So it’s that time of year again when we make goals we probably aren’t going to keep because we didn’t plan them out properly the first time or realized that it wasn’t the right goal for us. When we set out to make resolutions, we don’t actually set out to fail them. In fact, we rather we jump in head first for the first couple of weeks without a good plan for both the long and short term. While the enthusiasm is great, it certainly doesn’t last long and for those without self motivation, it can be the great stopping point to our resolution. Keeping all this in mind, I’ve made a list to help you hit your goals this year! Ain’t no stopping us now!
Have an End Goal in Mind But Pick Your Milestones
Pick your end goal for the year. What does it look like? Some of us wish to lose weight, quit smoking, relax more, say no to things we don’t want to do and so on and so forth. Let’s say your goal is to quit smoking by the end of December 2018. What smaller milestones would give you success every week or two? Would dropping two smokes a day for two weeks be considered a success based on current consumption? Once you achieve a two week goal, continue setting newer goals to keep feeling as if you are succeeding overall. Remember, it’s a marathon that you have a year to work on, not a sprint! Slow changes equal success long term.
Set SMART Goals
SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic (or relevant) and timely. Creating any long term change needs to have these qualities to be able to be successful. An example of a goal that fits this definition would be this: “I wish to lose 15 pounds in 4 months. I will do it by eating more fats and exercising 3 days a week. It’s doable because I have a membership to a gym already and have time carved out for it. I will pre-pack my gym bag every night to ensure it’s ready to go when I am.” Why does it work? It gives a goal that is measurable, it has a specific goal of being 15 pounds less, it can be achieved in the time frame given and any reasons for it not to work has been removed by pre-prepping so that there is no reason to not go to the gym. Saying, “I want to lose 15 pounds” does not give timelines in which to achieve your goal nor does it have any ways of attaining it. By stating what you are going to do, how you are going to do it and when, you’re forcing yourself to be accountable. Accountability and consistency lead to success.
Review Older Goals
A good predictor of why a goal didn’t work is to look at what contributed to it failing and not repeating those actions for the new goal. What caused it not to work last time? Did time, money, motivation or poor goal choices factor into why it didn’t work? Once you understand why the goal didn’t work, ensure you prevent it from happening again by fixing those issues or by mitigating them. We learn best from past mistakes so use them to your advantage now.
Enthusiasm Doesn’t Last
Remember enthusiasm does not last. There will be days that will stretch your limit and make you want that smoke or your body is tired and doesn’t want to hit the gym. Those are the days when you really need to go. Why? Because you’re challenging yourself to create that habit even in the worst of situations. Enthusiasm and motivation will always fade but dedication will always get you there.
One Last Message
Don’t give up! We all make mistakes in bettering ourselves. If making changes was so easy, we would all be the perfect visions of ourselves. Remember for every setback, there is a comeback if you make it so. <3