Set Goals instead of Resolutions For The New Year
The winter months can cause some people to feel blue. It has to do with the lack of sunshine and how it sustains us. It is also a time of telling one’s self that this year is going to be different. This year, unlike past years we are really going to go for it and lose weight, stop drinking or smoking. We also make resolutions for our careers such as getting motivated to get a higher paying job. The issue is that resolutions are wishful thinking:
“I’ll really lose weight. Once the holiday’s days are over. Until then I can eat what I want.” We start wishing thinking about a week or two before January 1st, filling our minds with lots of promises. Sometimes we tell others just so we can hear that we have a wonderful idea. A lack of strategy is usually the downfall. We must set clear goals for changing direction and achieving goals.
Before January 1st arrives, take the time to set strategic goals. Be sure to make them specific to what you want to achieve. For example, “Starting January 1st, I am going to stop eating pizza.” Change it to, “Starting at 8:00 on January 1st, I will start eating healthy 24/7, following a daily meal plan that I will write up on December 27th.”
You must write down your goals and the reasons why this goal is important to you. If you do not have a compelling reason to reach the goal, then it is not a goal but a wish. Set as many goals as you feel you are able to accomplish. If you believe at the start that you can set and accomplish 3 goals across different areas, then stretch yourself and make it 5. You want to get out of your comfort zone. Going beyond the 5 will overwhelm you and it is possible you will see yourself as a major failure, giving up on trying to set and accomplish goals in the future.
All your goals should be written with positive intention. Avoid words like “I won’t do this or I won’t do that.” Instead, write it with a conviction. “I will do this and it will give me pleasure to achieve it.”
Get an accountability buddy. Once you have your goals written down, they are not wishes anymore. This means they will take work and it is far too easy to lose motivation. Your buddy must be someone who will not look at your goals in a negative way and make suggestions that you should change something because, “well, that won’t work. I know you. You won’t do that.” Even the best of accountability buddies may suggest a big change but you must hold fast because you own these goals. Set up times to have a chat and discuss your progress.
Be flexible and know that since these goals are worth working for, there will be roadblocks. A resolution is so much different. When a roadblock comes up on a resolution, people will just shrug it off and tell everyone, “well at least I tried but this happened and well it just isn’t doable because of that.”
Look at your goals when obstacles occur or you are having difficulty even with 100% effort. It doesn’t mean you have to give up on a goal, you just need to alter parts of it, to make it workable. For example, you had a goal of losing weight this year and you are well on your way. Out of the blue, your appendix decides to give up and the surgeon needs to remove it. This is an unavoidable roadblock that should not affect your motivation to get right back on track the moment the surgeon clears you to do so.
This year, stop with resolutions and make SMART goals instead. The system of SMART goals will make your achievements a reality.