Do you make resolutions? I have never really taken them seriously, but I often make them. I tend to forget about them until November or so, then smack my forehead with my palm and say, “Doh!”
But I do know how to set goals, make a plan and implement it. I do it for work all the time. So why not apply those skills to my personal life?
I’ll start with fitness, because that’s always top of mind at this time of year. But I’ll add goals and plans for my other areas of interest soon: Food, Fashion, Travel, Family Adventures and Nature.
So how does one go about setting goals and achieving them?
1. Know your ultimate reason for setting a particular resolution or goal.
What is your mission? Why do you want to achieve this? For me, I like the feeling of being fit, and I like how clothes look on me when I’m thinner. But if I’m really honest with myself, I realize I’m deeply concerned about being as healthy as possible to protect myself against disease and illness.
2. Make your goals measurable.
Instead of “lose weight,” make it more specific and measurable so you can check off milestones as you go. I want to lose 20 pounds. 1-2 pounds a week is reasonable, so my goal is “Lose 1-2 pounds a week to reach my goal weight by April 1.”
3. Make a plan, with tasks and a timeline.
A goal means nothing if you don’t take actual steps to achieve it. For weight loss, this means figuring out the daily calorie deficit I need to maintain in order to lose. For fitness, it means setting a plan for running and working out.
4. Line up the tools and resources you need to accomplish your tasks.
If you just jump in to a task without planning ahead, you may find yourself frustrated. You’ll waste time and energy and probably money. For my health-related goals, this means meal-planning, stocking my house with healthy snacks, and lining up some support and accountability. I have found that I’m most successful with weight loss if I’m eating 100-200 calories many times throughout the day – hence the need for healthy snacks. As for accountability, I love the Mamavation community. Mamavation is a virtual sorority of women committed to supporting each other in our quests to lead healthier lives. By posting a weekly recap and setting goals each week with Mamavation, I am guaranteed the feedback and support of these amazing women. Support I am happy to give back in return.
5. Celebrate your successes
Believe it or not, this really is important in work as well as personal goal-setting. For work teams, it’s important to acknowledge our progress and good work. The same is true for working through personal goals. Even though I have a weekly goal of losing 1-2 pounds per week, I’m planning to find ways to reward myself for every 5 pounds lost. I’m thinking beauty products, but we’ll see.
So… What are your goals, and how are you planning to achieve them? Do you have any steps to add to my list?
Happy New Year!