Instead of resolutions this year, set goals. Resolutions are wishes and wishes lack the substance necessary to become a reality. For goals to work, you must have a plan. Most importantly, your goals need to be written down. They must be time specific and measurable. Otherwise, your “goals” are just wishes. Remember….wishes are just that… wishes and day dreaming.
Lets dissect down the three main components of goals:
Make a plan and write it down:
This works best if you write your goals where you can see them everyday. I have seen people write them on a piece of paper and tape it to their bathroom mirror or the refrigerator, somewhere where you are constantly reminded of your goals. For example, when trying to lose weight (which is the most common New Year’s resolution…..and the one that fails the most often) you need to have specific ways in how you plan to lose the weight. This might include decreased portion sizes, not getting second servings or dessert or maybe it would be to not drink sodas or it might be to exercise every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 1 hour.
Specific and Measurable:
Your goals must be specific and measurable. Monitor your progress daily or weekly and also monthly. By doing this you are able to track your progress as you move towards your goal. To continue with our weight loss example, the goal shouldn’t be to “lose weight.” Your goal should be a specific number of pounds or inches or a specific percentage of your current body weight or a goal BMI (Body Mass Index). You should set a weekly alarm to weigh yourself. Write down your results and think about what would be the best way to adjust your plan to be able to stay focused. Keeping track of your results can help you to stay motivated, as you see the progress that you have made.
Goals should have a dead line. They should be based on “mini deadlines” and one “big due date.” For example, set yourself weekly or monthly “mini deadlines” with a “big deadline” further out into the future. In our example of trying to lose weight, you can divide the total number of pounds by the time that you want to lose it in to set “mini deadlines.” A goal to “lose 2 pounds per month” is much easier to visualize as a possibility than a goal to “lose 25 pounds”, but the result at the end of the year is essentially the same. These smaller goals allow you to stay focused and monitor your progress with a much bigger picture spread out over time. They also give you the opportunity to celebrate your successes!
Above all, remember to celebrate small achievements and not to get discouraged by small setbacks. Try to stay focused and take a day-by-day approach to your goals.