Setting Goals for 2019 that Stick

Posted by AOBrien in on Fri 01/25/2019 4:45

2019 has begun! Full of promise and new beginnings. A fresh start that often brings plans to make positive changes this year.  You know, those new year's resolutions that we make December 31st and fizzle out by January 30th?  Save more, spend less, lose weight, get fit, eat healthier, exercise more, read more, spend less time on devices, spend more time with friends and family, etc. But why can't we seem to stick with them long term?

So often these resolutions don't stick because we are not as intentional and disciplined about the how part of the resolution as we need to be to reach our goals. We don't always take the time to plan out the smaller tasks needed to achieve the bigger goal(s).  This is one of the more subtle, though certainly no less meaningful, lessons that Girls on the Run can teach our girls (and coaches! and communities!) throughout the season.   

As the girls go through the program, they may not realize that the smaller things they have been doing at each practice form the building blocks to reaching their goal(s) at the end of the season and beyond. For example, consistently moving forward with increasingly longer times / distances for 10 weeks helps thier bodies get ready to tackle the 3.1 miles at the GOTR 5k.  The curriculum provides the plan for this physical training. Similarly, the curriculum provides the plan for the mental and emotional training that develops the girls' ability to tackle the larger goal(s) of increased confidence, competence, character, caring, and connection. 

So, how can we apply this to our own resolutions? Simple...start with the first of our GOTR core values: "Recognize our power and responsibility to be intentional in our decision making."  Take the time to frame your larger goal(s) with a well thought out, realistic plan that accounts for the ebbs and flows of our hectic everyday lives, possible setbacks, and how to get back on track if/when we veer from the plan.  Then take the time to re-evaluate if you need to scale your goal based on your plans. 

I asked our staff what their goals are for the year and how they intend to reach them.  Here's a few responses:

Emily:  One of my resolutions for 2019 is to read more.  I am following Reese's Book Club [that's Resse Witherspoon, BTW] on Hello Sunshine to help me stay on track.  Hello Sunshine's is about "shining a light on femal authoriship and agency" through media and their mission is to change the narrative for women. Reese's monthly picks reflect that sentiment perfectly.

Leticia:  Choosing one word of focus for the year helps keep me on track rather than making resolutions, which can be discouraging when I don't keep them. I chose Discipline as my word for 2019. Here's the quote from Jim Rohn that inspired me: "Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments." Having this focus means I am mindful of making small changes at a time, but making sure I'm consistently doing them.  I give myself daily and weekly goals and make myself accountable by writing them down in a place where I can see them every day. 

Allison:  Running my second-ever full marathon in the Chicago Marathon this fall as a SoleMate allows me to accomplish two huge personal goals.  First, it challenges me physically as I train hundreds of miles over the next few months.  Following a training plan and getting support from my fellow SoleMate (and GOTR staff) Liz, as well as the rest of the SoleMate community, will help tremendously. Second, it allows me to fundraise for an incredible organization that empowers girls to believe in themselves.  It's amazing to be able to do what I love in order to support such a worthy cause!

What are your goals for 2019 and how do you plan to accomplish them?  Leave us a comment below and be entered into a drawing for GOTR swag!