By: Peggy Willms
The last Monday of May each year, the U.S.A. honors soldiers who have died while serving in the U.S. military. Perhaps I am the only American who didn’t know it used to be called Decoration Day and that it didn’t become a federal holiday until 1971. My bad. I knew the concept began post-Civil War. Throw me some credit, Mrs. History Teacher.
Memorial Day is a psychological send-off to Summer. It is a pre-launch. The kiddos are running around with short-timer syndrome. Parents are scrambling, trying to find unique camps for their bored pre-teens. In general, we are planning camping, boating, and vacation excursions. Of course, we are once again digging out the shorts and bathing suits, taking a deep breath, and heading off to the mirror for the how-will-they-fit dress rehearsal.
Pulling out those summer clothes reminds me of another time of year. A time of year when we say, “Oh, damn, time flies, and I didn’t hit my goals.” You guessed it, New Year’s Resolutions.
Each summer, I offer an annual coaching sale called Summer Sizzle. I open up a few slots, slice my prices, and work with clients on their summer goals. My overarching message is to prepare a full season ahead. What are your health and wellness plans for each quarter of the year? With this concept in mind, nailing summertime goals, entails discussions in March just as we would prep in September for a December goal.
We are all exposed to annual, set-in-stone markers. Commercialism helps with that. We know when holidays will occur, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, etc. We know when school is in or out of session due to holidays or Spring Break. The four seasons are also like clockwork. Food harvest times are similar each year. There are constants—expected events. Therefore, if there are constants, we can prepare for them – plan. Right? Not so much, it appears.
Summer is here. Are you ready? Do your shorts fit, is the boat ready, and money saved for vacay?
Let me ask you a few things. Have you thought about what you would like to do each of the summer months; 30, 60, and 90-day goals? These goals can be related to your body or goals not related to the body. I call the latter non-body goals. Brilliant, eh?
Let’s get you sizzling.
Start now. Look at your personal, business, and family calendar. Peeking ahead at your current appointments and commitments will help you be more realistic in setting your targets. You need to know where you are already spending your time in order to find time slots for these new goals. Think of the word “attainable” when you set your goals.
A fun play-along is asking family members or co-workers to create their June, July, and August goals. Creating family or team goals will require compromise. Rarely do I see family members or work teams on the exact page when goal setting involves the other. For example, your teenage son sets a 60-day goal of buying a bicycle and a 90-day desire to vacation in California. That might not be feasible with Mom’s and Dad’s goal setting as I suspect you might be footing the bill. However, this drives perfect discussion time to teach him how he might seek odd jobs to save money and help him achieve these goals.
Again, try to create body and non-body goals that are “attainable” for each of the summer months. Create one, two, and three-month goals for each. That means six total goals. I know it sounds like a lot, but you got this especially if you remember the word “attainable” – realistic.! I’d say 90% of peeps are NOT reasonable with their goal setting. So, I tend to repeat myself and push back quite a bit as we work through determining feasible goals. Success is the key to not overshooting the mark and missing it every damn time.
Here are some examples below:
30-Day: lose five pounds
60-Day: lose three inches in waist
90-Day: bench press 200 pounds
30-Day: sell the car; buy a new one
60-Day: paint the living room
90-Day: learn how to play the piano
Projecting ahead to the next season sets you up for success. Looking at your fall goals in July elevates your self-awareness, efficiency, AND success rates when school starts or it becomes the time of year for trick-or-treaters. Planning reduces procrastination and ridiculous excuses.
If you are creating lofty goals, such as running a marathon, and you have never done such, you will want to start prepping for goals of that nature two or more seasons out.
Without planning, plan to fail.
If you had prepped for summer back in January, you would be damn jazzed right now, swirling around proudly in your loose-fitting Bermuda shorts. Why? Because you set a few attainable body goals five months ago. You might be exuberant that your Hawaii trip is paid for because you set a non-body goal in February to save money for your July family trip. Bam!
Let your Summer Sizzle. Enjoy the moments, set, and nail attainable goals. But it is also time to plan ahead…AHEAD – as far as January. Before you know it, you will be slamming back champagne, watching fireworks, and making another New Year’s Resolution that will most likely be similar to the one you made last year. Similar because you did not figure out a way to make it attainable and chip away at it for the previous 364 days.
Stay a season ahead. Now, go sizzle.