Goals

Goal Posts 4 of 4 -Accountability

Accountability

Hello, Lemonader’s!  

This is the last post of my Goal Post Series and I am grateful you have taken this journey with me!  I’ve liked having a theme for the month.  Do you?  If so, let me know in the comments so I can plan more themed parties for us!

The last piece of the puzzle is Accountability.  This is a new one for me, but I have so many goals that I wanted to report to someone so my goals wouldn’t get lost in the melee of my big, beautiful life.  At the end of my list of Promises I added one more new category:  Giddy-Up Goal Celebrations.

I wanted to be able to celebrate all of my small wins and be encouraged in my journey.  I ended up with 4 accountabilities (of course, you can have as many or as little as you like).  I have a Podcast Accountability group with two other awesome women that keep me on track with my podcasting goals.  We meet via Skype every Tuesday.  I have a Book-Writing Accountability team member who we simply email each other every Wednesday on our progress and encourage each other.  I have a Speech accountability that I do every Thursday with guess who?  Myself!  And last, but definitely not least, I “hired” my best friend, Lizzie to check in with me monthly and then quarterly on my entire goal list.

And guess what?  She is making me a gold star chart!  How cool is that?  She is most definitely a mom and wanted to make some sort of chart to show my progress and we giggled about gold stars, but then thought…why the heck not?  It will be fun and you can bet I’ll be fighting for each of those earned gold stars!!

Goals are great.  Goals written down are in a much higher percentile to actually happen and get accomplished.  Goals that you have to report back to someone??  Over 90%, baby!  I’m adding this element to rock my Promises this year!

And there you have it…4 blog posts on Dreaming Big, Reflection, Bite-Size Chunks, and Accountability.  Now get out there and get ‘er done!  I believe in you!

Goal Posts 2 of 4 – Reflection

Reflection

One of the funnest things I did before actually writing my goals down was reflect on my past years of goal-setting.  I have been printing out and posting my yearly goals on my bulletin board since 2010.  I kept them in a tidy little file folder tucked away in one of my office drawers and hadn’t thought much about them other than to put the old ones in at the end of each year. 

Not this time.

It was so great to reflect on some of my goals and what I was into at that particular time.  How my physical goals have changed from running a half marathon and now I’m racing mountain bikes.  Saving for Boobs had been on my list, but 2 years later decided they would be a “BIG” pain and get in the way of my physical fitness goals.  How many classes I wanted to finish to gain my high school diploma and how that goal came true in it’s entirety in 2012 when I graduated!

From knitting a blanket (yes, it’s still on there after three years) to completing a Shutterfly book.  From spiritual goals that were met to eating right.  It has been wonderful to reflect and introspect and ruminate over goals accomplished, goals that turned out not as important as I had thought in the moment and just how I’ve grown over the last 8 years while navigating my 40’s.  A crazy, mixed-up, wonderful, growth of a ride for sure.

Now it’s your turn:

    • What are some goals that were important to you at the time, but turned out less important as years passed?
    • What did you spend time on and wished you hadn’t?  Now vice versa…wish you had spent more time on, but didn’t?
    • Accomplished any bucket list items lately?  Can you add one this year?
    • Are your goals attainable within a specific time frame?

Now that you’ve Dreamed Big, and done a little Reflection, tune in next week to figure out how you can attain your goals by getting them into Bite-Size Chunks.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know all about your goals and how your reflection of past goals have been for you. 

Love hearing from you!

Goal Posts 1 of 4 – Dream Big

 

Dream Big

What does it take to be focused on setting goals or what I have termed “Promises”?  This year I decided to shake things up a bit and use different description words and generally make my goals a lot more FUN!  I wanted to use my creativity and playfulness – we can sometimes be so stodgy, strict, and stick-in-the-muddy when it comes to making our serious goals. 

Why?

I decided that while I am serious about reaching my goals there wasn’t a reason on earth not to make them fun, playful, creative and attractive. 

The next Four Blogs will be entitled:

Dream Big, Reflections, Bite Size Chunks, and Accountability

For today, let’s focus on DREAMING BIG.  How would you complete the following sentences?

    • If money were not an option, I would______________________________________________.
    • If I could set my fear aside, I would______________________________________________.
    • My dream job would be____________________________.
    • If I had extra money to donate to any philanthropic organization I would pick__________________________.
    • 3 Things I would add to my bucket list__________________________________.
    • 3 Movies I’ve always wanted to see but haven’t taken the time are_____________________________________.
    • If I had an entire day to myself I would spend it doing__________________________________.
    • If I had more time to workout I would do_____________________________________.
    • My Secret Destination Dream vacation would be_____________________________________.
    • Something purely fun I want to learn___________________________________.
    • I want to retire at age__________________.
    • If I wrote a book it would be titled___________________________________.
    • 2 Projects I’ve put off for entirely too long____________________________________.
    • 1 House Project that I would love to finish this year____________________________________.

You get the idea here, right?  Allow yourself to dream big.  The goal of this exercise isn’t to necessarily see them ALL happen this year, but to realize or work on them throughout the year.  Is Paris your dream vacation?  Start a savings account specifically for that purpose, play a French film with subtitles while eating a crescent to keep your dream alive.  Have a nagging house project?  Write down what it would take to accomplish that goal. 

For example, last year I wanted to get new carpet upstairs so long before that became a reality I started saving for the carpet, picked out the carpet and pad as well as got quotes for installation.  Want to donate to a philanthropic organization but don’t have the money you would really like to donate?  So what!  They appreciate all donations.  I donate $10/month to PCRM and this year my husband picked 4 different charities he wanted to support at $5/month each.  Do something…not nothing.

