Tips for achieving your resolutions for the new year

Many of us have made resolutions each and every year…only to fail at achieving some or even all of them!  Why does this happen?  A recent study indicated that 88% of resolutions fail due to being too vague.  So, what to do to achieve your goals?

  1. Set goals throughout the year instead of only at the beginning of each new year.  This will create a sense of “I can do this,” which is healthy for mind and body.
  2. The key is Self-awareness.  Before you set any goal, make sure that you know what your strengths and weaknesses are.  Knowing this, it’ll make it easier to achieve your goal(s).
  3. Making use of the SMART-module:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based.

Let us have a detailed-look at how this module works.

S:  Specific:  be very specific when you make your goal(s).  The more detail, the better you can visualize achieving it.  Writing it down will help you to be more specific, thus obtaining better results in the end.  And the more detail you put in, the better your chances of making your dream(s) come true.

M:  Measurable:  once you have written your goal(s) down, go back to your notes and measure how far you have come.  This will help you to stay on track until the end.

A:  Attainable:  I have mentioned it before, but to truly know yourself is the key to success.  When you know yourself, you know how challenging your goals can be in order for you to achieve it.  When your goals are too challenging, however, it can easily discourage you; so be careful!  Part of what is called Positive Psychology, is to set little goals throughout the day, the week, the month, and the year.  Not only will this be easier to achieve, but it’ll keep you happy (as you reach each one). 

R:  Relevant (Realistic):  Positive Psychology says that, when your goals matches your values and bring meaning to you, it is far easier to stick to achieving it.  Writing it down (as said before), is a good way to keep you focused and on track.

T:  Time-based:  if, for example, you want to lose weight, instead of saying “I want to loose 10 kg in a month,”say “I want to loose 2.5 kg in a week.”  These smaller milestones are much easier to achieve and more realistic. 

Most of the time when we plan something or decide on doing something, there is a sense of anxiety.  Remember to stay calm and know that you get good anxiety and bad anxiety.  Good anxiety is when you get butterflies in your stomach and/or when your heart begins to beat a little bit faster.  This is ok; as it is getting your body and mind ready (charged up) for the challenge / decision / goal ahead.

Bad anxiety is when you start to worry too much, lose sleep, let your mind go into overdrive with “what if.”  This is not good for your body and your mind.  Thus, be mindful when this starts to happen.  Take slow, deep breathes, and either meditate on the issue at hand and the various outcomes, or write it down.  Writing it down one can also look at the different outcomes and then visualize and re-program your mind as it were, a positive outcome.  This will make you feel less stressful and the outcome will be more successful.

Many people start a new year or new week feeling geared up and ready to tackle their goals.  However, often people fall of the bandwagon not soon afterwards.  Why?  Because people get disappointed and disheartened when they go off track.  For example, when you want to quick smoking or eat less processed food, you sometimes cheat.  This is ok!!  We are all human; so, if this does happen, instead of giving up, keep at it.  When you exercise, your body can reach a plateau and it will seem as if you are “standing still.”  This is just a plateau that your body has reached.  As you keep working towards your goals, you will get better and better.  Think of top athletes or musicians; they didn’t give up when this happened.  They acknowledged it, carried on and reached the top.  It does take commitment, hard work and persistence, but like a marriage or relationship, in the end the results speak for themselves.

Dr. Mike sums it up brilliantly: “It is much better to put in 100% with a 20% plan than it is to put in 20% into a 100% plan!”

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