Strength In Numbers: Make a Healthy Plan…and Share It!
It’s February 2014. How you feeling?!
Maybe you started the year off strong and set some goals. Maybe you didn’t. Maybe that strong start is beginning to wane. Ask yourself: Have you fallen off track to achieving your goals?
It’s not too late. There is still plenty of time to make 2014 the Best. Year. Ever.
Goal setting is important. You set your eye on a prize and figure out how to empower yourself to get what you want. What happens is that we often make a goal and don’t plan it out or find the support we need to achieve it. This year I decided to make my New Year’s health resolutions public. I informed my spouse and started a health challenge group on Facebook. I was not sure what to expect. However, I knew a public declaration of my goals required more detail. Instead of the general statement: I aim to improve my body composition, I chose to state: I aim to improve my body composition my eating clean and limiting alcohol consumption for 30 days. Notice the difference? Statement two is specific and outlines not only my behavioral parameters, but also gives me a timeline. It is S.M.A.R.T. goal. Now, I am not telling you to apply this exact statement to your life, but I am endorsing being specific about not only what you aim to do, but how you aim to do it.
I noticed that putting it out there – publishing my goal in the challenge group – permitted other people to do the same. What I expected to be a small forum (about 5-10 people) is now growing into a national group of over 30 members. My declaration encouraged others to do the same and we now can rely on one another for advice, support, and accountability. When my will power begins to weaken, I think about my public pledge. Then I reinvest in my goal and stay strong. I am also learning to notice behavioral triggers that lead me to making less-than-healthy choices. As I become aware of these triggers, I am learning to manage them and work around them in healthy ways.
It can be scary to share. Sharing information publicly makes some feel vulnerable and fear failure. The irony is that when you find the right group, you surround yourself with people that encourage your success and are waiting in the wings when you need an extra push. If you are looking to create change, get back on track with 2014, or just want to be inspired by others, look around you. There are countless online communities that can help plan, work toward, and you achieve what you want in the New Year.