The New Year is here which means many of us will be making New Year’s resolutions. I personally have a love/hate relationship with resolutions. They can be the perfect motivator for some and just another disappointment for others. I believe setting goals, however, is imperative to achieving the life you desire. When properly devised, they provide direction, accountability, and motivation.
I do feel, however, that the New Year is a time of renewal and offers a time to reassess your life and make changes. For me, a resolution is too definitive and lofty a term. I prefer to examine where I am in my life currently and decide what area I would like to improve upon. From there I set specific, realistic, and measurable goals.
Specific: Don’t make too broad of a goal such as, “I will lose weight”. Instead, focus on how are you going to lose weight? For example, “I am going to exercise 3 times a week” or “I am going to cook at home 6 days a week”.
Realistic: You don’t want to set yourself up for failure before you’ve even begun. Your resolutions don’t have to be all or nothing! Start small and build slowly. Using the example above regarding exercise, if you don’t exercise at all right now, make your initial goal to exercise 1 time per week then build upon that. Or start with exercising 15 minutes a day and slowly add to that time.
Measurable: By making your goals measurable you can measure your progress as well as your success. If you are not on track to reach your goals, perhaps you need to adjust your time-frame or lower your goal to a more realistic one.
To truly make a change in your life, your goal must push you from your comfort zone and challenge you. At the same time, it is essential to be realistic and not make the goal too far out of reach. You may be setting yourself up for failure which can then lead to disappointment and lack of motivation. Make sure to be gentle with yourself if you have some slips. No one is perfect! The most important thing is to pick yourself back up again because tomorrow is a new day.
When starting any new habit or trying to achieve a new goal, always start where you are.
Once you have decided on a goal, you need to devise an action plan. For example, if your goal is to get 15 minutes of movement in each day, make a list of all the ways you can do that. You can perhaps go for a walk every day at lunchtime, walk the dog each morning, take the stairs at work 10x/day, etc. Pick one and commit to that for the next two weeks. Put it on a calendar and schedule it like an appointment so you are more likely to not blow it off. If you get bored or can’t do that activity for some reason, like bad weather to walk outside, have plan B in place so you can’t make an excuse. Continue to either add to that time, or add more activities to build towards your ultimate goal.
Remember, start where you are but push your comfort zone. Begin with baby steps, then slowly build upon those steps until you achieve your goal. Then take the time to celebrate all that you accomplished! If need be, make new goals to further you along your journey.
Share in the comments below what your goals are for 2019. If you need extra support or some accountability, contact me and I will be happy to help.
Cheers to you and your health in 2019!!