S.M.A.R.T. Goals and The Whole30

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with the things I would like to do for the blog. A few weeks ago I ended up purchasing a new domain an abandoning the old one (though I will still own it for a few months). When I decided to begin a blog again I think I was doing a lot of grand thinking with too little nitty gritty work to go along with it. This resulted in half-baked efforts and of course, very few tangible outcomes. There are a million lessons I can learn from this and the bright side is, they can all become blog posts in the future.

Instead of tackling branding across multiple social media platforms, I am going to focus on the appearance and theme of the blog to get that where I would like it to be while adding posts at least once a week. In order to do this, I am lowering my expectations when it comes to what types of visuals to include in posts. For the end result I would like, there is not enough bandwidth on my end at the moment. Sprucing up my graphic design skills is on the docket for 2018 though!

Speaking of 2018, my goals for this year are what led me to this post. Right now I am on day 22 of my first ever (and maybe last?) Whole 30. This means I am not eating dairy, refined sugar, legumes, and grains. The decision to embark on a Whole30 was pretty last minute. There is a large network of people on social media taking part in a January Whole30 and most folks started on January 1. Mine did not begin until January 4 but having the support of so many food bloggers supplying me with delicious recipes has been instrumental in my success.

It did not occur to me when I began the Whole30 but a few days in I had a realization as to why I love the idea of this “30 day reset” (it is not a weight loss diet or a sustainable lifestyle!) so much. It is the epitome of a S.M.A.R.T. goal. If you have not heard of this acronym before it is something that comes up pretty frequently in business management and was mentioned in multiple courses I took for my MBA. It is also used in organizational management so perhaps it has come up in an HR training you have taken.

S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound. Those words may be replaced with other synonyms but you catch my drift.

Is the Whole30 specific? You better believe it! There are very detailed rules about what foods are and are not allowed. I am someone who likes specifics laid out for me so this has been extremely helpful both in helping determine what I can eat and for researching the reasons behind the rules.

Is the Whole30 measurable? Absolutely! You either eat food that is compliant or you do not. It can be that simple when it comes to determining your success. Sure we could add elements of non-scale victories and ask how many Lara Bars are really acceptable during the 30 days but when breaking it down to the basics, measuring success is pretty straightforward.

Is the Whole 30 achievable? Yes. People all around will tell you that it is not achievable and question why you are doing it but it is absolutely achievable. I am also answering this during a January round. If I was attempting a Whole30 around the holidays or during the summer months I am certain it would feel less achievable but at this time of year and with the right preparation I have had very few moments of doubting my ability to complete it.

Is the Whole30 realistic? Eating this way for 30 days of your life is realistic. Eating this way for the rest of your life is not. That is why viewing the Whole30 as a temporary change in your eating habits is crucial to being successful. There is no way I could sustain this regimented way of eating as a lifestyle. I am very much looking forward to reintroducing certain foods back into my diet but cutting them out for 30 days is completely realistic. You can do anything for 30 days.

Is the Whole30 time bound? Duh, it is called the Whole30 for a reason. It lasts 30 days plus whatever you decide to allow for the reintroduction phase. This time bound element has been a huge reason why I have seen success. It is also what has led me to the structure I am using for the rest of my goals in 2018.

I am a procrastinator. I always have been. I vividly remember pulling an all-nighter in 5th grade to finish a very silly project about a US state (damn you, Arizona!) because I postponed all of the work until the night before it was due. My mother had no sympathy for me. This work method continued through all of my college days and while things got a bit better in grad school, I still tend to leave things until the last minute, always assuming I can do more in less time than what is truly feasible.

This means I have a bad habit of setting goals and allotting too much to complete them and therefore never making any incremental progress. Eventually I just toss them aside and move on. This is not a great way to achieve goals! As an experiment in 2018, I am setting ONE new goal for each month.

January’s goal is completing the Whole30. This will overlap into February for two days but I am not worried about that as it will happen again with the next goal. February’s goal is to complete barre teacher training (yay!) which will also include training sessions and auditions through mid-March. I am going to use the second half of March to purge my closet and apartment and finally list items for sale on sites like Ebay and Poshmark.

This will take me through the first quarter of the year and from there I have a list of things I would like to achieve but I have not set in stone what will take place in each month. I will also be using my Passion Planner month in review feature to assess my achievements. Looking at this post now and the blog overall, perhaps April should be when I really sit down and tackle all of the smaller to-do list items for this site.

Right now I am going to finish eating my hard-boiled eggs while attempting to avoid thinking about the Blackbird Doughnuts in the office kitchen. The struggle is real but I am determined to achieve my first goal of 2018!



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