When I asked my 93-year-old grandmother what her resolution was this year, she said, “I don’t have one. I never keep them.” I’m a big fan of resolutions, not just annually, but also monthly and sometimes even daily! But the more I ask around, the more I realize I’m in the minority on this. Apparently, the feast, the fiasco, and the champagne on December 31st are more exciting than getting fit or losing weight. For most people, that’s due to a long line of unfulfilled resolutions.
Given my excessive goal-setting tendencies, I have ample experience failing at (but also happily and permanently fulfilling!) some pretty cool aspirations. The benefits of resolving to change your life and successfully doing so are SO huge, that I’d hate to see you the ditch the ritual entirely. That’s why I’m sharing my secret to setting goals that are near impossible not to achieve.
Follow these goal-setting guidelines and I guarantee you will enjoy a measure of success that will compel you to explore just what else 2018 has to offer.
1. Pick something SMALL. Small changes are the stepping stones to huge transformation.
2. Pick something measurable. I like daily commitments because actions that first require a lot of effort quickly become an integrated routine.
3. Clearly define your goal (not, “I’ll go to the gym,” but “I’ll get to the gym twice a week”).
4. Foresee challenges and set pre-determined allowances.
5. Know the motivation underlying your goal (hint: for best results, it should evoke an emotional response).
6. ADD to your life, don’t create a void. For example, I'll drink at least eight glasses of water a day. This will reduce caloric consumption, which fulfills the more daunting commitment to lose weight.
7. Share your goal with someone committed to their own resolution, and check in with them to keep each other accountable! (Tell a room full of people on January 1 for extra support, if you like!)
Ways to Rephrase Your Intentions:
1. Instead of, “I’m going to run a marathon” (despite only periodically walking), try, “I will walk for 15 minutes a day.”
2. Instead of, “I’ll meditate daily for one hour” (despite only dabbling in meditation and having the attention span of a six-year-old after Halloween), try, “I’ll sit with my eyes closed for THREE minutes a day.”
3. Instead of, “I’ll stop eating sugar (despite relying on Tim’s double-double to get out of bed, a few candies to revive the midday slump, and a sweet treat after dinner), try, “I’ll eat at least 4 servings of fruit a day.”
4. Instead of, “I’ll quit coffee,” try, “I won’t have coffee past 5pm.”
5. Instead of, “I’ll invest in my friendships,” try, “Once a month I’ll plan a get-together with friends.”
The ultimate goal is MOTIVATION, not deprivation! Give these guidelines a shot and let me know how it goes. If you need a hand tailoring your own resolution for success, drop me a line. I’d love to help define an aspiration that uplifts, empowers, and inspires your upcoming year!