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One Month In

It's February.

That means that you've had a full month to play around with your plans, goals and dreams for 2015. You've made it through 8% of the year (crazy, I know!).

So how's it going?

I'm feeling pretty good about where I am on my goals, thus far. I've only missed one blog post (hope to make it up soon with a bonus 3-post week!), and I've been faithful to my cross-training schedule. But I haven't done as much with the budget as I've liked. Rolling that goal on over to February :)

A few takeaways from my reflection on how I'm doing...

Accountability

It's amazing how powerful it is to simply put your goals in writing. And then share that with someone else. I now feel responsible to you all to stay on track. Not a desperate desire to please you (I'm sure you don't really care if I miss a cross-training workout), but a desire to be true to my word. And really, it reminds me that I'm serious about my goal.

Whether you share with your best friend, or an anonymous online community, saying it "out loud" can make a real difference in meeting your goals. Who can you share with?

Success and... Not Success

Each day or week that I accomplish my goal creates inertia towards maintaining those habits. Success begets success, if you will.

But what about the times that I don't quite meet my goals? What happens in THOSE moments is actually more indicative of my long-term success. I have high standards for myself. Some might say I lean towards perfectionist tendencies. This means that it's very easy for me to slip into an all or nothing approach to life. If I can't do it right, why do it?

The thing is, that quest for perfectionism is debilitating and unrealistic. I can't remember the original source, but I recently saw this quote on the internet: "Perfectionists will never meet their goals." That is the ironic, painful truth. Perfection cannot be attained. So beating yourself up for not getting there is just insane.

Those moments when you don't reach your goal - for the day, the month, the year - what is your response? Is it to throw in the towel and accept unconditional defeat? Is it to remind yourself that no one is perfect, and every day is a new day to meet that goal?

I tell my clients to treat every time they eat like it's Monday morning. Every meal or snack is a new beginning, a new chance to make the right choice. Just because you had cookies for breakfast doesn't mean that the whole day is lost. No matter what poor decision you made, it doesn't have to bleed into your next decision.

The places where you are not successful can help you problem-solve for future long-term success. [Side note: I don't like using the term failure, because it carries such negative weight to it, and can define you. I'm not one for fluffy ego protection, but I do think it's important to promote self-efficacy (that "I can do it" mentality).]

For instance, maybe your goal is to eat breakfast every day. Last week, you were successful four days. What was happening those other three days? Was it that you overslept? Maybe you need to have grab-and-go options in your fridge or pantry. No food in the house? Make plans to go shopping on a weekly basis, or plan out a healthy stop on your commute. These moments of evaluation and problem-solving will help prevent the same pitfalls in the future - setting you up for more success more of the time.

Or maybe you ate breakfast every day, but you made really unhealthy choices just for the sake of eating something. Maybe that goal isn't quite right for you, at this time. Maybe the goal should be to eat breakfast four times a week that includes one fruit or vegetable. By evaluating where you are less successful, you can refocus and improve things going forward.

How are your goals for 2015 going? What needs re-evaluating? Where have you found success? What can we celebrate?!