Posted on 12/28/2017 at 02:00 PM by Troy Cummings
New Year, New Outlook on Goal Setting
Another year is on its way out the door and it’s time to welcome 2018 with all of the new possibilities it brings! Many of us (about half of the U.S. population) will make a New Year’s Resolution, but the vast majority of us (about 92%) will not keep it. That doesn’t sound very encouraging, but research shows that those who at least make a resolution are 10 times more likely to successfully change their behavior than those who do not. In other words, the fact that you care enough to create a goal means you are already on the right track to positive change.
So how do we improve our chances of success and be a part of the 8% who implement lasting change into their lives? First, realize that lasting change is less about willpower and more about designing effective goals. Set a goal for yourself that is well-thought out by using the SMART model (specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and time-bound). Think about it. Are you more likely to “lose some weight” or are you more likely to “lose 10 pounds by July by going to the gym for 45 minutes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday?”. You have to create a plan and follow it in order for your resolution to be successful. This applies to all types of resolutions. For example: “I will save $1,200 by the end of the year by setting aside $50 from every paycheck into an account that I won’t touch” or “I will strengthen my friendships by scheduling a friend’s night out once a month”.
The next important step is to realize that nobody is perfect and that change takes time. Don’t be discouraged if it comes slow and don’t give up at the first sign of failure. A good way to avoid unnecessary setbacks is to create small goals you feel confident you can achieve and take them one at a time, rather than creating an overwhelming laundry list of major changes. Evaluate what isn’t working and brainstorm alternatives that keep you reaching for your goal. It has taken a lifetime to form those unsavory habits, and it will take time to change them as well. Don’t lose sight of the real goal, which is positive and lasting lifestyle change.
Finally, if you feel comfortable, share your goals with others. Social support can be a critical element to reaching a goal. Ask someone close to you to be your “accountability partner” who can check in with you periodically and ask about your progress.
Remember that doing something is ALWAYS better than doing nothing. If you can’t lose 10 pounds, but you can lose 3, that is a success! If you can’t save $1,000, but you can save $500, that is a success! Keep trucking down the road of self-improvement to create a life that brings you joy! Happy New Year!
Written by Kasey Lockett, Rolling Strong Wellness Coach