Cast your mind back to the start of 2019. Did you promise yourself that this was a new year and a new you? You were going to lose weight. Get a promotion. Spend more time with your kids. If you’re like most of us, 2019 may have been a new year… but you were the same old you. According to Forbes, less than 25% of people stay committed to New Year’s resolutions after just 30 days and only 8% actually accomplish their resolutions. Ouch.
So how can you make 2020 different?
I know you may be thinking what’s the difference? Well resolutions are big and broad – think “I want to be healthier”; whereas goals are specific – think “I want to lose ten pounds by the end of the year”. Resolutions are much harder to keep: What does it even mean to be healthier? How can you measure that? If you go to the gym and then eat a tub of ice cream, does that mean you’re failing? Meanwhile, goals are less scary. You’re on a journey and losing ten pounds is your final destination.
And… goals are SMARTER
All goals should be SMARTER:
This means you’re going to have to spend some time making sure your goals meet these criteria. And, it’s not enough to set goals. You should evaluate and review them throughout the year. Maybe you set the goal to lose ten pounds in January. But found out you were pregnant in July. First of all, congratulations! Secondly, you need to re-evaluate the weight loss goal. You should also review your progress periodically. Schedule weekly or monthly check-ups in your calendar to make sure this happens!
There’s so much you want to do in 2020. That’s great! But if you set too many goals, you may feel so overwhelmed, you won’t accomplish anything. Consider setting three or four goals that you can actively commit time and effort to working on.
Don’t just choose the first four things that pop into your head. Why not make a cup of tea, sit with your thoughts, and set goals most important to you?
A lot of people set goals relating to their physical appearance or work. Remember to consider self-care too. If you need five cups of coffee to stop you from falling asleep in traffic, why not set a goal to sleep at least seven hours a night?
Neuroscience research suggests that writing down your goals makes you more likely to achieve them. You’re more likely to remember your written goals. More importantly, you’re more likely to take your goals seriously if they’re committed to paper.
Remember, your New Year’s goals are a marathon, not a sprint. You’re working to transform your behaviour, maybe even your life. That takes time and there are going to be mistakes along the way. Don’t get frustrated by slow progress and definitely don’t use this as a reason to quit. As usual, there’s wisdom in Aesop’s fables: Slow and steady wins the race.