In recent years, I have heard many negative comments regarding New Year’s resolutions. People post derogatory messages on social media that state things such as “I can’t wait until January is over so that my gym isn’t so crowed”. This message insinuates that the gym is more populated in January because of people having New Year’s resolutions, but by February people have given up on those resolutions and quit coming to the gym. These types of comments and attitudes can be very discouraging for others. Today I want to talk about how New Year’s Resolutions can be helpful and how to set goals that you can achieve.
New Year’s resolutions are basically just that. They are goals that people set during a certain time period of the year. Setting goals can be very helpful. They give us something to work towards and try to achieve. Most of us have what I would like to call “general goals”. These types of goals are very vague. Some examples might include phrases such as “I want to be healthier” or “I want to read more”. Although these general goals are good to have, they don’t really help push us towards success. Below I have outlined some things to consider when making your goals.
Make them Specific:
Answer the Who, What, When, and Where for each goal.
General goal: I will exercise more often.
Specific goal: I will walk by myself on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:30-6:30pm around my neighborhood.
Make them Measurable:
Have something that can be measured, so that you can see how you are doing. In the above example the measurable things would be how long I plan to walk (1 hour) and how often I plan to walk (3 days). Another example is if I said I want to walk 10,000 steps/day.
Make them Achievable:
Don’t set yourself up for failure by choosing unrealistic goals. If you have the goal of starting to run but have never ran a day in your life, then don’t set a goal in January to run a full marathon by February.
Make them Relevant:
Choose specific goals that will ultimately help you with your overall general goal. If you are not able to see the importance or relevance of each goal then you will lose the motivation to stick with it.
Make them Timely:
Give yourself a deadline! Most people prioritize their daily tasks and lives. If you set a goal for yourself but do not give yourself a specific deadline or time frame then you will keep pushing off that goal when other things with urgent deadlines come up. Eventually you give up on the goal altogether.
Tips & Tricks:
Write down your goal! This may seem silly but write it down and put it some place you will see it every single day. Seeing your goal written down on a daily basis will help to remind you of how important it is to you and the deadline you have given yourself to complete it.
Goals do not have to be for a whole year. You can make daily, weekly, or monthly goals too!
If you fall off the horse then get right back up on it! Don’t wait until next week to start the goals over. Pick up right where you left off!
Find an accountability partner! Let’s face it, you are more likely to follow through on things when you have someone there asking you if you did or not.
Make it fun! So many families have bought fitness trackers and made it a fun competition to see how many steps they can get.
Lastly, it takes ~21 days to make something new a habit. Try to stick out your goals for at least 21 days and see how much easier it becomes to achieve them!