The New Year is traditionally the time when we refocus and reorganize. There is a whole calendar of opportunity in front of us and we want to remake ourselves. If you want to give real traction to your New Year goals, rethink the process. Here are some typical goals and ways to rethink to make the goal more ‘do-able’:
Typical Goal: I’m going to eat healthy.
Problem: Not Specific enough.
Try zoning in on one aspect of your eating that you could improve. If you regularly skip breakfast, set the goal to add breakfast. If you could improve your vegetable intake focus on that area.
Do-able goal: For the next week, I will plan and eat breakfast on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Typical Goal: I’m going to exercise.
Problem: Not Measurable
What, when, where or how often? Adding these elements help to make a goal more likely to happen and helps you measure your progress.
Do-able goal: I will walk during my lunch break for 20 minutes on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Typical Goal: I’m going to lose weight.
Problem: Not an Action.
Goals should be an action or a behaviour. Losing weight is a possible result of actions such as planning lower calorie meals, eating more mindfully, including regular activity and getting more restful sleep to name a few.
Do-able goal: I will go to bed by 10pm on week nights.
Typical goal: I will never touch a (fill in your favourite indulge food or beverage) again.
Problem: Not Realistic.
If the first thought that follows your goal is ‘yeah, not likely’ then even you don’t believe it will happen. You should be at least 70% confident that you could achieve the goal. If not the goal is the problem, not you. Set yourself up for success.
Do-able goal: I will plan to have a portion of (fill in _____________) once a month. I will only buy enough to have my planned treat and not keep it in the house all the time.
Think in small steps. Your goals can build over time. Consider setting a weekly or monthly goal and reassess how you are doing. Goals that are specific, measurable, action based, realistic and time defined are SMART and generally more successful.