I want you to forget the resolutions you made and make goals. A resolution is not the same thing as a goal. There are a few reasons resolutions don’t work and ways you can make your goals SMART.
Forget Your Resolutions – Make Goals
We’re so used to breaking our resolutions, that we start to think it is okay try a little and then give up. It’s a mindset thing. When you make goals on the other hand, particularly if it’s a smart goal, is something we believe we can reach. Knowing that a goal is reachable helps us have the initiative to really try to reach it.
Resolutions tend to be pretty vague. We want to lose weight, get back in shape, stop smoking or make more money. None of that is very specific. How much weight do you want to lose and in what time frame? When do you want to quit smoking and how are you going to get there? What does it mean to you to be in shape? How much money do you want to have in the bank and what do you want to save it up for? Goals need to be SPECIFIC.
Set attainable goals with a deadline and milestones or mini goals along the way. A year is too long of a time frame for a single goal. And that’s what we make resolutions for, isn’t it? We make them on January 1st and we make them for the entire year. That’s too long. Goals need to be MEASURABLE.
In January the year is just starting and we feel like we have all the time in the world to get to our resolution. A few slipups early in the year won’t matter because we still have more time. However time really moves fast and suddenly it’s mid year and we are nowhere near our goal. So you vow to get started and then suddenly it’s fall and all the holidays are coming up and it’s too hard to catch up now. Goals need to be ATTAINABLE.
To make it attainable, make sure your goal isn’t too far off from the norm. For example losing 100 pounds in one year is not as attainable as losing 25lbs. Making $1000 a year is attainable if you are already making $800, but not if you are making $0 right now. Put down a number, or describe what your end goal looks like. When do you want to reach your goal by? It could be December 31st, but it doesn’t have to be. Make sure your goals have something to do with your life as it is now. Goals need to be RELEVANT.
Next, set some mini goals along the way. If you have a big goal like using 24 pounds during the coming year, set mini goals of losing 2 pounds each and every month. Check in every couple of weeks and make sure you’re still on track. If you can, get ahead of schedule. Things will happen, you’ll get sick, there’s a Wedding to attend with lots of good food etc. Getting ahead of your goal schedule gives you a bit of a buffer to work with. And all this tracking will help you keep accountable and stick with your resolutions well into spring and summer. Goals need to be TIMELY.