Elf-Sized Goals

As a working mother of two kids, I have a love/hate relationship with the month of December. As if life is not busy enough, we add in a tremendous amount of holiday fun and festivities and now it just gets crazy. So, I prepare for it much like I do a tough CrossFit workout. I look at the work I have to do, mentally prepare for the task ahead, take a deep breath and then dive in with 100% effort and focus – 3..2..1..go!


Between attending holiday band concerts, waking up in a panic each night because I forgot to do the Elf on the Shelf (if you don’t know what Elf on the Shelf consider yourself very lucky), trying to make a couple of social appearances at parties, getting the dreaded Christmas cards in the mail, and buying THE perfect gift for those special people in my life – there is not a lot of room in the schedule for adding anything extra, especially for myself or my fitness.

The time for setting our long-term health and fitness goals may have to wait until after the holidays but that does not mean you can’t set mini-goals for yourself this month. There are three types of goals: Outcome goals, performance goals, and process goals. Separating goals helps organize your thought process and allows you to focus on what you want to accomplish. An outcome goal is a goal that isn’t under your control. It’s the big picture. For example: Being great at CrossFit. Performance goals are what you are trying to achieve. They are the building blocks that help you reach your outcome goal. To be great at CrossFit I need to deadlift twice my bodyweight and do unbroken pull ups. With the help of process goals, the performance goals can be reached. Process goals are completely under your control. They are the mini-goals, the small steps you take to get to the performance and outcome goals. For example, in order to deadlift my body weight, I can work out 3 or 4 days a week and improve my strength.

In a month so driven by the demands of the holiday season, it really is the perfect time to set some mini (or Elf-sized ) goals for yourself. For instance, to offset all of those holiday treats you might want to add doing a set of push ups or sit ups before going to bed each night. If making time for yourself is a challenge, make your goal to get to the gym a certain number of times per week, schedule it and then check it off the list when you get there.

Challenge yourself to stick to one thing this month. It will make you happier and healthier as you navigate through this busy time of year,and put you in a better place for tackling the big goals when life settles down.

As for me, my goal this month is to protect my sleep by making sure the Elf on the Shelf somehow mysteriously disappears on his way to our house from the North Pole.

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