New Year’s Resolution

Sadly New Year’s resolutions seem to becoming something of a joke. It has become almost assumed that we will make this commitment to ourselves and break it by spring. I hope that if you have made a New Year’s resolution, that you take it seriously. Breaking promises to yourself breaks down your trust in your ability to follow through. If you have made a resolution, I offer the following tips to succeed:
Be specific: If your goal is not clear, how will you know when you have succeeded? For instance, if you said “I want to do more push-ups” – this is general. How would you know when you have done enough push-ups to say “Yea! I reached my goal”? To say “I want to do 10 more push-ups” is more specific.
Know your baseline: You must know where you are starting from to know how much you want to improve. If I want to do 10 MORE push-ups, I must first know how many push-ups I can do now. If your goal is something difficult to measure, you could determine a baseline by asking yourself where you are now on a scale from 1-10. For instance, “I want to be happier” is a great goal but how would you measure it? So you could ask yourself “On a scale from 1-10, how happy am I now?” You then record this number and revisit it at a set time.
Set a time limit: Without a time limit your goal would imply that it expected that you do this for the rest of your life. Even if you do have that intention, it is important to set regular times to review your goal. You want to also make sure the time frame you have set is reasonable.
Do-able: Is your goal reasonable? Is it something you can do? Is it something you have control over? For instance, if your goal is to lose weight, that’s great but if you have a thyroid problem or take medications that cause weight gain, you could be left feeling frustrated. A goal you have control over is, “I will work out for 30 minutes, four days a week.”
A final word (in writing): Please write your goal down – and date it. An old friend of mine used to say, “A goal not written is just a wish”

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