It is New Year resolution time again.
That magical time of year when we are so hopeful because it is a new day, a new week, a new month, and a new year all at the same time!
We really want to make changes in our lives and yet it is so hard. I want my life to change and yet, change is hard work.
There are 3 major reasons why gyms are packed in January but not in March.
1. We make goals for things that we do not even want to do in the first place. I mean, let’s face it…if we wanted to do these things…we would.
Get out of debt
Spend more time with family
2. We make the goal too big with no smaller steps built in to help us see our progress. This is the primary reason we get overwhelmed and quit. Instead of developing a plan to lose 2-3 pounds a week, we say we want to lose 50 pounds and throw all of our food away except the lettuce.
3. We do not reward ourselves with little treats along the way to keep ourselves motivated.
For example, maybe you purchase that book you have been wanting when you lose your first 5 pounds.
Before you set your goal for the new year…ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. How important is the end result to you?
2. Do you actually believe in your ability to achieve your goal?
3. Do you have an accountability partner?
If the end result is not that important to you, it will be hard to stay on track. Then, when you fail not only did you not reach your goal, but you add guilt and a feeling of resignation to something you did not even want to do. Yet, people make these goals every January.
And, this probably goes without saying, but if you do not believe the goal is within your ability to grasp then you are not going to try very hard and you will not be surprised when you fail. Then you can tell your partner, your family, or your friends: “See. I told you I couldn’t do it”.
Lastly, research shows that we are better able to stick to our goals if we have made a promise to someone or have a person who is aware of our goal and is checking in with you on your progress. This person could even be the keeper of the rewards
Once you decide that you really want the end result more than you want what you have now, you believe you can actually do it, and have an idea of someone who make a good accountability partner it is finally time to make goals or resolutions that you can achieve.
How to develop SMART goals:
The goals are:
So the, “I want to lose 50 pounds” goal becomes: “I will lose 2-3 pounds per week by July 1st.”
Other examples include:
I will put $5 in a savings account (or a cookie jar) every Friday for 3 months.
I will walk on the treadmill for 45 minutes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the next month.
I will limit myself to one chocolate bar (or one sugary drink) per week for the next month.
By setting smaller, time-sensitive goals it gives you a feeling of accomplishment when you complete the goal and it helps you develop your ability to believe in yourself. As you develop your belief in your own abilities, you are more likely to make goals in the future and actually stick with them to completion.
Also, be careful not to take on too many goals at once. Radical change usually does not lead to lasting success. Just pick one goal at a time.
When you have completed your goal, you can decide whether to set a different goal or begin the completed one again. For example, you could continue going to the gym for another month, or you could turn your attention to another goal which is important to you.