And just as a side note…I do have on my promises list for something purely fun.  My hubby and I are going to learn to pop wheelies on our mountain bikes!  Yes!

After filling out your DREAMING BIG categories, it’s time to make them fun.  Please tune in next week for the Reflections topic where I look at my goals that I started printing out in 2010 and how this year I changed them from stodgy to playful.

If this was helpful, please leave a comment below as I would love to hear from you!

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3 Foolproof Ways to Eating Healthy by Samantha Russell

Samantha Russell, Live The Whole

3 foolproof ways to make healthy eating really work for you

by: Samantha Russell with LiveTheWhole.com

Healthy eating is hard to stick to. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against you, with birthday parties, food-centered holidays, and potluck parties every second weekend.

I recently did a bunch of interviews with hard-working and accomplished women who all struggle to eat in a way that feels good to them. The number 1 thing they identified as getting in their way the most was consistency.

They all have so much knowledge about health, nutrition, and the way the want to be eating – but feel like life just constantly throws them curve balls and encourages them to eat more cake, buy more ice cream, and make exceptions to their plan all the time.

So, how can you make healthy eating actually work for you in a consistent way? Here are 3 foolproof ways to make healthy food choices your automatic ‘go to’ every day.

Step 1: Set SMART goals

Goals are great – you probably have them for your career, and maybe even your relationship, but have you stopped to formulate some great food and eating goals as well?

Just like any other goals in your life, healthy eating goals need to be SMART, or

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Resonates with you, and

Time-managed.

This means you have to think hard about exactly what you want to do, how you’ll measure your success, how to make the goal realistic for you and fit into your life, and when you’re going to pause and assess how things are going.

The problem with most healthy eating goals is that they go something like “I’m going to start eating better”, or “I’m going to cut down on carbs”, or even “I’m quitting sugar from now on”. There’s nothing wrong with trying any of these, but you’re going to need a better plan if you want to succeed.

For example, a SMART goal for “I’m quitting sugar” is:

“For the next 2 weeks (time managed), I am not going to eat or drink any sugar or added sweetener (specific + measurable). Instead, I’ll have a piece of fruit and drink green tea if I feel I need a little something extra (resonates + attainable).”

Step 2: Plan your meals the night before

Meal planning is the most helpful action step you can take to make healthy food choices easy – because you’ve already made them.

Simply sit down for 5 minutes before you go to bed and write down exactly what you’re going to eat the next day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks.

Yes, even if it involves looking up the menu of a restaurant. By making food decisions when you’re relaxed, not hungry, and can give them your full attention, you’ll make way better decisions that are more in-line with your goals.

Now, with the food decisions already made, all you have to do is stick with them. If you feel like you’re going to struggle with that, this is where step 3 comes in.

Step 3: Have an emergency recovery plan

No matter how SMART your goals are, or how much planning you do, there are definitely going to be times when it’s still hard to make healthy choices. Consistency is really key when you’re habit building, so I like to use the superpowers of

  • The bigger picture,
  • Meditation, and
  • Switching gears

To help stay on track.

No matter how dedicated you are to changing your eating, stress, tiredness, and social pressure (to name just a couple of things!) can all make some really convincing sounding arguments as to why you should choose fast food tonight and “start eating healthy again in the morning”. Sometimes that’s ok, but when it’s happening multiple times a week, you’re not going to reach your goals.

So, when you can feel temptation or stress getting the better of you, take a moment to think about the bigger picture of why you want to eat healthier. Is it to be a good role model for you kids? Feel better in your body and be confident you trust yourself with food? Or to avoid carrying on the family history of type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure? Thinking about this bigger picture helps keep you motivated and on-track.

Some Lauri’s Lemonade Stand Podcast episodes that are great for this:

Interview with Katie Arms – take a moment out of your day to find out how Katie took a massive life-curveball and made it work for her on every level.

Interview with me – learn more about my struggle with change, eating, and consistency and how I personally made lasting change.

Interview with Makeda Pennycooke – learn how to transform you fear and make yourself feel safe.

The second secret weapon is meditation. You’re not going to want to do it – but trust me, put an app like headspace on your phone and when you feel yourself going off track in a way you don’t like, pop in your earphones and take a 5 minute timeout. Sometimes that’s all you need to refocus and get on with your day (and stick to the food plan you made the night before).

And finally, when you feel cravings creeping up on you, try mentally switching gears. Research shows that taking a break and doing something totally different with your brain reduces the intensity of cravings. In fact, the research was done using the game ‘Tetris’, which you can put on your phone right now. Fun, and helps you stay healthy.

The process of making healthy eating a habit is really all about practice, but it’s also about being prepared. Don’t expect (or even aim for) perfection, but you can definitely make healthy eating easy and automatic if you follow the 3 steps outlined above. Every great choice you make creates a positive cycle of self-trust, momentum, and motivation that can move your forward each day – towards a happier, healthier you.

About The Author:

Samantha runs Live the Whole and is certified by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating in the US, has a certificate in clinical and pastoral counseling from the University of Glasgow in the UK, and has a degree in psychology from Massey University in New Zealand.

Sam specializes in helping clients manage and heal their relationship with food, body, and self. She uses a blend of positive psychology and mind-body-nutrition connections, along with traditional coaching and counseling methodologies. She works together with clients to uncover the root causes of unwanted eating so they can feel happy, free, and in control.

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