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This year make Goals instead of Resolutions

Are you one of the millions of people who make a New Year’s Resolution this week? If so, it may serve you better to make a goal instead of a resolution to get to your desired state. If resolutions have worked out for you in the past and you’re good with their effectiveness, read no more. For the multitude of people who make resolutions each year and then forget about them by St Patrick’s Day, this is for you.

Many people are of the mindset that resolutions are something that you “try” to do and that it is ok to give those resolutions a whirl and if they don’t stick, eh, it’s ok. It was your New Year’s Resolution, not really a big deal. Those same people, however, could probably have accomplished what they set out to do, and maybe even more, if they had just called it a goal. I know, sounds silly, right? Ok, stay with me.

People make vague, wishy washy resolutions. You say, “This year I will exercise more!”, or “This year I am going to lose weight!”, or my personal favorite, “This year is going to be MY year!”. What does any of that even mean? It certainly isn’t specific, how much more are you going to exercise? How much weight are you going to lose and how are you going to do it? What the heck do you mean by MY year?? It’s like that commercial, that’s not how any of this works! Here is the commercial just for giggles sake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aq_1l316ow8

When you make a goal, especially a smart goal, you have to be significantly more specific. You can set one big overarching goal with smaller milestones, mini goals and deadlines along the way. When you make a resolution on Jan 1st you are saying that it is going to take you an entire year to get something done and that is just way too much time. If you make a resolution to lose 10 lbs., you can pretty much do and eat anything that you want until around October and then when you step on the scale you might see that the 10 lbs. that you wanted to lose became 10 lbs. that you gained over the course of the year.

Now you’re up an additional 10 lbs. from what you wanted your weight to be at the end of the year and losing 20 lbs. may seem completely unattainable. And now Halloween is coming up, then Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is the time of year when almost everyone is indulging so starting a strict diet and exercise regimen right now is extremely unappealing.  So, what do you do now? You say in January I will make another resolution and this year, I will lose weight! I’ll give you one guess as to what happens the next year and the answer is NOT “It will be YOUR year”.

Want a better way to go about it? Make a goal, a real goal, not a wishy-washy, vague, resolution. Be specific. How much weight do you want to lose? You will stop smoking by doing what? You will go to the gym for at least 1 hour, three times a week. You will bring lunch to work instead of buying it at least 10 times a month. Make sure that you describe what your end goal looks like and give yourself a deadline. It doesn’t have to be the end of the year but If you have a big goal, say to lose 30 lbs., become a published author, find your dream job, that might be the right thing to do.

The next step is to figure out what your mini goals during the year will be. Go to the gym for 20 minutes three times a week, and increase the time every month? Lose 3 lbs. a month? Cut back to 3 cigarettes a day and join a program to help you quit? Find a Facebook group for Meal Preppers and prep your lunch for a full week?  Figure out what makes sense for your goal and check in every week to make sure you are still on track. If you can get ahead of schedule, even better because remember, life happens. Find a trusted friend, mentor, coach or advisor to help hold you accountable and put a rewards system in place for when you reach your mini-goals. Do you get to splurge on a night out? Buy some shoes? Ignore your chores and watch football? Give yourself something to look forward to.

Need more help? Use this 52 Week Goal Setting Journal to help you along the way.  https://searscoaching.com/goal-setting-workbook/

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