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Making SMART New Year’s Resolutions

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Source: Pinterest 

Did you know that “new year’s resolution” is the 6th most common keyword searched on Google when it comes to goal setting? (Hill, 2016)

The New Year gives us a time to reflect on the year that has past and what we have, or in some cases, haven’t achieved. Many of us aim for something big on January 1st in hopes that our motivation can push us through the year. However, as we head back to work and life slowly starts to get in the way, our goals can derail and disappointment sets in for what was meant to be our year of ticking boxes.

Going back to my fun fact, the top keyword searched in Google is in fact, how to lose weight. January 1st acts as a milestone date for people to throw out the Christmas leftovers and return a strict regime of diet and exercise. However, as Sarah has pointed out in her previous blog, Starting the New Year Strong, improving overall health is much more attainable than trying to reduce the number on the scales.

So what is it we’re doing wrong?

Well for starters, we’re aiming WAY TOO HIGH!! On top of that, we’re living in a world where things come to us almost immediately, so we’re expecting to move mountains and get results quickly.

Let us remind you of the age old SMART goal setting rule, created by Dr George T. Doran (1981).

Specific:

Sometimes we make goals too vague when we set them. Saying you want to eat better or be a better friend doesn’t cut the mustard if you really want to achieve a resolution in 2017. You need to work out the specifics – who will it involve, what do you wish to achieve, where will it take place, when is it going to happen, and why, also known as the benefits of your goal.

Measureable:

Is there a way of keeping track of your goal?

Perhaps a running app?

A tally system?

Or a diary to log your progress?

Being able to see visually what you have or haven’t achieved can give you an idea of where you can fit your goal into your day and therefore not pull the “I ran out of time” excuse. Also, planning your day means that you’re less likely to cancel on the time allocated to your goal; or take on something spontaneously if you haven’t completed your goal yet.

Attainable:

Too often we come up with a list of resolutions we’d like to work on instantly, only to find we burn out within the first few weeks of January. Identifying what is important to you can help you prioritise and work towards kicking goals in 2017. The key – take it one step at a time. Overloading yourself with too many tasks means that you can spread yourself thin. Working on one goal at a time not only helps you turn it into a habit rather than a chore, it also means that once it’s achieved, it can be used as experience to efficiently work on the next.

Realistic:

How often we hear of grand plans to achieve something big, when in reality they never get off the ground. A good example is the marathon plan, which if you’re a regular in the Sydney running circuit is one thing. But, when you have never done a fun run, let alone set foot on a treadmill, it can be a bit out of our league. Start small and achievable to avoid disappointment and feelings of failure.

Timely:

Setting a realistic time frame puts your goal at the forefront of your priorities. How often do we say that we want to learn a language to find years go by and you haven’t stepped foot in a classroom! By being specific (remember, identifying the “when” in your goal setting), you have something to work towards and a point to which you can evaluate whether you’ve achieved that goal. Most importantly, be realistic. And don’t go too hard on yourself.

Here’s to 2017 and ticking boxes!!!

Let us know your smart resolutions below- and given we know that weight loss goals do not work lets think about expanding the focus of our new years resolutions. We look forward to seeing you in 2017.

Resources:

Doran, G. T. (1981). There’s a SMART way to write management’s goals and objectives. Management review70(11), 35-36.

Hill, K. (2016). New Years Blog Post Ideas. Retrieved 21 December, 2016, from http://blogambitions.com/new-years-blog-post-ideas/

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