So far this year, I’ve been a goal setting rock star.
Early on in 2017 I set specific goals for the year as a whole, breaking some of the goals down into quarterly progress check-in smaller goals, too.
At the end of each month I turn to my list of 2017 Goals to help guide my goal setting for the month ahead. This far into 2017, my monthly goals have consisted of 5-7 each month that are created with that list in mind, keeping me focused on the quest for the happiest, healthiest me this year.
These monthly goals stay posted near my work station and impact the choices I make for the weekly intentions I state here on the blog during my This Week I Will posts.
The This Week I Will text image gets saved as the lock screen on my phone and helps to influence the list of daily health focuses I jot down on a post-it at the office or share with my long distance accountability partners via Marco Polo videos and text messages.
Right now is a busy time for me.
Yes, it always seems like a busy time but this month seems especially full of brain power sucking activities. Mostly this is because I feel as if I’m still playing catch-up from being out of the office last month…
while trying to take advantage of every five minutes I can with one of my closest work friends as we face his last day at the office this week…
and also tunneling my vision to our physical inventory which takes place the last week of April… which, as it turns out, also happens to be when I will be celebrating my 34th birthday.
This weekend I sat with my journal, asking myself, “What do I want out of April? What do I need now? What goals should I set to move me forward into my 34th year?” After spending time jotting down my thoughts for a while, I settled on a new plan for I would approach my monthly goal setting for April.
I’ve got one singular goal this month: #make1healthydecision at a time.
The concept is not a new one, especially around here. ‘Make one healthy decision. Then make another one.’ It’s how I first really connected with my healthy living journey, changed my perspective, my opinion of myself, and my life and lost a bunch of weight along the way. And those eight words are what I fall back to, time and time again, when I feel my life priorities are out of whack and I need to find my center again. It’s simple and manageable and has worked for me.
This isn’t to say my three months of setting monthly goals, weekly intentions, and daily tasks didn’t work for me. That focus was totally beneficial in a bunch of ways, most measurable that I’ve lost about ten pounds since the start of the year and am happy with the work I did in several areas of my fitness in order to build and prepare for my ‘running seasons’ ahead.
Even more so I have learned [and have been reminded of more than once] that I feel my best and am my best when I am striving towards something. I like to see a measurable destination, and craft a plan, and dive into the process to follow to get to the end result.
In April, I’m crafting a plan and following a process, but this time around the destination is a bit less measurable in terms of tallies and numbers and statistics. It’s more about feeling, and pausing, and asking myself what I need and responding with such.
Along with that, it’s a lot less pressure, which I know is what I need when other areas of my life are taking a lot of focus and priority. This month I will do my best at making one healthy decision at a time.
That means no list of tasks to complete, no hydration tracking or tallies of freggies I’ve ate. No determination to finish reading X number of books. No aim to hit a certain percentage of prescribed workouts on the training plan, or reporting a quest for daily morning quiet time. I’m not avoiding sugar or caffeine or television before bed. I’m simply doing my best at making one healthy decision at a time.
I guess you could say my priority focus going into the month is self-care; but specifically, cutting myself a break from the work that is goal chasing. Goal chasing is rewarding but it is also tiring. Let’s consider it a little birthday-month gift to myself: a chance to step back from my ultra-focused goal chasing and be gentle and kind to myself.
For the next several weeks, This Week I Will posts will be a bit different in celebration of this one April goal. Instead of coming to this space on Sundays to state my healthy intentions for the week ahead, I’ll be looking back at the week prior and sharing the healthy decisions I made, big and small.
Yesterday I decided to walk my errands around town, including a stop at the market for food prepping supplies. Three pounds of chicken in the crockpot, over a bed of a sliced bell peppers and onions and a bunch of spices from the cabinet. One big batch of protein for a week of healthified takes on some favorite dinners: buffalo chicken pizza, broccoli chicken alfredo stuffed shells, tacos, and loaded mashed potato bowls. Next week we’ll do a similar menu with a beef roast I have in the freezer.
I also roasted and smashed sweet potatoes and sautéed a saucy batch of mushrooms and broccoli florets, which will be joined together and sprinkled with blue cheese crumbles for a rich, satisfying, ultra-delicious lunch at my desk. Fuel for all the counting and researching and inventory mystery solving.
I’ve looked ahead at the weather and set aside workout clothes for the days I think that running will fit best into my schedule, but will completely cut myself slack if the four [!!!] workouts I had originally jotted in my planner don’t all happen for me.
These were each healthy decisions I made in a moment of time.
I made a healthy decision when I thought, ‘I should meal plan for the week ahead’ and again when it became ‘I should prep some protein now while I’m home to use for several meals throughout the week to help future Heather when she’s working late.’
I made a healthy decision when I took time Sunday morning to pack my lunches for the week ahead and another one when I looked up the weather forecast to organize my workout gear accordingly. I know sweating it out with a workout is a habit I turn to when frustrated and squeezing in activity when I can is easier for me when I’m prepared.
Making a healthy decision right now means getting off the computer and stepping away from my desk where I have been sitting for far too long. It means lacing up my sneakers and completing one of the training runs scheduled for this week with a podcast in my ears.