Have you made your New Year’s resolutions? Don’t.
A few years ago I read an article that changed how I thought about resolutions. Most of us resolve to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, or quit some bad habit. The sad thing is that most of us will fail at keeping our resolutions before the end of January.
I had much more success with creating goals. Goals allow you more flexibility. If you resolve to eat healthy and then enjoy a nice, warm chocolate cake, then you’ve failed. If you make a goal of eating 80% healthier, you have provided yourself something to work toward. A goal is a goal because it isn’t expected to be reached immediately. It is more flexible, where a resolution is rigid and firm.
So, I propose that you should create goals for the New Year instead of resolutions.
The key to creating a goal is to make it something attainable. If you want to lose 40 pounds, don’t set your goal to lose all 40 pounds at once. Instead create a goal to lose 5 pounds within a safe time frame. Once you meet your first goal, you can work toward the next goal. It makes it much more reasonable and reaching each goal makes you want to reach for the next.
Some people say goals should be SMART.
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Relevant
T = Time Bound
This model works well for some goals such as weight loss, but I recently read an article on Forbes about the need to reach beyond just attainable. The article explains that by only reaching for attainable goals, we sell ourselves short of our potential.
Some things may seem unattainable, but with effort and work can be reached. If we limit ourselves to just what we believe can be attained, we might miss out on something great that we didn’t think we could do.
Once you decide on your goals, write them down and keep them handy. Revisit them and check on your progress. If you mess up along the way, that’s OK. Remember it is a goal. Nobody expects you to master it today.
A way to hold yourself accountable to your goals is to be public with them. Tell someone, or several someones, your goals. I shared my goals with those of you subscribed to my newsletter. I would love to hear your goals for 2016. Share some of your goals in the comments below or contact me directly. We can work on them together.
Cheers to a fabulous 2016!