It’s a bit of tradition to set resolutions and goals, isn’t it? The year closes, and another one is about to begin, so this idea of taking stock of our lives is ingrained as with the season. Whether or not you follow the ritual, at some point I’ll bet you’ve established some desired objectives to make a positive change in your life.
Maybe you’re already familiar with SMART Goals. SMART Goals are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. This great system is typically used in performance and project management. While I think it’s certainly one way to go at it, I’d like to put my own spin on what SMART can mean; and where it lies with you and your Pilates practice or whatever your movement passion might be.
Before you look where you are going, you need to see where you came from. BUT – Don’t reference your list of last year’s resolutions just yet. Think about these questions when you look back at 2013, and keeping it brief, jot down your thoughts. This can be for anything really, but here we can focus it on the health and fitness aspects of your life.
What are your top favorite moments or highlights for the year?
What events impacted you the most?
What did you learn about yourself from the experience(s)?
As you review the year, you’ll probably find the golden, and also the not-so-golden nuggets. If you have items that you can’t say you accomplished – try not to obsess or despair over what you didn’t do. Celebrate the experiences that you created in 2013! When I think about it this way, I came up with something to add in thinking about “SMART” – not a strict guide, but as an influence on my goal-setting for 2014.
Savor Master Attract Reconnect Thrive
Savor. I really love this word, and not just because I love food. I find it perfect because of the phrase “savor the moment.” In reaching your goal, don’t you want to have a moment when you do just that? The first time I completed what (for me) was the toughest-level rock-climbing route I’d ever done, I sat sweaty and still at the top, and wallowed in owning it. Every goal you set has meaning and perhaps a simple or practical application in your life. A bullet listed item on your board is good. However, recognizing how you’ll feel accomplishing it will make it palpable. So describe how you want to feel when you’ve achieved the outcome.
Master. Becoming a master at anything requires many steps, for sure. And just like the Pilates Fundamentals comprise the fuller repertoire and exercises, it’s important to recognize that break-down. For instance, a Pilates Roll-up helps set the stage for mastering the more advanced Teaser. Repetition helps hone a skill. If your goal lies outside of your current fitness capability, be patient with yourself as you ‘master-that-you-are-making-a-change’ in focusing on strong foundation.
Attract. Have you ever heard the term “like likes like”? Simplified, it refers to a concept in chemistry that molecules of a similar charge attract and bind together. Once you’ve declared a goal, find more than one way to make it a part of your day-to-day. Recruit a friend who is inspired toward the same or similar resolution as you. Join a Meetup whose intentions line up with your direction. Or, what typically attracts your attention already? Maybe create a Facebook group that is about your goal and invite others to join you. Create a new “group” on your iPad that contains select link references that really inspire you. Something attracted to you to the goal – and to meet it, you’ll want to make your goal attract your attention on a regular basis.
Reconnect. When I teach, I like to begin with a centering or imagery exercise. It allows students to take a moment to focus on how they are right in the present moment. For instance, it might be focusing on how breath is passing through the body, or how weight is sensed on each foot when standing. I feel like it helps clear the mind of clutter and focus on the task at hand. My thought is – before you begin to do an activity that is aligned with a goal, take a moment to internally acknowledge and reconnect to the underlying motivations for striving toward this goal.
Thrive. Allow yourself the joy of the journey toward these goals. Don’t let your resolution list drag you down. Trust your instincts as you follow-through toward living a full and vibrant life!
Set your SMART goals in motion, and please share them with us the next time we see you in the studio!