What are you going to commit to so that you finish the year strong?
Here it is October 1, 2019! I wish it felt more like fall here in Northern Virginia—The Capital Weather Gang tells me that after record breaking heat mid-week, we’ll finally have some consistently cooler days. This warm weather makes it hard for me to plan when to change my clothes over. My clothes and colors speak summer but I am conditioned to be wearing my fall clothes by now!
Andy and I went camping this past weekend in Shenandoah National Park. Being out in the woods is one of things that we love best. It is a great place for us to recharge our batteries and being off the grid even for a day helps us reconnect. We decided to leave midday on Friday- before rush hour- BUT we failed to plan how we were going to get packed and the van loaded up AND complete our work that we both wanted to complete before the weekend…so at 2:00 p.m. Friday we changed plans and decided to leave first thing Saturday morning, insuring that we would be both prepared and ready to enjoy the woods. We would still have time to do the hike we planned on Saturday, get to see a beautiful night sky, sleep in our VW camper van. All would be well and wasn’t one night better than no nights in the woods?
A bit of panic and pressure was off and we spent the rest of Friday afternoon finishing up our work, doing the few chores around the house we’d put off, packing so that we could leave early Saturday morning. We were feeling pretty pleased with ourselves. We left home with our essentials and arrived the Thornton Gap entrance to the Park at 10:30 a.m. And uh-oh!! All the campgrounds were full!! We were feeling pretty silly at this point. What we were thinking? It’s a beautiful weekend and why didn’t we reserve a campsite? We decided to go ahead and drive to the campground because the trail we were going to hike started there. On the drive we discussed everything we hadn’t done to adequately prepare and trying to salvage our weekend. Fortunately, by the time we arrived non-reservable sites were opening up and we were lucky enough to get one! We were very lucky!!
So what does my camping trip have to do with you finishing the year strong?
Well it reminded me of an adage I have been using for awhile now…failing to plan is planning to fail.
We’re entering the last quarter of 2019. Many of us have plans, dreams, things we want to accomplish. Do you find yourself setting the same goals over and over again-- Lose weight, exercise more, eat more healthy meals. You will have a much better chance to end up where you want to be if you set goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based). Some examples of SMART goals are:
I will walk 30 minutes 5 days per week.
I will drink 6 glasses of water everyday.
I will take my lunch to work 3 days a week.
Research shows that writing down your goals will make you more likely to succeed. Research also shows that the most successful people formulate an action plan with their goals and send both to a friend with a weekly update! (Here are the links to the researcher and the summary of her research: https://www.dominican.edu/academics/lae/assets-faculty-bio-pages/gail-matthews and https://www.dominican.edu/academics/lae/undergraduate-programs/psych/faculty/assets-gail-matthews/researchsummary2.pdf )
So go ahead, take 10 minutes and think about what is the ONE thing that you want to accomplish before the end of the year. Write it down. Create a SMART goals or series of SMART goals to get you there. And finally partner with a friend or coach to help you and encourage you along the way. Decrease the chance of not doing what you want because you didn’t make a plan!