It’s that time of year when we are reflecting over the past year and the things we did or didn’t do, and maybe lament our former 2017 resolutions and the ones that got away… but we also look ahead to 2018 and make goals for ourselves. Of course the number one goal that EVERYONE wants to make is to get fit or healthy or eat better or whatever variation of this “healthy” resolution you want to go with… While these goals are great and all, they are typically made with unrealistic expectations or over the top goals that are completely unattainable, and then by February 1st we’ve totally failed so we give up! Instead of setting yourself up for failure and getting down on yourself, plan this next year out with a little realistic optimism. What I mean by this, is that it’s ok to be ambitious in your goals, but keep a dose of realism in each one, knowing that life is unpredictable and things come up that can slow down or derail your plans so you need to have a way to readjust or realign your goals with what life throws at you. Here are some tips on setting your New Years’ goals and sticking to them.
1: Write down your goals.
Making your goals in your head is like going to the grocery store without a list… yes, you’ll remember some of your list, but most of it you’ll forget and your trip ends up being a big waste of time. So when you make your goals, write them down! Numerous studies have been done about goals and dreams, and those studies found that those who write down their goals are 40-50% more likely to achieve them! This alone is proof of the power of writing down your goals.
2: Make clear, specific goals.
Making vague or obscure goals is pretty much the same as not making any goals at all… why make goals if you can’t measure if you’re reaching them? When setting goals or resolutions, make these specific and measurable while still making them attainable. “I will work out 4 times a week” is more clear and more measurable than making your goal “I will work out more”. Another example for your professional life, “I will start 2 new accounts by July 1” is definitely more clear and measurable than saying “I will be more successful at work”. Be clear!
3: Give yourself room to adjust or amend your goals.
While I’m not giving you room to just give up and totally change your goals, you have to be realistic and know that, as I mentioned, life happens and can throw a monkey wrench in all your well made plans and goals. While giving up shouldn’t be an alternative, you should give yourself the freedom to alter these goals and make adjustments when you need to. You mother falls ill, you get pregnant, your husband loses his job, your kiddo has a hard time adjusting to his new school…all of these can affect your goals and you should plan accordingly. give yourself more time or leeway to reach your goals but try in the race!
4: Be realistic.
Fitness goals are great, but remember that you’re a real person…It’s always great to have some sort of health or wellness related goal for the year, who can’t be a little healthier??! Whether it’s to lose a few pounds, cut back on sugar, or start working out at least 3 times a week, these are all great realistic goals. It’s when you set goals like “I will lose 20 pounds by March 1” or “I will work out 7 days a week for the entire year” or “I will not drink wine at all this year” when you need to take a step back and think… hmmmm this probably isn’t realistic. Start small and you can always build on your goals later, or even go back and adjust them (there’s no rule that says you can’t change these!!). So if the 20 pounds is your goal, maybe start with limiting sugar to one time per week to start, or limiting alcohol to one drink per week or exercising at least 4 times per week. These are specific, realistic goals that can get you on your way to dropping pounds but doesn’t have you stuck on the number. Better yet (WARNING: shameless plug coming!), decide to join our 8 to Great Program at inBalance where all the guess work is down for you because I create all the personalized meal plans, and tell you exactly what to eat for 8 weeks so you don’t have to wonder if you’re eating right! It’s a great way to kick start the year and get started on your health related goals.
The time to plan of the year is now! Be ambitious and be thoughtful and make some goals for yourself!