By: Erika Takeda Eastham
As we close out January and boldly step further into 2021, we want to help you learn news ways to start anew. Here are our favorite (3) way to to start something new: a new goal, regiment, or plan.
A New Goal:
A Harvard Business study found that those who have goals in mind are 10x more successful than those without goals and that if write your goals down, you are 3x more successful than those who are just thinking about their goals. Another study from the University of Scranton suggests that only 8% of people with New Year’s goals actually achieve them. What these two statistics tell me is that goals can be very helpful, but they should be purposeful; we need to put in effort in planning our goals as well as put in effort in executing our goals.
After reading many books, articles and blogs on goal setting, here are five tips we found helpful in goal setting in the new year:
They say Warren Buffet writes down 20 goals and then ranks them from 1-20, with one being the most important and 20 being the least important. He then tears the last 15 goals and only focuses on the first five. Writing down your goals and ranking them in order gives your perspective on what is most important to you. If you have too many goals, the choices can cloud your judgement and you may not be focusing on the most important goal. Next, ask yourself “why” these goals are important to you. If you know WHAT these goals are and have a strong, motivating WHY, then you are closer to reaching your goals than most.
*Bonus – start your goals with “I am,” rather than “I want” – “I am a business owner,” rather than “I want a business.” The two most powerful words in our language, “I am” has the power to raise you up from the inside out. If you don’t believe me, think of the many times you thought “I am not good enough” or “I am dumb.” Why not use those words to bring you up, rather than tear you down?
It’s easy enough to day dream. We used to do it as kids on a daily, if not hourly basis. But somewhere down the road, we stopped. Well, my friends, it’s time to start again. The power of visualization has been heavily researched over and over again. For example, in an article from Psychology Today, they found a study from Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist form Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio. Guang Yue “compared results of those who did physical exercises to the results of those who carried out virtual workouts in their heads. In the physical exercise group, finger abduction strength increased by 53%. In the group that did "mental contractions", their finger abduction strength increased by 35%. However, "the greatest gain (40%) was not achieved until 4 weeks after the training had ended" (Ranganathan et al., 2004). This demonstrates the mind's incredible power over the body and its muscles.”
Bottom line, visualization matters, and visualization works!
I think this is something we all need to read and reread and reread again. Life happens. LIFE HAPPENS. With every derailment, don’t stop going after your goals. Your process may need tweaking, or your timeline may need adjusting but if you let every bump in the road stop you from reaching you goals, you will be 92% that never reach them.
Need I go on? We all need support, whether its friends, family, a therapist, a professional, or a mentor. We all need support sometimes; we all need guidance. You don’t have to do tackle these goals on your own. Yes, you are doing the hard work and YAY, go you, but when things go sideways, when you lost focus, your support system, whether free or paid for, is WORTH IT.
Bottom Line: Goals are helpful. Goals are worth it. Goals are hard work. But if you really want it, it’s worth it. And when things get really stressful from these goal-setting adventures, let’s think of some stress relieving tools:
A New Regiment
What does this really mean? You heard about those “Self-Care Sundays” or “Happy Hours” at the gym, right? This section is reminding you to take care of yourself. Trust and believe, I was a workaholic who never put time in for myself. I believed that “self-care” was not necessary, or dare I say it, a waste of time. Wow, what a miserable person I was. Without taking time for myself, I was unable to unwind and recharge which inevitably resulted in a catastrophic burnout at work. In this section, we will provide YOU with the best medicine for increased productivity: a new regiment where self-care exists!
According to an article from Psychology Today, “When we neglect our self-care, we give ourselves the message that we don't matter, we aren't worth the effort, and we don't deserve better.” Wow, that’s a pretty harsh message we are giving ourselves. However, when we do give ourselves some time to unwind and refresh, not only are we showing ourselves self-love, but we are also increasing our efficiency and our overall output.
Here are some recommendations to improve your self-care regiment:
According to Sleep Specialist, Dr. Matthew Carter, “you’re able to get more done on a good night’s sleep, not less.” He further explains, “One of the biggest reasons that people don't get enough sleep is because they feel they have too much to do or because they are stressed about what they need to work on. So, we're not getting enough work done because we're sleep-deprived and we're not sleeping because we're not getting enough work done.” So how much sleep is the right amount of sleep? Experts recommend 5-8 hours, but it depends on the type of person you are. Personally, I am not functional with less than six hours of sleep, but my mother can function with only four hours. There are plenty of sleep experiments you can find in a city near you, but experts say, if you feel sleepy, you probably need more sleep. Best way to get more sleep, go to bed. Turn off your phone and turn off the lights. Good night.
We all know exercise is good for you. And here are a few benefits listed from a study from Amherst College, just in case you need to read it again:
As a Certified Personal Trainer, I would recommend at least 3x a week of exercise meaning you plan and schedule meaningful ways of increasing your heart rate (power walk), lifting weights, or stretching/yoga for at least 30 minutes. If you have no idea what you are doing, I highly recommend investing in a certified fitness professional.
What exactly are healthy foods? Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables and quality protein. Avoid overly processed foods and opt for fresh foods. Need help? This article from CNN gives tips on how to “Detox” from processed foods .
Therapy is extremely important. Therapy allows you to “inspire change and improve the quality of life through self-awareness and self-exploration,” according to a medically reviewed article from Healthline. Some key benefits of counseling include (but not limited to):
Bottom Line: We are all busy. We all have stress. We all have PLENTY of excuses NOT to do something. Neglecting yourself is not one of it. Take time for yourself and then take care of business.
A New Plan…
If you have read this far, I am proud of you! This is a long read and it seems that you are determined in making some changes in the New Year. Yes – do it! If you haven’t noticed a theme, in order to make a new goal, to start a new regiment, you need to PLAN.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” This quote has been repeated over and over and over again. Why? Because it is so relevant in our daily lives, we see this quote, and a lot of us live this quote, somewhat unknowingly. Right now, this is a wake-up call. If something is important to us, we must prepare and plan for it.
At Urban Health Group LLC, YOU are important to us and we want you to prepare effectively and efficiently for the unexpected. Now this may seem like an ominous statement, but did you know that the third leading cause of death for Black or African Americans, Latino Americans and Native Americans is accidents or unintended injury? So, what does this mean? Are we telling you to stay in the house forever and never come out? No, no. We are asking you to consider the importance of preparing for a medical emergency.
Our Founder and CEO, Leticia Vaca, a licensed medical social worker and therapist, created Urban Health Group LLC to spread awareness in healthcare navigation and mental health support. She found in her many years of social work that there were large inconsistencies in treatment for people, especially Black, Indigenous, People of Color. Additionally, witnessed a stark difference between those who were prepared for emergencies and those who were unprepared for medical emergencies. In order to ameliorate this difference, Leticia started Urban Health Group LLC and more recently the “Plan Well 4 Care” Course to give YOU the proper tools and the proper support to combat these disparities.
Right now, we are in a global pandemic, with healthcare systems being stretched to its limits here in the United States. We are asking you:
If you answered “no” to any of the questions above, we can help.
Click here to contact us or click here to learn more about our Plan Well for Care Course.
The bottom line: In order to succeed in life, for the expected and unexpected, you have to plan; you have to prepare. Yes, it can get overwhelming. Yes, it is a lot. And yes, you can ask for help.
We are here to help.