January 2013 has already come and gone. I don’t know about you but it just seemed to whiz by for me. I noticed the fitness club I go to is less busy compared to the beginning of the New Year when many of us were working on our New Year’s Resolutions or trying to work off some of the Christmas indulgences. I have also noticed the television commercials that were in full gear promoting mostly weight loss programs and fitness equipment have diminished quite a bit since the beginning of January as well. I was also wondering how you are doing keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions?
I realized quite a while ago that New Year’s resolutions don’t last. I have been following the wonderful blog Fit for a year, Running to fitness, year two for about a year now. John truly exemplifies what it is all about when it comes to setting goals. He has consistently posted something new every day on his blog in the form of personal fitness updates, something reflective, informative, humourous or motivational everyday. It has been quite enjoyable and inspiring to follow along as he works towards achieving his running and fitness goals. John posted this infographic titled 2012-2013 New Year’s Resolutions around the beginning of thre New Year showing the most popular resolutions people make and how long they last. You will notice that most people work on their resolutions for about three weeks and then slip into their old habits again.
Out of interest, I looked up the definition of resolution in Dictionary.com and did you know there are 12 different definitions for this term? The three most applicable definitions I figure that were relevant to making resolutions at New Year’s were:
- a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
- the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
- the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
Based on these definitions, the problem I see is that just making a resolution is only part of the solution. It is only the beginning and it only gets the action started. What is missing is the follow through, the specific plan, the timeline and the celebration when the outcome is achieved.
Establish goals rather than resolutions. Goal setting is so much more a part of our personal and professional lives compared to making resolutions once a year.
The commonly known mnemonic for goal setting uses the word SMART. Make your goals SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, REALISTIC and TIME-BOUND. This is a great starting point.
I am not a goal setting expert but I just wanted to share with you some of the tips I have learned over the years and the ones I use personally, with my family and even with the students that I teach. I also created a JPEG image of the following tips so it can easily be pinned on PInterest!
- Make your goal a specific and detailed action statement.
- Break a lofty goal into smaller more manageable goals.
- Design your goal so it can be measured in terms of growth and achievement.
- Set goals that are realistic and achievable.
- Do something everyday towards your goal.
- Build in scheduled time to work on your goal.
- Establish realistic timelines for achieving your goal.
- Rehearse mentally the tasks that need to be done as you work towards your goal.
- Visualize daily what the outcome of the goal will look like.
- Expect your goal to change and evolve.
- Write your goal down.
- Share your goal with others.
- Reward yourself with ongoing mini-rewards while working on the goal.
- Celebrate with a larger reward when the goal is attained.
- Form a plan to stick to your goal after you have achieved it.
Goal setting and working towards a goal can actually be a lot of fun! Often we set goals to make improvements or fix a problem but I have to admit I love working on goals for the ‘just because’ reason. These goals are fun to do because I want to do work on them rather than have to. These are the goals where I work towards learning something new or have a different experience or become better at doing something that I could not do before. Goals can also enhance what is already going really well in our lives and provide a real sense of accomplishment when they are achieved.
How are the resolutions doing that you started at the beginning of the year?
What tips do you have to help with your goal setting?
I would love to hear about your goals and how you are working towards achieving them?
I set the goal of starting and working on this blog just over a year ago and it has been a lot of fun! I am looking forward to creating lots of new posts so I invite you to hang around to see what I have planned.
A huge thank you for spending ‘Time with Thea’!