It’s that time of year again.
New Years Resolution time!
People are finally starting to acknowledge that an entire year has passed since they set their goals for 2017. The weight of not losing ten pounds or changing body composition is starting to feel heavy on their minds. So, they start frantically piling up in the gym, treadmill after treadmill with unrealistic expectations and goals. After a month or two of training without any results, they taper off, one by one, going back to the same sedentary lifestyle they had before.
And thus, the cycle starts all over again every January 1st.
I, for one, am tired of seeing people running along this hamster wheel year after year. Because eventually, people burn out and quit. This cycle inevitably leads to self-doubt, lowered self-worth, and a complete lack of perseverance. This is why it’s important to set the right goals as soon as possible.
There is already an abundance of great writing on SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time Bound). So I won’t dive deep into that concept.
Instead, I’m going to introduce you to another type of goal that I named The Cornerstone.
A cornerstone, by definition is “the chief foundation on which something is constructed or developed.” In the context of goal setting, the Cornerstone is the intention that drives every action.
Notice the word action. I carefully chose this word instead of words like choices, thoughts, plans, and emotions because the Cornerstone must be an act. It must be a verb. It must be something you can do, not just meditate upon or hope for. You must choose this intention with careful consideration, and then act upon it.
My Cornerstone in 2016 and 2017 was to grow. My choice to take control of my health and act upon that choice was fueled by my commitment to growth. I worked out daily, ate healthy foods, stayed home instead of partying, drank water rather than alcohol, and read books instead of watching tv. I distanced myself from toxic people, and found new friends with similar interests. Before taking any actions, I asked myself, “How does this contribute to my growth?”
At the end of 2016, I was able to reflect on the year and ask myself if I had accomplished all of my goals. Without setting traditionally strict or unrealistic goals, my pledge to grow enabled me to conquer my life in more ways than I thought was possible.
I changed as a person, laughing at myself daily, respecting those around me, appreciating the hardships I had been through. I changed physically, through hard work and dedication in the gym. Mentally, I was more secure of myself than I’d ever been. I stopped comparing myself to peers, and stopped lowering my self-worth because of those comparisons. My depression became history, something so far from who I am today.
I did what I intended to do.
With this all in mind, I’m going to list off strong verbs that may help you find your Cornerstone this year. Take the time to reflect on who you are today, who you need to become, and the intention that you need to set to become that person. The word you choose is going to be the force that inspires your actions.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR CORNERSTONE A LONG-LASTING GOAL
Once you’ve chosen your Cornerstone, it’s time to write it down. It’s easy to be forgetful with the amount of work and stress each of us have. So I urge you to make your Cornerstone visible in your daily life. Write it on a sticky note and put it on the fridge. Type out a note on your phone. Set it as your phone alarm in the mornings (I do this). Not a day should go by where you forget your intention.
Then, reflect on it daily. Ask yourself, did I grow today? Did my actions contribute to my creativity? How has my behavior helped me lead? Some people do well with a journal, others may simply reflect in thought. It does not matter how you reflect, so long as you do it. This is how you improve and change your overall mindset over time. Consistency is key here.
And lastly, tell people. Having an accountability buddy is a well known method to accomplishing goals. But in this case, everyone’s intention will be different. So it’s best to be proud of your Cornerstone, and simply let people know when the opportunity rises. This will help you hold yourself accountable.
Ready, Set, GOAL!
Let’s set some New Year’s Resolutions together. This is where SMART goals will come back to strengthen the intention. Pick a strong verb (Cornerstone) that you know you need to work on this year, three actions you are going to take to fulfill your intention, and fill in the blanks below. Try to make your three actions achievable and realistic.
This year, I intend to _____(Cornerstone)_____ by _____(#1)_____ , _____(#2)_____ , and _____(#3)_____ .
My Cornerstone for 2018 is to serve and to adventure. Here’s my New Year’s Resolution:
This year, I intend to serve others by continuing my education on health related topics, sharing what I’ve learned and experienced to empower others to change, and starting a coaching business to help people reach their fitness goals. Also this year, I intend to adventure more by conquering nearby mountains, hiking new trails, and documenting it all through photographs to inspire people (serve) to go outside.
So, I want to know what you guys have planned for 2018! Leave a comment below with your Cornerstone. (no account necessary to comment)