Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? How’s that going? The first of the year brings new beginnings and for many of us new goals. Unfortunately, only a few weeks into the month, many resolutions have gone by the wayside, some never even getting off the ground. Some people gave up a long time ago and have resolved never to resolve.
Why are these commitments sometimes so complicated and elusive? We seem earnest about our goals, but for some reason the plan is doomed, sometimes before we even speak the promise. Especially in this world of bank accounts shortage and belly fat overages, healthy goals are good. But how do you keep those well intended resolutions against all odds?
A few easy steps may make it easier to accomplish your resolution. Any goal can be spelled out S.M.A.R.T. ly:
1) S-Be specific and have a tangible, measurable and achievable outcome. The Six ‘W”s are important. Who is involved? What do I want to accomplish? Where is the location? When does this time happen (time frame)? Which obstacles and requirements are considered? Finally, why is this goal important to me?
2) M- Measurable. Make sure that the steps that you are taking are measurable. This will help you stay on track, motivate you to continue your journey and tell you when you have concluded your quest.
3) A- Attainable. Your resolution must be something that you know you can do. Ask yourself, “Is this something I can commit to?”
4) R- Realistic. Once again you have to ask yourself if this goal is ‘doable’. Are there any major obstacles that you may not be able to handle such as time or money? Can this goal, or resolution, be chopped into little pieces, with each plateau leading to the next stage of the goal? Remember how to eat an elephant – one bite at a time.
R- Rewards. I have to add this one because rewards motivate us and help us to continue our quest. Reward yourself with a movie (but skip the buttered popcorn), when you lose that first five pounds, or take a trip to a museum with a friend. Make a list of things that make you happy (that doesn’t contradict your goal) and be ready to reward yourself when you reach your set mile markers.
5) T- Time. Setting a time frame is imperative for your goals to be realistic and measurable. Without a time frame, the goal is vague and there is no motivation to get started and the resolution often fizzles. Make your time table realistic and flexible. If you fall off the horse, get back on but maybe next time, try the pony.
Til next week – Happy and Healthy Beginnings!