Your New Year’s Resolution and Goal Setting
Are you thinking about your New Year’s Resolution? And do you find yourself negotiating the exceptions to that resolution? You are not alone. For centuries the ringing in of the New Year brings promises of a fresh start, a new beginning a great time to make some big changes and for centuries we have been battling that little inner voice of self-sabotage. Here are some tips on how to make that resolution stick and stay motivated with those good intentions.
1. Know WHY you want to achieve this goal? Take time to think about why you want to do this, beyond some of the obvious. Thinking about your reasons for your goal is a key part to motivation and it will be something that you can keep coming back to when your will power is not at its strongest.
2. Make your goal a SMART© goal. A SMART goal is an acronym for breaking down any goal into steps that make it more achievable and realistic.
- S – Be specific – What EXACTLY do you want to accomplish?
- M – Make it Measurable – How will you know you have met your goal? Break your goal down into steps of how you will get there.
- A – Attainable - Make sure you are setting the bar at the right level for your goal.
- R – Realistic - What is the reality of you achieving this? Is it practical? Will it work right now in your life?
- T – Time limited – Goals work best when they are time limited and don’t go on forever. You need to feel some accomplishment along the way to keep up the motivation.
3. Write it Down and Keep Track. Get yourself a notebook, a journal or a word document on your computer - however it works for you, just write it down. You have an even better chance for success if you put your goals in writing and break it down as suggested above. Keep a log of the things that go well and things that are challenges. It can be good to go back and review as you go back and review as you go along to identify patterns and areas that you may need to re-evaluate and adjust.
4. Get a buddy or two or three! Sharing goals with a friend, partner or family member can add accountability and motivation for you both. A friendly dose of competition and/or a reward of some kind can help keep you focused on meeting your goals.
5. Make it public. There is some thought that if you share your goal, you might be more accountable if you have a cheering squad along with you! Give them suggestions on ways to help keep you motivated and ask them to gently remind you why you wanted to do this and the benefits that you hope to gain for yourself.
6. Reward and Forgive yourself and always TRY AGAIN Celebrate your successes! Did you make it through the first week? Focus on the positives. You wanted to walk 7 days this week and only got in 5. Great! That is 5 more than you did last week. Build on your successes, rather than focusing on the negatives. Practice self compassion. Look at the times where you did not meet the goal, take note and write down what happened. How can you prepare for next obstacle and try again?
I would like to offer a personal example of how this can work for you – I set a personal goal to run 10km. I had never run anything other than what might have been required in a P.E. class in school, I am not kidding. I wanted to see if I could do it, I heard about the benefits for your physical and mental health and decide to give it a try. I was motivated! I even signed up for a race – a real official 10km race with a real time frame. Yikes! So I got up one morning, put on my runners and just started to run, and any of you who have ever tried to just get up and run know that it doesn’t work that way, it just doesn’t. Working towards my goal this way was not attainable and realistic and I was risking an injury. Only after stepping back and looking at what I wanted AND how I would get there did I find my personal success. I needed a plan and strategies to support my goal. I found an on line schedule to work up to the 10km distance, got a running buddy or two, got a note book, and shared my goals with those who would support me. Was it perfect? No way! But I did it. Some days I was slow, sore and even slept in, other days I believed that I ran like the wind. On race day I was ready to go; I worked up to my goal and accomplished what I set out to do within the time frame and it felt great!
Good Luck to you with your plan and intentions for your personal wellness!
“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher
If you are interested in connecting with Niki to have some help with goal setting or otherwise, contact the office at 250-545-0103.