It’s that time of year again! The holidays creep on us and before we know it, we counting down the seconds to the start of a new year! New year, new me right?!?! WRONG! According to US News1 80% of New Years resolutions fail by February! Honestly, I am sure we can all relate to this! Whether your goal has been to lose more weight or save more money (2 of the most popular2) you are setting yourself up to fail by setting a goal without direction!
The best New Year’s resolution you can make is one that spells out an exact concrete habit you can commit to on a regular basis. For instance if your goal is to lose weight, make your New years resolution something like this:
1. I am going to go exercise 1 more time per week, for 1 more hour, than I am currently doing. I will do this for 3 months than reevaluate my goal and methods.
2. I am going to eat 100 less calories everyday for 30 days. I will then weigh myself and reevaluate my goal and methods.
If your goal is to save money your resolution could look like this:
1. I am going to transfer 10% of every deposit into my savings account for 6 months then reevaluate my goals and methods.
These goals have a few things in common.
1. They are concrete actions that require small consistent effort.
2. They allow you to focus on something small and manageable. Weight loss or money saving take time and we are bad at delaying gratification. You know that these daily/weekly actions are going to eventually get you to your long term goal. Focusing on accomplishing tasks allows you to, in a sense, forget the long term goal, making it less daunting.
3. The option to reevaluate after a few weeks or months. Our life, personalities, circumstances, and goals are always changing! And that’s a good thing (read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self Reliance). Sometimes our focused actions don’t get us the results we hoped for. This allows you to make changes based off progress without feeling like you failed!
So this new year, make a smaller, focused, action based goal that will help you reach a big long-term goal! The ability to maintain small daily habits is what lies at the very foundation of achieving difficult goals. Focus on the journey not the outcome!
Triad Wellness Philly
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