It is the beginning of March, how are those New Year’s Resolutions going???? If they are anything like mine, they are a distant memory. I have found over my 38 years of life that EVERY December I would faithfully make a New Year’s resolution (usually to lose weight, get healthy, or get out of debt) and by the end of February; I have already lost all hope and let life get in the way. Being a busy mom of 4 very tiring girls, I am running from the time I get up in the morning to the time I go to bed so who has time for resolutions.
Last year, I decided I wasn’t going to do the ‘resolution’ thing. I figured I would try my hand at setting some goals. I started by creating a list of things I either wanted to have or do. And these were not small things; they ranged from travel, a new car, to learning to ski. Now I did not accomplish any of these things in 2016 and that is mostly because I did actually create a goal list and wrote it down but I was missing a few pieces; I never set a plan or took action. You kind of have to ACTUALLY do something to make your goals happen; they don’t just come out of thin air (even though that would be awesome if they did). One of my favorite quotes is “A goal without a plan is only a wish.”
So this year, i tried something a little different. I did still think of goals and wrote them down but then I added a plan so I could take action. Honestly, I did not get here by myself. I spent a good chunk of 2016 listening to personal development audio books. NOT something I would have ever seen myself doing but it made a HUGE difference in my perspective on life (I do plan on having a future blog post on this to elaborate further and share my experiences). In some of these audios, I heard lots of discussion about using the S.M.A.R.T. technique in settings goals. So this year, I am giving it a try and thought I would share.
Here are 5 steps I am taking this year to be successful in my goals:
- Set Goals you are passionate about.
- I heard somebody say once that you know you have found a passionate goal when it makes you cry. Being passionate makes it important enough for you to be willing to work and make it happen.
- Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
- Achievable (agreed, attainable).
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
- Write them down
- When you write down your goals, you are making it real. It is no longer just sitting in your head. If you want to take it a step further; write it down and then tell some people. This will then hold you accountable to making them happen because now its not just something you are holding as a secret; OTHERS know so you are more inclined to make them happen.
- Make a plan
- Like I said earlier….”a goal without a plan is only a wish.” This is true and usually the step where people stop. Having BIG, LOFTY goals is the easy part; its the “how the hell am I going to make this happen” part where people get stuck. For this step, I would take each goal and write a little blurb about how this can realistically happen. You may find that as you create the plan, you will be able to dig into the intimate details of how to make it happen…..this gets really exciting when you can see it transform.
- Stick to it and GET IT DONE
- So all of this planning is fine and dandy but does not mean a thing if you don’t actually ACT on your plan. So write it down and get to work. If you end up losing sight and getting busy throughout the year because we all know that will happen; its fine….just get back on track. It is never too late to have a goal and move toward it.
Let’s just go through an example to see what this would look like…..
- Goal: Lose weight
- Lose 10 pounds
- Monitor weight loss weekly with the scale
- 10 pounds is achievable
- 1-2 pounds per week is a reasonable weight loss
- Lose 10 pounds in 2 months
- Write ‘lose 10 pounds’ on a post it note and post it EVERYWHERE you can see it. Take it a step further and take a ‘before’ photo, write the 10 pound weight loss on that and post THAT everywhere.
- Plan: get up at 4 am every morning (maybe a little later on the weekends) and complete an online/DVD workout program for 30 minutes a day. Will start meal planning and prepping with the family on Sundays and monitor with portion control nutrition program.
- Now….GET UP every morning and do it. Set the alarm for 4, don’t think, press play.
Hopefully this is making sense…. I am certainly NOT an expert on this subject but I am going to give this a try this year and see how it goes. I may not reach all my goals this year but that is ok too; I will keep working toward them….sadly, things do not happen overnight but as you keep moving toward them; you will see the light.
So if the resolution thing isn’t working for you, why not give this a try. Then let me know how it goes.
If you want to explore this further, there are TONS of books and resources available to you. Here are some that I have enjoyed….but I also like very positive, “dream big” kind of books anyways.