Tomorrow is the start of a new year and it is also the start of many New Year’s resolutions. Sadly, only about 8% percent of people who set New year’s resolutions have any success. We don’t know what your resolutions may be, but we can offer you some advice to help you achieve your goals. In return, we challenge you to set goals for a healthier life! Let’s get that measly 8% up to at least the double-digits!
When setting a goal, first you must identify the “big picture”. What are the things that you want to achieve? After you figure that out, break up that large goal into multiple smaller ones. That way. the goal won’t look as intimidating. Instead of one huge goal, it can be looked at as multiple smaller goals that lead into that large goal. Let’s be smart about setting goals and use the S.M.A.R.T. method.
Make sure that the goals fit the S.M.A.R.T. criteria to maximize the chance for success-
>>Specific- Don’t be vague. Set a specific goal! It is much more likely for a person to accomplish a specific goal as opposed to a general goal. What is your goal and how do you plan to accomplish it?
>>Measurable- Set a goal that you can measure. It can be anything, so long as it can be measured. (pounds lost, muscle gained, amount of vegetables/fruit eaten, etc.). By having a measurable goal, you can track your progress. If things are progressing nicely, then keep at it! You’re right on track. However, if you see that things are progressing slowly, you can change the way you go about achieving your goal.
>>Attainable- Make sure the goal that you set is possible to achieve given the current circumstances. Set a challenging goal for yourself, but don’t make it so challenging that it becomes impossible to achieve. I don’t want to be a party pooper, but chances are that you will not look like Dwayne Johnson by the end of the year.
>>Relevant- Is this goal relevant to you? Is it worth the time and the effort, and most importantly, is it important to you? If it is, then go for it! If not, come up with a different goal.
>>Time Bound- Set a time frame for your goal(s). Get “x” done by “x” date. Include some “checkpoints” to see if you’re on the right track. (It can be weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.). Setting a timeframe also provides you with a sense of urgency.
Now that you know how to set a smart goal, it’s time to talk about sticking to that goal for a healthier life. First off, write down your goal! If you want, you can even get a dry-erase/picture to help yourself visualize the goal. Then, give yourself daily reminders of that goal, especially if it is a long term one. Hang reminders in places you look at everyday. (Bathroom mirror, fridge, nightstand). You’ll never lose track of your goal if you’re constantly reminded of it.
Don’t forget to track your progress. If you are ever feeling discouraged, you can always take a look back and see how far you have progressed. Tracking your progress also serves another purpose. Remember those “checkpoints” mentioned earlier? Reward yourself when you reach them! Reaching one of those “checkpoints” means that you are right on track to achieving your goal. You deserve a little reward upon reaching it.
Lastly, you can ask people, whose achievements you respect, for their advice. Some outside influence may be just what you need to get through a rough patch. These people can provide you with motivation and/or tips to help you fulfill your goal.