Since it’s January, I wanted to talk about new year resolutions, why they fail and my tips on how to succeed.
For the longest time, I never made resolutions. I saw them as stupid dreams people wrote down once a year in the hopes of becoming some miraculous new person and then forgot about in one week’s time. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to fail this year. Those dreams of yours, AREN’T stupid. They just need a plan.
Start by setting SMART goals:
Specific – ask yourself the who, what, where, when and why.
Measurable – how can you quantify your goal?
Attainable – how can you get there? by planning, reading, buying something, practicing?
Realistic – are you willing and able to make this goal happen?
Time-Based – how long will this take you?
We as humans love instant gratification but you can’t set a goal/resolution and expect it to occur overnight without giving it the proper thought, planning and effort. One of my favourite quotes is by Benjamin Franklin “failing to plan is planning to fail”. This can be translated into whatever your goals may be (life, fitness, career etc.).
PAY YOURSELF FIRST. Imagine you are your own creditor. You need to put your goals first, you need to be selfish, you need to not feel guilty making yourself a priority. For example, you’ve just started going to the gym on the regular and you’re determined that this year is the year that you’re going to get strong, healthy and fit. Well, when your friends call and ask you to go to the bar or for fast food or to skip your workout just this once to finish a bottle of wine and watch The Bachelor, you say NO! I’m paying myself first. I’m making me a priority. The right friends will support you and help you to achieve your goals. Anyone that criticizes your efforts, well…they know where that door is.
Don’t get me wrong, if you want to do those things, you should do them but make sure that it’s your own choice and one that you won’t regret later because you just complied with what you thought others expected of you. All too often we do things to please others or to avoid hurting other people’s feelings at our own expense. No one can fault you for taking time for yourself. You’re entitled to it. Food for thought, how can you fill someone’s cup when your own cup isn’t full?
If you’re serious about making a change in any aspect of your life and achieving your goals, you need to make sacrifices, but this year don’t let that sacrifice be you.
ONE AT A TIME. The best way to achieve your goals is to take it one step at a time. It’s great to have a lot of goals/resolutions but be realistic. It’s rarely sustainable to go from 0 to 100. Break your “larger goal” into smaller goals that you can reach sooner rather than a goal that seems so far away.
For goals to stick, they need to become a habit. A part of your daily life. If you want to read more books, start by doing it 3 times a week and decreasing or increasing as you see what works for you to avoid the ‘I failed’ mentality. Too often I hear resolutions like I’m going to eat healthy and workout every day from someone who eats out almost daily and has probably visited the gym only a handful of times a year. Instead, try I’m going to prepare all my lunches each week or I’m going to eat dinners at home each week and workout 3 times per week. You can always increase your goal once you start but setting a ‘small’ goal instead of a best case scenario if unicorns are real, just doesn’t fly.
FORGIVE YOURSELF. I don’t know about you, but I’m not perfect. I have bad days, good days, worst days, amazing days. Life is a roller coaster and you’re on for the ride. You may as well learn to enjoy it (figuratively only since I’m scared silly of heights 🙂 ). One off day, two off days, heck even a week shouldn’t stop you from picking yourself up and continuing where you left off. We need to love ourselves more and forgive ourselves. We are only human and that’s the beauty of it. Tomorrow doesn’t have to be the same as today. Change your mindset and you can change your life.
I hope this post helps you set SMART goals and that 2017 is a successful year for you! Feel free to share your goals with me so I can cheer you on!
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