if we canít do it all. So my goal is to be more practical and honest about what I can and canít do. Iíve started streamlining work admin and lined up some good changes for the New Year. I started a huge work project in 2017 when I launched Natural Nutrition membership. 2018 is the year we perfect it! (Join us, itís a great way to stay up to date and motivated. The new calendar is up at natural.bm)
Yours: Is there anything dragging you down? Whatís taking the spring out of your step? Body image issues? Feeling like youíre stuck? Overwhelmed at work? Talking it through with someone else helps you to step outside the problem and make a plan. Friends or family might help but sometimes the objectivity of a professional makes all the difference. So often these bigger issues trigger self-sabotage or apathy within nutrition, then poor nutrition makes the problem worse ó and so we get stuck in a vicious cycle. You might have access to counselling through EAP at work or under your health insurance benefits. The Bermuda Health Council has a great register of licensed professionals (bhec.bm), you could also try success coaching with the lovely Julia Pitt (juliapittcoaching.com).
ēThe advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns is a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a registered dietitian. For details: natural.bm, 236-7511 or, Facebook, Natural Nutrition Bermuda