The New Year is a time of renewal, of clearing out the old, evaluating where we have come from and where we want to go. So, naturally it is a time when we set new goals, or work to get back on track with goals we have previously set but have not yet accomplished.

This year many of my goals are the same as last years goals. Some of them when reflecting back on I realize I did accomplish them, but they are cyclical and are needing to be a goal once again. I did a lot of clearing out of space in my life planning for one thing, but God had other plans and so we made room in our hearts and our lives for what He wanted to do and set our plans to the side. Others, I did a lot of work towards, but during that journey discovered other areas of weakness or lacking that needed to be addressed before the goal could be fully accomplished.

This is why when setting goals it is so important that we look at them from the big picture of what we hope to gain, but also drill down into the smaller steps we have to take along the way. This also allows us to set smaller shorter term goals and celebrate accomplishments along the way, which leads to more joy, and less discouragement or burn out.

Having a means to journal or work through our goals visually is very helpful in setting our intentions and understanding that what we have is a goal, and not simply just a wish. Having a goal means that you have a concrete idea of where you are now and where you would like to get to, as well as a realistic understanding of how long it will take and the steps needed to get there.

Once we have that in place, we are able to create a plan for ourselves to ensure that what we do with the limited time we are blessed with each day is going towards things that will help us to reach our goals, and not feeling like it is being wasted.

It is also important to have big long-term goals to aim for in life so that we have direction and motivation for our days. Launching Moms Empowered Fitness is a very big long term goal of mine. It is a goal I have been working towards for the past few years. When I first embarked on creating this business I had lots of great ideas and visions of what it would look like and the timeline I thought it would happen on.

However, life has thrown more than one unexpected wrench into things, so to speak, and I have had to shift and manage my expectations and disappointment repeatedly with the reality that this and other goals would be delayed. In the past 3 1/2 years my life has been flipped upside down a couple times and my family and I have had to adjust a lot in response.

We moved twice in 2 years, my husband changed careers, my kids switched schools in the middle of the school year, then again the next year to a whole new county. We had to make all new friends, we had another baby shortly after our second move, it took us some time to find our new home church, my mom and sister moved in with us to help with the kids and starting the business, and I took a part time job working at a gym as a personal trainer.

It makes me dizzy just thinking of all the changes and growth and shifts that have happened in just the last few years of life. There were many difficult parts but also tons of blessings, but the reality is all of these things that happened were not a part of my original plan and they definitely created some delays in reaching my goal for this business, in addition to goals in my fitness and my personal life.

It is very easy to become discouraged and want to give up on goals when it seems like you work very hard, for very long towards them and feel like you have hardly accomplished a thing. But in reflecting back and reading over my previous notes, journals, and goal setting, I am able to see how the "obstacles" were actually stepping stones I had to walk across in order to gain growth I wasn't previously aware I needed.

In life this happens a lot. With big important goals, and even with smaller goals such as fitness goals. This is much more obvious for me to see with my fitness goals than with my life goals usually.

For instance, my BIG fitness goal is to get my press handstand. You know that awesome move you see gymnasts and yogis make look effortless where they put their hands on the ground and then their legs just seem to float up into the air so they are standing on their hands? I have been wanting to be able to do that for as long as I can remember. But as I work on strengthening certain parts of my body in an effort to be able to accomplish that goal, other areas of weakness are brought to light and I have to shift focus on correcting and strengthening in those areas too before I can reach my goal.

I find that I have the shoulder strength for the stand itself, but need to work on shoulder mobility so that I am able to maintain the hollow body position needed for stability. I also deeply lack flexibility in my hamstrings and really need that in order to be able to bring my hips in alignment over my shoulders to begin the lift. It turns out my hip flexors suffered a lot of loss of strength during my pregnancy as well as when I suffered a knee injury in the middle of last year, so I have also had to work on strengthening them in a specific way while also rehabbing a knee. Yet more delays to reaching what seemed like a simple and straight forward goal.

But while each of these turns off course have discouraged me and made me feel like I will never reach my goal, I am not giving up and will simply change course to accommodate. I am really big on results and accomplishments and "getting the grade" so to speak, so learning to appreciate the journey has been a difficult and sometimes painful thing for me. But as I look back and reflect I have to admit that I have grown a lot and gained strength, understanding, empathy, flexibility, patience, and grace for myself and for others along the way that I would not have had without the bumps in the road. So, I guess all of that to say, if you feel discouraged in your journey or feel like you are so far away from reaching your goals, fitness or otherwise, don't quit. Don't give up. Keep going and enjoy the journey along the way. You may find that you gain a whole lot more than what you bargained for when you first started working towards your goal.

In the meantime if you want some help in carving out and breaking down your fitness goals for this new year, head on over here for some goal setting tips and grab your copy of my Goal Setting Worksheets and you will also get on the list to know when the S.H.E. Fit Challenge finally opens!