The New Year has begun, and there is going to be a lot of pressure for you to make a resolution. This year, why not take a different approach -- one that might guide you to more success.
Setting Goals Versus Making a Resolution
This year, let’s do ourselves a favor in not making a resolution. Did you know that only 8 percent of New Year’s resolutions are met each year? Wow, I know. Instead of setting ourselves up to fail this year, we need to set ourselves apart.
Goal setting can be carefully thought out and planned, or it can be rushed and unattainable. Let’s start by breaking the year down into quarters: January through March, April through June, July through September, and October through December. Now it’s time to think about where you want to be in a year. Your goal can be anything from losing weight to running a marathon. Even non-health related goals will work.
Once you have decided what you want your overall goal to be, put it at the end. Now it’s time to develop incremental goals to reach during those quarters. Set a goal that you would like to realistically see yourself completing in three months.
For example, maybe your goal is to lose 40 pounds in 2016. If we divide that goal by four, we get 10 pounds per quarter. So for the first quarter, January through March, we will be shooting for as close to that number as possible. Meeting a small incremental goal is less pressure and stress than a big goal. It is also important to understand that not meeting your set quarterly goal is not the end of your plan. Re-evaluate based on what you know after the first quarter.
Why is this a good approach?
Looking at a large goal can be daunting, and we tend to set some completely unrealistic goals every year. By setting a more realistic goal and breaking it down, you afford yourself some room. For those who choose weight loss, some people will lose more than their intended goal in that first quarter, while others might experience slower weight loss than expected.
The great thing about increments is that you can reassess your quarters and develop a plan based on your progress. Some people experience slow weight loss or are slower to meet their anticipated goal than they thought due to unforeseen circumstances or illness. When you breakdown goals, you can reassess as many times as you need to throughout the year.
This year, let’s all set a goal to encourage one another. Supportive comments that you give may be the only ones a person receives. You never know the struggles we each face, - and how much of an impact kind words can make.
Happy New Year, Bring on 2016!