It’s resolution season, which means many of us are putting pen to paper and writing down goals we want to achieve in the new year.
Isn’t it funny how amazing it feels to just make the goals? Like, half of the fun is planning how amazing and fun and productive your life is going to be!
….Then there’s the other half. You know, the part where you actually have to keep up
with all your resolutions?
Goals can be scary. I avoided goals for a long time, because, HELLO! that means you HAVE TO DO THEM! But if you don’t set a goal, you don’t HAVE to do anything, which means you probably won’t.
You NEED to make a plan for how you will achieve those goals. You NEED to start a dialogue with yourself about how you’re going to stay motivated.
Below are some tips to get you started. You can apply these methods for New Year’s resolutions specifically, or goals you set for yourself throughout the year:
Assess your level of accountability
Some people (HI!) do better when they are held accountable to something/someone else.
For example, when the alarm goes off for a 5:30 am workout I’m planning on doing alone…..you better BELIEVE I’m pressing that snooze button.
BUT, if there is a class I’m already signed up for, or if I’m meeting someone at the gym for a work out, I’m up and out the door.
Don’t beat yourself up for being one way or another, just use the knowledge of your personality type to your advantage!
Make your goals SMART
Mental health professionals, business professionals and others ascribe to the SMART goal method. The SMART method says that in order to be successful, your goals need to be:
- Specific: Make sure you are as specific as possible!
- Measurable: How are you going to measure your goal?
- Attainable: With the knowledge and resources you have, is it possible?
- Realistic: Is the goal realistic for you?
- Time constrained: Set a time limit and schedule if you can for your goal.
The best way to understand this is through an example.
Maybe one of your resolutions is: “Get in Shape”
- Well…what the hell does that mean!? “In shape” enough to run a marathon, or “in shape” enough to walk up a flight of stairs without breaking a sweat?
- How will you know you’re “in shape?” Will you look in the mirror one day and say, “YEP there’s that shape I was looking for!”
- This is also missing HOW you’re going to get in shape.
If we were to going to transform this into a SMART goal, it would look something like this:
“I will decrease my body fat percentage by 2% a month by going to bodypump classes three times a week for the next 6 months.”
You don’t need to put yourself down to build yourself up
Shaming yourself won’t help you reach your goals. On the contrary, you are much more likely to fail.
- This is especially pointless if you are a perfectionist or have the tendency to beat yourself up as it is. Reminding yourself of small “failures” like not getting up in time to work out won’t motivate you to do it the next day. In fact, you’ll more than likely keep pressing the snooze button, because why not? You’re a failure anyway, might as well keep it rolling!
I’m not saying there isn’t a place for toughness and grit. I mean, “JUST DO IT” is the phrase of a multi-billion dollar business for a reason. However, there is a difference between talking down to yourself and motivating yourself. Something like, “C’mon Alyson, you can do this!” is different from “Just GET OUT OF BED YOU LOSER! YOU ALWAYS DO THIS! IF YOU DON’T GET UP YOU’RE A FAILURE!”
Keep your goals all around you
- Write it on the walls (aka bathroom mirror, etc., don’t go crazy with it) or leave sticky notes for yourself on places you know you’ll see, like your coffee maker, make-up bag, car steering wheel, etc. Guests might think you’re a little weird, but guess what? You don’t care because you’re too busy CRUSHNG YOUR GOALS.
- Set a timer on your phone to remind you of a goal.
- Keep a weekly goal journal where you chronicle how it’s going or tweaks you need to make.
Don’t burn out in the first month
If you have a fitness goal and go to the gym every day for a month straight, come February 1st, the last thing you’re going to want to do is go to the gym again. Remind yourself that you’re in this for the long haul! Try not to expend all your energy at once.
Remember: the goal is about the lifestyle change, not the goal completion itself.
Meeting your goal is a marker that you have done really good work, it’s not an indicator that you’re finished.