How Reflecting On Past Goals Sets You Up For Future Success

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With a new year right around the corner, it’s exciting to think ahead about what we want to accomplish in the coming 12 months. Brainstorming new goals is awesome, but December is also a great time to reflect on the past year to help you tune in to where you are, where you want to be, and how you want to get there. A lot of people set health-related goals on January 1st. Unfortunately, a lot of these well-intentioned resolutions fall by the wayside come February. Re-examining last year’s New Year’s resolutions can help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses as you look ahead to the coming year.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What went well?
  • What was challenging?
  • What goals no longer seemed important partway through the year?
  • In the coming year, how do you want to feel?

Pick one or just a few small goals. Why are they important to you? The only wrong answer is if a goal doesn’t feel right to you but will please someone else.

To help you stay positive and on track, set tangible, measurable goals so you know when to celebrate your successes and address barriers. For example:

  • If you want to lose 20 pounds over the next year, shoot for 5 by April.
  • If “get strong” is your goal, start with the 6-pound weights and work your way up to the 15-pounders. Hold a plank position for 30 seconds in February and gradually increase your time.
  • Instead of “more veggies,” vow to do vegetables at lunch at dinner three days a week and start pinning recipes. Once you’re in a good groove with that, increase to four days, then five until it becomes a daily habit you enjoy.

Whatever your personal goals are, take time each month to reflect on your progress so far and check in with yourself about whether your actions are supporting those goals. If not, make a plan. It’s also okay to tweak them as time goes on. Learning to adapt as you grow and evolve will help you stay true to your resilient, authentic self—key to feeling your best.

Cheers to a happy and healthy month!

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Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian and writer in New York City. She blogs at Keeping It Real Food.