How To Set a Realistic Resolution
We’re sure you’re familiar with the concept of New Year’s Resolutions (NYRs). In fact, you’ve probably set some in the past. For example - ‘I will lose 10kg this year’, or ‘I will commit to 4 gym sessions per week this year’. But, how many of these goals did you actually follow through with? The truth is, a majority of NYRs go unrealised. In fact, Forbes magazine recently reported that, for those who set NYRs, only 25% of people remained on track within the first 30 days, and only 8% of people went on to achieve their goals.These statistics don’t look promising. But before you throw in the towel, it’s worth mentioning that poor outcomes may not reflect the ‘goal-setter’s’ capabilities, or lack of discipline. Instead, it may reflect the TYPE of goal setting processes used. Yes folks – there’s a skill to setting NYRs, and we’re going to teach you right Now. With our 4-step goal setting guide, we hope you can beat the odds and smash your NYRs in 2020.
Step 1: Use the SMART goal method to design your New Year’s Resolution
We encourage you to use this method for to creating NYRs that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Realistic, within a Timeframe. Let’s explain this further
- S – Specific: Try to be more specific than “lose weight” or “get fit”. Setting yourself a clear target will give you something to chase after. Your target may be to run a half marathon, or to meditate every day for 5 minutes.
- M – Measurable: make sure you can measure your progress towards your NYR. Again, this may be using a scale or measurements for a weight loss goal, a distance tracking app or watch for a running goal, or ticking off in your diary which days you completed meditation
- A and R – Achievable and Realistic: This is a crucial element, and often misjudged. It’s better to set yourself a smaller NYR and smash it, than an overwhelmingly large NYR and give up. A health professional can guide you as to what is achievable and realistic, if needed.
- T - Timeframe: When would you like to achieve your NYR by? When setting yourself a timeline, it may help to set some smaller goals along the way – which brings us to step 2!
Step 2: Break down your New Year’s Resolution into bite-size pieces
Most people focus on the long-term outcomes when setting NYRs. Having something to strive for is great, however, it may be a while before you reach this point. Often, the distance between ‘start’ and ‘end’ may seem overwhelming. This is why it is useful to have short-term goals along the way - to break down your journey into bite sized pieces. Setting and achieving small goals along the way will also help to boost your confidence and motivation.
At the start, the more monitoring the better. We suggest looking at your first one to two months, and setting weekly or fortnightly goals in advance. Then, focus on the next one to two months, and so forth.
Step 3: Be prepared for setbacks or unexpected results
Despite having the perfect SMART goals, broken up into short term goals, don’t be fooled into thinking the process will be smooth sailing. You’re almost guaranteed to have setbacks, for example, illness or a crazy work deadline. Also, your results may not look ‘linear’ or logical, for example, you may not lose any weight for the first three weeks, then drop 2 kg in the fourth week! A good NYR will be flexible, allowing you to work around setbacks and unexpected results.
Step 4: Enlist some help!
It’s time to lodge your tax return. Do you struggle through it alone and risk making mistakes, or do you call your accountant and ask for help? Unless you have a hidden talent for tax (good for you!), we’re guessing you go straight to the expert, who is going to get the job done quicker and more accurately, saving you from stress and doubt. They may even help to reduce your tax bill, by pointing out some benefits or claimable expenses.
How does this relate to your health goals? Well - the process of achieving them is pretty similar to lodging your tax return. By involving your PT, dietitian or other health professional, chances are you’ll achieve your NYR quicker, with less stress and doubt, and pick up a few tips and benefits along the way.