It’s that time of year again – the post-holiday frenzy that creates a desire for, well, something new. But dare someone utter the word “resolution” and your stamina for change can fade within the second week of January. However, with realistic goals, with a why in mind, making a new goal and reaching goals throughout the entire year is possible. It’s as easy as identifying and claiming four simple steps.
What is your why?
It’s simple to toss around New Year’s resolutions – I want to eat healthier. I want to run a 5K. I want to lose weight. I want to try yoga. There is nothing wrong with any of these goals, but the key to sticking to them and reaching these goals is to begin with identifying your why.
A few questions to ask as you begin to uncover your personal why could be: Why do you want to achieve said goal? If your plan is to run your very first 5K, what is the reason driving that feeling? No answers are wrong. You simply should spend some time journaling or writing out your specific reason.
Set SMART goals
What exactly are SMART goals? The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This system of creating and writing down goals was first developed by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham in 1981. Utilizing this strategy is a sure-fire way to achieve goals that can be challenging, but are within reach.
Specific – Be specific with what your goal is. For example, if you want to begin a running or walking program, get detailed with what kind of running/walking you want to do. Do you want to run that 5k? Excellent. Now write it down.
Measurable – Ensure your goals are measurable. Let’s say you’ve decided you want to drink more water. Fabulous! Make sure you create a goal that is able to be measured. For example, simply saying I’m going to drink more water might not cut it. Set out a water goal and make sure it’s able to be tracked.
Attainable – So you want to become a yogi? The world could always use one more. But you can’t and shouldn’t expect to reach that overnight. Once you have created a specific goal and made sure that goal is something that can be measured, create a goal that is attainable for you.
Relevant – Losing weight is typically on the top-end of many peoples’ wish lists when January rolls around. There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight. However, creating a realistic and relevant goal for you and your specific needs/wants is important when setting goals. If you’ve aimed too high, simply backtrack and find a goal that might be better achieved in smaller steps.
Time-bound – Now that you have completed the above steps in creating your specific goal, set a deadline or a timeline to reach your new goal. Did you decide to walk that 5K with your friend? Set a date for reaching this goal and go out and crush it.
Identifying setbacks before they happen
Setbacks will happen. Life will get messy. Work gets chaotic. Family life pulls at you from all directions. Deadlines loom. But just because life throws a curveball doesn’t mean you can’t navigate a way to stay on track in order to reach your goal. Anticipate that life will inevitably get in the way of your plans and plan for that.
Have you been attending yoga classes three days a week, with the anticipation that your schedule will allow for that every week from here to eternity? Likely, it won’t. But that’s okay. In those times, having a plan around any schedule changes can help you learn to pinpoint what, when, or why you may get dealt a setback and exactly how to find a way around it.
Set yourself up for success
Create an environment that encourages your new goal. Do you want to drink more water? Set out water bottles already filled that are easy to grab on the go. Want to eat healthier? Stock up on nutrient-dense foods that can help you achieve that goal, all while getting the whole family involved in your new changes.
Whatever goals you have created for yourself for the new year, and no matter whether those goals have been reached or already broken, it is never too late to turn a new leaf and begin again. With the right tools in hand, you can be a success story in your own book, crushing those goals all the way to the end.
Need more inspiration and helps with reaching your goals? Check out these ideas and reviews from our resident fitness buffs.
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Meet Florida born-and-raised Dana Reeves: Wife, dog mom, certified personal trainer and lover of all things reading and writing. What began as a hobby in writing short stories while in school soon turned into a full-fledged passion for all things writing as an adult. She loves to create fiction, poetry and fitness-related articles. When Dana isn’t writing, she loves running, traveling with her husband and family, exploring the world via cruise ship, and, as always, searching the universe over for more exciting writing material.
You can follow her on Instagram or read her blog.