We’re 2/3 of the way through winter, with one month before Spring 🌸☀️

The days are getting longer and the mornings are brighter earlier, as we move closer to summer 🕶🌻☀️

What will you do this month to feel good for Spring and Summer? I’d love to hear what your goal for August is in the comments below. What do you want to share and declare, to keep yourself accountable? There’s something about sharing publicly that can often support you in achieving what you set out to. In Gretchen Ruben’s book The Four Tendencies she explains the different ways we are motivated to behave. If you’re an ‘Obliger’ which is one of the most common tendencies, you do what you have to do and hate to let others down, but often let yourself down. The simple act of putting your intended change in behaviour ‘out there’ can be a way to support yourself through your not wanting to let others down tendency; and also if you’re a person who prides yourself on keeping your word. Try it and let me know how you go. This strategy can also work for ‘Upholders’ who do what others expect of them, as well as what they expect of themselves. If you’re interested in finding out more about the Four Tendencies visit www.gretchenruben.com.

I’ve been an Obliger for most of my life however more recently feel I've moved to be more of an Upholder. So I’m taking this opportunity to share my goal below and I’ll check in how it works for me. In the past I would have been too afraid to publish what I want or the change I’m committing to, due to a sense of weight and pressure this would unhelpfully add. I think part of this was due to the wants and goals I made being really ambitious for the timeframe and I didn’t chunk things down or appreciate the significance of behaviour change. If behaviour change was so easy you wouldn’t have any behaviours to change. If the idea of sharing your goal overwhelms you please comment also as I'm sure there must be more of us who feel this way.

So what is my goal for August 2018?

I am going to walk my puppy for 20 minutes most days (5 out of 7). I believe this to be both achievable and also a significant change from what I do now. It also ticks all the important boxes of a SMART Goal – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound while still being a stretch for me. I currently walk my puppy a few times a week around the block (5-10 mins) so if I do this I will have walked and been much more active than had I not consciously decide to do this. Another one of my 'why's' for this being important to me is the joy she gets from going for a walk and how beneficial this is for her. The rest of the day she just sleeps at my feet or beside me, or potters around the house following me around. So although she's happy without a walk I'm sure she'll be even happier with one. I'm going to keep myself on track with this goal on instagram @nickyangelone also.

The start of a month is a great time to set yourself a goal for the next 4 weeks and then re-assess at the end of the month. And it's okay if you start tomorrow or the next day. It doesn't need to be 'perfectly timed' or 'exactly on the first day'. You can start anyway, anytime.

While I’ve decided to walk Cinque 20 minutes most days, it may not sound much and I could easily be swayed to extend it to 40 or 60 minutes each day but I want to set myself up for success. If I walk 40 minutes or even an hour (although I’m not sure how Cinque will go with that!) that’s great too but 20 minutes most days is the benchmark. The key is to set realistic and attainable goals, even if they may appear at first to be too ‘easy’ or ‘not that big a deal’. They are a big deal to you. Anything you want is a big deal to you; and remember behaviour change isn’t easy. 

And when you start setting goals the mind may start to get lots of other ideas. What just came to mind for me was, who knows, I might even start a team for Steptember this September. Where did that come from? I like it though as its about taking 10,000 steps a day (the recommended daily amount per the WHO) and supporting cerebral palsy. If you like this idea let me know in the comments.

What is your goal for this last month of winter; to be ready to spring into September?