‘Tis the season to do some deep self-reflection and dream up a few intentional goals for your life. New Year’s Day may be a great time to shift your focus toward setting goals, but making a list of resolutions isn’t necessarily the key to successfully reaching your goals for 2023. Local experts weigh in on how to make resolutions that stick, and truly transform your life for good.
1. Start where you are.
Dive deep and take an objective look at your life to determine what changes need to be made, and take stock of where you are
starting. Neelma Pyfrom is a Certified Life Coach and owner of Living Lotus Life Coaching in Mount Pleasant. Her life’s work is walking with her clients through the processes of setting and achieving goals.
Pyfrom said, “First we have to assess where we are now. How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your present situation? Then we figure out where you want to be. What does ‘done’ look like? We should be clear and precise with our goals— measurable accomplishments with a deadline. Using that deadline as a guide point, we work the gap and determine what steps we need to take each week or each month to get there.”
2. Break down goals into more manageable steps.
“When you make a goal, no matter what it is, the most important thing you can do is break it down into the smallest steps possible,” urged Kimsey Hollifield, founder and president of Hollifield Financial Group. “Imagine you are building a brick wall. Your goal in the moment is not the completed wall, it is to lay the next brick as perfectly as possible, and then the next one.” If paying off debt, for example, Hollifield recommends starting with the smallest account balance first.
“It’s an emotional thing,” he said. “Even if it’s $50, when you pay it off you feel like you’re moving in the right direction.”
3. Don’t do it alone. Get an accountability partner who understands your goal.
“In my coaching practice, accountability and connection are paramount,” shared Pyfrom. “I guide my clients by supporting them and holding them accountable for what needs to be done.”
Scott Greendyke, personal trainer at CDFIT, started his fitness career after losing 80 pounds in six months in 2013. Inspired by his personal journey, he stepped away from his work as a computer network engineer to dedicate his life to helping others achieve their fitness goals. He advised, “You’re not going to become a baseball player if all you hang around with is a bunch of dart players. Finding a community, a friend who is going to cheer you on and maybe give you some pointers, is really helpful.”
4. Get out of your way.
Recognize that the thing most likely to stand in the way of your success is you. Pay attention to your thoughts, and get curious about what has held you back from making changes in the past. “While there may be external obstacles that make it difficult for my clients to meet their goals,” noted Pyfrom,“it is often them that stand in their own way. It may be a critical internal voice telling them they are not good enough or a past hurt preventing them from moving forward.”
Greendyke agreed. “All-or-nothing is the most dangerous resolution. Be realistic with yourself. You have a history of this behavior, so ask, ‘What’s fueling this behavior?’ Be honest and say, ‘I’m not getting up and I’m not exercising because at the end of the day, I just don’t feel like it. It hurts. I don’t like to be sweaty.’ When you start making changes, you always feel better because doing something different is exciting.”
5. Learn from failure and readjust.
“If you find you are unable to keep a resolution, delve into what happened,” encouraged Pyfrom. “Use this as an opportunity to ask yourself, ‘Was this really something I wanted?’ Do not be afraid to alter your resolutions as you move toward them. They provide direction and may not be the actual end goal. Be open to the journey.”
6. Make your goals a priority and build habits.
Focus on turning your goal into a habit, something you prioritize daily and tackle first.
“Have you ever seen those people running at five or six o’clock in the morning? Those people are crazy, right?” Greendyke laughed. “Every single one of those people are in shape, aren’t they? The people who you see getting in shape aren’t waiting until the end of the day to see how they feel. They sacrifice sleep, they go to bed early, they sacrifice watching that show on Netflix at night.” Any goal starts with asking yourself what you really want.
Want to be happier? Learn more about Neelma Pyfrom’s life coaching services at livinglotuslifecoaching.com.
“All too often our responsibilities pull us in different directions, and our self-care is relegated to an after-thought,” stated Pyfrom. “This extends beyond just massages and pedicures— sometimes it is doing ‘the work,’ which may include healing from past situations or reconnecting with our inner selves. Self-care has to include both external and internal components—taking care of our bodies, minds and hearts. We cannot give to others what we don’t have or what we do not do for ourselves.”
Want to build wealth? Find out more about Kimsey Hollifield’s financial advising services at hollifieldfinancial.com
“Start with educating yourself. We do 50 or 60 educational events per year, and it is my job to teach financial concepts in a simple way,” said Hollifield. “Our financial plans go on one page, not the old 80-page binders that nobody ever looks at. Make sure you feel comfortable with your plan and know that we are here to help with anything you don’t understand. Just take step one.”
Want to get fit? Visit cdfitcharleston.com for more information on Scott Greendyke’s personal training.
“Find the thing you’re willing to change, make that change, see the benefit and build momentum slowly,” advised Greendyke. “If you get rid of soda, shift to La Croix. After you’ve gone a week or two with La Croix and you’ve lost two to four pounds, you can see what else in your diet is messing you up a bit. Maybe you can replace mayonnaise with mustard. I’m also a big believer that walking is the most efficient way to lose weight — not running, not jumping. I think walking is the most accessible to everyone. The most important thing is that you’re walking with a purpose, or at a fast pace. Set a goal of somewhere between 6,000-8,000 steps a day and do it every day.”
By Heather Artushin