I have to admit that I love the idea of a good New Year’s resolution even though most of them are haphazard, poorly planned and seldom seen to fruition! I guess the thing I love most about resolutions, is the promise of what greatness we can achieve in a year. So how do we set resolutions for ourselves that will actually stick and make us feel good about ourselves this time next year? I’ll use the “this year I’m going to lose weight and get in shape” resolution as an example.
The first thing we need to do is look back. How can we possibly change for the better without evaluating our past? Not only are ”those who cannot remember the past condemned to repeat it” but there are many lessons to be learned by examining our own behaviors. For example, if your resolution is to lose weight and get in shape, ask yourself “what have I been doing that isn’t in line with my goals?” Then in a non-judgemental way, think about what you might be able to do in the future to turn those behaviors around.
Once you’ve evaluated your past, it’s time to think about the future. Being able to actually achieve your goals has a lot to do with how SMART those goals are. If you’ve never heard of the SMART acronym, it stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely (some SMARTER people include Evaluate and Reevaluate too). So for example – ‘I will eat one more serving of fruits or vegetables every day’ is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely! So is ‘ I will add 15 minutes of movement to my day, five days a week’. Both of these may sound very small, but small changes add up to positive change over time. As you begin meeting these goals, evaluate and reevaluate them; then challenge yourself a little more!
What is my New Year’s Resolution? I plan to find new ways of challenging myself in the new year. I have some SMART goals set for myself already and will let you all know as I start meeting them (teaser!) – Happy New Year!