The New Year is quickly coming up and many people are once again thinking of their New Year’s resolutions. Sadly, vast majority of people end up giving up on their goals within the first couple months, if not the first month. By changing your way of thinking and method of goal-setting you can successfully determine which resolutions are most important to you and how to achieve them.
Rethink What You Want to Achieve
According to a study done by the University of Scranton in December of 2012 (for more info, check out the full study here), the following were the most popular New Year’s Resolutions for 2013:
- Lose Weight
- Getting Organized
- Spend Less, Save More
- Enjoy Life to the Fullest
- Staying Fit and Healthy
- Learn Something Exciting
- Quit Smoking
- Helps Others in Their Dreams
- Fall in Love
- Spend More Time with Family
One of the biggest reasons people fail when it comes to following their Resolutions is because they don’t choose meaningful ones or ones they can accurately judge their progress by. Sure, all of the above resolutions sound great and would be an improvement for many people, but do they really mean that much to you?
Let’s take a look at the number 1 Resolution, weight loss. With such a large population being overweight, it’s only natural that losing weight is important for many folks. Mostly people choose something like, “Lose 20lbs this year” and leave it at that. Just losing weight for appearance sakes isn’t going to keep you going when that birthday cake is staring you in the face.
Rather than focus on losing weight, why not focus on getting healthy? It’s safe to say that most people can lose 20lbs in far less than a year, but are they doing it in a healthy way? Will this weight stay off? Make goals that will truly improve your body and your mind.
Make a Plan & Set Mini-Goals
It’s difficult to judge how much progress you’re making with one giant goal. It’s easy to have a bad month and lose faith in your ability to achieve your goal. To prevent this from happening you need to come up with a solid plan and a series of monthly (or even weekly!) goals to keep track of your good work.
Look at each of your main goals and figure out how you can split it up into manageable goals that you know you can achieve. It might seem childish but humans look to make progress. If they feel that can’t reach a goal, they may be tempted to just give up. Let’s take a look at the health/weight-loss example again.
Rather than focusing on “Lose weight and get healthy”, break it down. Think of things like:
- Lose 5 lbs this month
- Don’t eat fast food as often this month as last month
- Say no to dessert once a week
- Go for a walk 3x a week
- Aim to follow your diet by 80%
- Get together with your friends once a month for an outdoors get together
- Try one new healthy recipe a week
- Replace one meal a day with a healthy alternative
Keeping a journal is a great way to keep track of your individual goals and the progress you’ve made. This can be especially helpful when you feel like you’ve hit plateau. There is nothing like reviewing your progress to inspire you to keep on keepin’ on.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.