It seems like everybody wants to know what my New Years resolutions are. It bugs me when people ask that because I think resolutions are for the birds. Or, “for sissies” according to a woman I know.
The dictionary says, a “resolution” is: a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something. Okay, that’s great, but you can’t just “do something” without a firm, reasonable goal and a clear path to reach that goal. From my experience, most folks make long mental lists of New Years resolutions and abandon them by February. Why? Because once they sober up they get lost in the enormity of the resolution and lose direction if there’s no established means to the end (path to the goal).
Example: To say, “I am going to spend more time this year with my family and friends” is too big a notion. How are you gonna do that? You need a specific plan of action that you can commit to, simply determining to resolve the notion will not make it happen.
Course of action: First, set a reasonable, measurable goal. Next, figure out a path or plan of action. Then, take it one step at a time, focus on the goal and move forward until you attain the prize. Remember, take small steps. If you mess up, stop, refocus and go again.
So, it’s time. We all need to set some goals. Start with breaking the year down and setting small goals within manageable chunks of time. Example: If you want to run a marathon this year and you currently don’t run, break your larger goal down into 5k, 10K, 21K etc, chunks. Make yourself a schedule or calendar that spells out exactly where you should be, and when. Same goes for weight loss, be reasonable, schedule yourself 2 pounds of loss a week and add some exercise goals in there too. Take things one month at a time.
As for me, one of my goals is to attend bikram yoga classes 3 days per week during the month of January. That’s all I feel comfortable committing to. In February I’ll reassess how I feel about bikram and my related goal. In this case, if I focus on one month at a time I’m more likely to reach the goal. Thinking about attending bikram three days a week for an entire year is far too daunting.
Lastly, remember that it takes three weeks to make something a habit. Try starting with a three or four-week challenge or goal. Sign up for a few weeks of fitness class if you want to lose weight or get in shape. If you want to cut back on alcohol, start with cutting back for one month. Three or four weeks sound a lot better than “this year” and after those few weeks are up, you can reassess your goal. This way you’re more likely to keep with the program.
P.s. Here’s a post I wrote this time last year it’s called Goal setting Kelley style. You may find it interesting.