By this time in January, you’ve likely eschewed all talk of resolutions because the thought of resolving to do anything brings up big feelings and the ghosts of new year’s resolutions past. Memories of failed diets, broken cigarettes, and more cake when you meant more green vegetables imprint the mind. Keeping or even sidelining your goals from time to time doesn’t have to come with a little black rain cloud of shame. Learn five tips to help keep your New Years’ goals intact while staying true to yourself all year long.
Be Gentle With Yourself
For most people, resolutions are born out of tight pants from too many holiday goodies and football watching. These goals that are made from discomfort, dislike, or unpleasant feelings stem from a desire to change but not a positive place.
The best way to make a positive change in your life is to start from a powerful place. Rather than saying, I want my pants to fit, so I don’t feel disgusting, consider trying, I want to have a healthy diet by including fruits, vegetables, and probiotic food supplements to support my health.
Plan Goals Before You Pen Them
Wishy-washy goals are often penned around the breakfast table on New Year’s day or lackadaisically discussed on the car ride to the club on New Year’s Eve. Since resolutions typically involve the same old song and dance of empty promises and no delivery, the conversations match the sentiment and are generally void of meaning and planning.
Why stick to an idea you spitballed at brunch where you were hungover, especially if it was the same idea that millions of people used before you? There is something to be said for tradition, but genuinely planning goals that fit your life will make them more achievable.
Identify the Why
A clear purpose drives dedication. The best way to get someone to do something is to explain why it is necessary. If you extend this same grace to yourself, you will not only quickly find out which goals are meaningful and which aren’t, but you will also feel more connected to your sense of duty in completing them.
Pare Down Your List to Three
Once you have planned the goals that make sense for your life, take the proverbial ax to the big list. Cut out anything that doesn’t have true meaning, purpose, or results that will impact your future.
Make Them S.M.A.R.T. Goals
S.M.A.R.T. goals employ more detailed planning to address precisely how you will accomplish your resolutions and by what terms success will be measured. This kind of goal-setting may seem frustrating and in-flexible at first, but it is essential to remember that you are in charge of your goal setting and can always modify the terms to fit your circumstances. S.M.A.R.T. goals are identified as:
Remember, try to use approach goals rather than avoidance goals to help maintain a positive, motivated attitude for change. Be tender.
Identify what methods you will use to track your progress. How will you know that you have succeeded?
How can you achieve your goals in one week? Out of 365 days, what parts of your plan can you achieve in one day? The answers make goals attainable. Once you decide what you can do, take that information and apply it to your plan.
While there is plenty of helpful advice out there in the world, this article included, you must decide to change for yourself. If the goals you choose are not backed by honesty and purpose, they will not be relevant to your life.
If you want to accomplish your S.M.A.R.T. goals, you need to break them down into smaller pieces. If your goal was to lose weight this year, determine what that progress needs to look like in three months and then again in six months.
All the while, be sure to evaluate your progress and re-establish goals as necessary. To stay true to yourself and your New Year’s goal, remember that change is a process and maintaining health looks different for each person.