First and foremost I don’t really like the thought that you have to wait until New Year’s to set a goal for yourself. I get why people do it, a new year signifies a fresh start. The problem is it limits the goals you can set for yourself to once a year, and more often than not those goals are kind of like Christmas presents. They start out nice and shiny and slowly get left on the shelf and forgot about.
So here are a couple of recommendations for setting resolutions that can actually be accomplished and built upon.
First thing we have to do is call a resolution what it really is….Goal Setting. Once we do that we can take the proper steps to make it reality. A Stanford University Study found that people are 70% more likely to achieve their goals if they write them down. SMART goal setting is an easy way to put your goals down on paper and give yourself the steps to attain those goals.
S= Specific: Generalized goals like “I want to be healthier in 2016” are way too broad. Be as specific as possible
M=Measurable: If you can’t measure it or quantify it how will you know if you’re on track? Use a chart/app/or other means of tracking.
A= Action steps: What specific steps are you going to do to work toward this goal. (Be as specific as possible! This is your plan so if your goal is to lose weight write in your schedule for workouts, Nutrition etc)
R=Realistic: Challenge yourself but make your goals attainable. Small victories will lead to huge successes.
T= Timetable: Set a time table to accomplish your goal
If you have a resolution that the timetable is January 1, 2017, then I would recommend doing this exercise each month with each one working toward the final goal. It’s too hard to keep your eye on the prize if you have to wait a whole year to get there. Each month if you hit your goal, reward yourself.
There are a number of studies that show people are far more successful in reaching their goals if they are held accountable by someone other than themselves. There a few ways to do this:
– Find a partner that is working toward the same goal and keep each other accountable
– Put it out there for your family and friends to know what your goals are
– How about sharing your goals on your favorite social network (Join a group or just on your own personal page)
– Hire a coach, advisor, or trainer
It can be uncomfortable putting our business out there for the world to see but it can be the difference between reaching your goal and falling flat on your face.
Your failures or setbacks will not define your success. HOW YOU RESPOND WILL! It’s too easy to fall back into those old habits that we are use to. Don’t fret, we all have the same challenges with staying on track each and every day. The key is to not let those occasional slip ups turn in to that progressive ball of inaction that finds us weeks down the road and back at square one. You’re going to fall on your face and that’s okay, just make sure you get up dust yourself off and get back at it.
Typically our goals (resolutions) are geared toward something that we’re not good at or don’t really like about ourselves or our lives. Your “WHY” should be something that hits you at your core and is hard to disregard. Remind yourself “WHY” you want to make this change so you don’t lose focus on your goal. These days everyone has a smart phone, it’s easy to set a daily reminder so the first thing you see when you look at your phone in the morning is that reminder.
There is always the inclination to say “Starting next week I’m going to (insert random resolution)”. Why wait until next week? Of course you want to take the time to put together a SMART goal but you can begin taking steps toward that goal immediately. There is no such thing as a perfect plan so don’t wait to get yours together before you start. If your goal is to be healthier in 2016 there is no reason to eat anything and everything you want because you’re “starting next week”. You can start eating a little healthier, drinking less alcohol, drinking more water, etc. If your goal is to save more money does it make sense to go spend a bunch of money this week because you’re “starting next week”? No it doesn’t, so start making those small changes right away so your little victories can be realized sooner than later and you can realize success of your ever evading New Year’s Resolution.
— Dr. Aron Ferguson