Once again I became perturbed in yoga class, found my focus on movement and flow disrupted because the instructor made comments such as:
“May this day be the first day of your new life” and
“May you walk away from all regrets and move forward with only success”.
These comments are meant to inspire, but they are generalizations
directed at a small number of depressed people – people who even on a sunny day are discouraged, feel like failures and see the glass half empty, and aren’t likely to show up to yoga class anyway.
Yet we all have goals we haven’t met, but we shouldn’t view unmet goals as failures. The fault lies more with the goal itself being unrealistic, perhaps because the timeline for accomplishing it was too short, or no action steps for achieving the goal were outlined, let alone followed.
Here are 5 “SMART” tips for setting realistic, achievable goals. They’re just as significant as the first time you heard them but they bear repeating because we get distracted, forget and maybe dwell too much on perceived failures that are no such thing.
Make your goals:
1. S – Specific and Significant to you (not what your mother or your partner wants for you).
2. M – Measurable with Meaningful steps. (Small steps are fine – and probably realistic!)
3. A – Attainable by Actions for which you are ACCOUNTABLE. (Be realistic!)
4. R – Rewarding – because the outcome is Relevant to you (- again, not necessarily to your mother).
5. T – Time-bound – ie “by X date next Tuesday at 2:30p.m…”
Another smart tip for goal setting is to share your goal with someone else and enlist their help to keep you “honest”. If you’re really serious, consider hiring a life coach. I have had tremendous success building self esteem in young and older women who had a history of abuse both in childhood and in past romantic relationships. It is wonderful to start to see them stand up for themselves and make healthier choices regarding relationships and food, and making self care a priority.
Take our Stress Age Assessment and find out how old you really are based on contributing factors such as healthy lifestyle habits, life stressors and family genetics.