January is the time of year when we vow to get fitter, bag that dream job, stop procrastinating, start eating healthier, spend more time with the people we like, take up that hobby we love…the list goes on. If you’re exhausted just thinking about it, stop, take a breather and reassess. You don’t need to do it all.
One of the biggest reasons that resolutions fail, is because we aim too big. We try to do too much too soon - and end up falling off the wagon pretty quickly as our goals are not realistic.
Here’s how you can set sensible yet challenging, achievable yet motivating goals this year:
Instead of vowing to ‘be healthier’ this year, choose one specific area you’d like to focus on first; it could be your alcohol intake, or the amount of time you spend watching TV.
Make your goal measurable
This means something you can track to say whether you’ve achieved it or not. So instead of saying ‘I’m going to go to the gym more’, say ‘I’m going to go to the gym twice a week.’
Make it achievable
If you’re currently eating three chocolate bars a day, it may be too much to go from this to vowing never to eat chocolate again whole! Instead you could aim to cut back to one sweet treat a day.
Make it realistic
Have you achieved anything similar in the past? Do you know anyone who’s achieved the goal you’re aiming for? Can you visualise yourself reaching this goal? If the answer is yes to these questions there’s a good chance it’s possible!
Give yourself a time frame
If your time frame is ‘sometime this year’ you won’t have the motivation to get there and the chances are the ‘I’ll start next week’ mindset will kick in. Set yourself small weekly goals, working towards a bigger end goal with a goal date. Once you’ve reached your goal you can always set another!
Finally don’t be too hard on yourself - we all have slip ups but if you can accept that that’s normal and doesn’t mean you’ve failed, you can get back on track soon enough. If you do have a slip up, think about why it happened and what you can do to ensure it doesn’t happen again anytime soon.
Written by Ruth Tongue