Can you believe it? We are almost a whole week through January 2017! A new year can be about fresh starts, resolutions, or for someone like me a bit of clarity and direction after I have had some well deserved time off. Before I jump straight into the goals and my purpose for the coming year it is probably best to reflect on what has come before. And what a roller coaster year 2016 was. I flew in from America in mid February not really knowing what was in store or where my journey may take me, and boy was that scary. I had graduated University, taken over Presidency of my local football club and there was more and more evidence that an AFL Women’s League will commence in 2017. With openness, hard work and dogged determination I managed to land a great starting job in corporate health, I survived many a melt down and made one of my greatest bucket list dreams a reality; becoming a professional athlete. In October, a culmination of years of training (the past 3 years spent more specifically on AFL) and surrounding myself with people to help me grow my self belief, I was drafted to the inaugural Adelaide Crow’s women’s team for 2017. All my goals in 2016 were ticked. 

In retrospect, 2016 had far more highs than lows for me, but those lows were more life changing than usual. These experiences taught me that doing it all and being a ‘yes’ person doesn’t make you a super women, it just makes you really, really worn out. They taught me that taking ‘me’ time isn’t selfish. In contrast it provides you with the opportunity to be your best quality self for all your commitments. They showed me that even people we idolise are in reality, just as flawed, lost and human as we are. Most of all they showed me that surrounding yourself with incredible people, with like minded focus and good hearts will get you through even the darkest of times. You will continue to learn most from those your surround yourself with. It may be subtle reminders, it may be life changing words or it may be a simple hand on your shoulder reminding you of their support. I am so thankful for all those present on my journey throughout the year. 

The reflection on the lessons of 2016 have helped me shape my vision and goals for 2017. These goals centre on creating a holistic, balanced life where I endeavour to give equal amount of energy to all aspects of my wellbeing; body, mind, spirit, place, planet and people. So what are the key goals that are going to help me achieve my vision?

  1. Practice mindfulness at least once a day. Some opportunities include when I wake up, when I arrive at work, when I need to refocus, before/after training, before eating and before bed.
  2. At least once a week write about something. This could end up here on my blog or it could just be scribbled thoughts in a notebook. Make time to be creative.
  3. Once a week book in a social interaction outside of direct personal contacts and structured time. This could be as simple as a coffee, a walk or skyping some oversea friends.
  4. 5/7 days of the week eat 3 main meals and 2 snacks. Eat like an athlete and think before I eat, aiming to FUEL my body with 80% wholesome foods.

Now that I have shared my vision, what is yours? Might I add that you can create a vision, direction or intention at any time of the year. You do not need to wait until a Monday, a new month or a new year to create a new version of yourself. Heck, you can decide in this very moment that you want to be an astronaut and change the whole direction of your life. I wanted a new direction on January 1st but I was already working towards those goals in the weeks leading up to that date. Goal setting and behaviour change can happen at any time but require SMART goals, structure, planning and preparation to make them a reality. The next time you want to change, develop or grow try this approach:

  1. Set yourself a vision/ mission statement that will define the new you or area for improvement/change. The goals you set will help you to reach this.
  2. Set SMART goals. You may have heard this in your time but you can’t simply say I want to be healthier/fitter/better at, you need to really get to the nuts and bolts of what that goal is. It needs to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. 
  • Specific- the what, where, when, who and how of the goal. What exactly does your goal look like.
  • Measurable – The exact measurement you will use to determine whether you have reached your goal. Ie running 6km in under 30 minutes.
  • Achievable – can you achieve this goal? making small, achievable goals increases our motivation and drives us to continue.
  • Relevant- what is the purpose of your goal and is it really relevant to your vision and where you want to be. Set a goal you want to achieve, don’t just do what someone else is doing.
  • Timely – give yourself an end point which you have to have met the goal by. This gives you the opportunity to reflect and evaluate. 

       3. Structure your goal with a start and end date and what are key tracking points in               between. How are you going to continually remind yourself of what your goal is?

    4.The final mod important aspect is planning and preparation. You need to think   through what your goal involves, what you will need to complete this and what obstacles or barriers you may face and how you will overcome it. By planning ahead you give yourself no excuses and you are constantly keeping your goal at the forefront of your mind.

        5. Once you have come to the end of your goal or time period reflect on where you are. Have you succeeded? What went wrong? What could you do differently next time? If you did succeed make sure you reward yourself with something that continues to support your goals. 

Creating the best version of you is an ongoing process of self reflection and gradual self improvement. You cannot change every aspect over night. Give yourself time (usually 3-6 months) to reach your goals and then work on the next area. We all have something we can improve about our lives so start enjoying the process and continue to shape the life you want to lead. Remember, at any moment you can change the course of your ship. No one else is helping your steer, you be the driving force and make shit happen. 

Apologies for my posting being extremely sporadic last year, I hope that my new goals will allow me to make time to continue to share my thoughts as I ponder life. I may even get some inspiration back into my cooking and find more delicious recipes to share. Either way keep your eyes peeled for more ramblings in 2017.

Peace, Love and Food xx