It’s the time of year when people say, ‘My New Year’s Resolution is going to be…” After that question, I always ask myself, “Why wait until the New Year? Why not start now?!” Whether you realize it or not, life keeps moving forward.  Why shouldn’t we?

If you are looking forward to something, whether it is a vacation, concert, dinner with a friend you have not seen in a while, you cannot wait for it. Why should your goals be any different? Your goals, whether they are in the gym or outside or the gym, should be a priority to you and something that you cannot wait to accomplish. They should not be something that you should be able to say, “It’s okay, I’ll wait until January to get this done”. That was how I felt about my high school history papers that I waited until the night before they were due to start. Those papers did not get me the best grade, and that mindset will probably not get you to your goals. Setting something up as a priority creates urgency and focus; both are so important in goal setting and they will help you to keep moving forward.

If your goals are not the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning, don’t sweat it (I don’t think about too much before my first cup of coffee). It just takes a little bit more inward reflection (and coffee). This process is called finding your “why” and is a crucial step in achieving your goals. Your “why” is your reasoning that drives you towards your accomplishment. Finding your “why” can be a little bit difficult, but once you find it, it makes the tough times easier and the easy times fun. This process should stir up some emotion.  Start with your goal, write it down on a blank sheet of paper and ask yourself, “why do I want to achieve this?” Write your answer down underneath your goal. This process is a little bit difficult, but do you think LeBron James became the best NBA player of all time without looking at himself and finding his reason he wanted it? This “why” is your driving force, this is what makes you tick, it’s your motivation. This is what we are going to draw on when stuff gets hard, when you hit obstacles, when you need a pick-me-up. This keeps you moving forward.

Everyone has set a goal and failed. I’ve personally failed more times than I can count (I played baseball my whole life, it’s filled with failure).  Failure is a part of life, but it does not last forever. Giving up lasts forever. Most of the time, people don’t know why they failed at something. One of the reasons this happens is because people do not have an action plan or stepping stones to get to their final goal. Check points are imperative parts of setting a goal and reaching it. They keep you on track, keep you accountable and keep you moving forward. You can't play Mario Kart in preparation for the Indianapolis 500 and expect to win. You need to figure out where you are now and where you want to be. Once those two spots are identified, you can create check points for yourself along the way. These checkpoints can be weekly, biweekly, whatever, as long as they work for YOU. Checkpoints are important because they let you know the process of work needed to achieve your goal, and if you fail and stuck to the process, you can reevaluate and change your process. You also can look back on your stepping stones and reflect on what you already accomplished. Before the calendar flips to the New Year, make sure you take some time to reflect on everything you have accomplished this past year. Celebrate your wins, reflect on your losses, and prepare yourself to keep moving forward.

New Year’s resolutions are goals that we set for ourselves. The only issue is that most of the time these goals are incomplete. There are no checkpoints, limited personal accountability, no deadline to complete the goal. A tried and true method of goal setting is S.M.A.R.T. goals. Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable and timely. Set a goal, find your “why”, determine the steps and checkpoints to get there, enjoy the process, ask one of your Coaches for help and don’t give up until you get there. After all, a child learning to walk that falls down 50 times in a day never thinks, “Maybe this isn't for me” right?

-Anthony, Columbus