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Don't make a New Year's Resolution

We've all done it, or said we are going to do it. January 1 rolls around and with it comes all of the new year's resolutions that are never fulfilled.

This year I'm going to:

  • lose weight
  • exercise more
  • drink less
  • eat clean
  • join the gym

and the list goes on. The problem is, we set these open ended 'dreams' for ourselves that 99.99% of the time amount to nothing. Why? Well, for a goal to be a goal, there's a good deal more to it than just putting it out there. There's actual work and effort involved.

If you really want to lose weight or exercise more or improve your eating habits, you need to set SMART goals. And for those not familiar with the acronym, no I don't just mean you should be clever about your goals.

Firstly, they need to be SPECIFIC. Saying "this year I want to lose weight"will amount to a lot of nothing and excuses. If weight loss is your goal, decide how much you want to lose and think about why. If eating healthier is your goal - decide what that means to you. Does that mean you're going to stop eating those 3 chocolate bars every day? Does it mean you're going to start adding a salad to your lunch each day. Decide exactly what it is you want to achieve.

Next, your goal needs to be MEASUREABLE. How are you going to track your goal? What constitutes not just as success, but as steps along the way? Maybe you manage a salad twice a week to begin with and you keep track of what you've been eating. Maybe you're using scales to track your progress, or waist measurements. Without a regular check in, how can you possibly reach your goal?

Have you stopped to think about whether your goal is ACHIEVABLE or realistic? Where did you get the number from that you have in your head for your new weight? Is it realistic to throw out all the chocolate in your house, or perhaps there's a more realistic way to improve your eating habits.

How RELEVANT is your goal? Think about why you have set this goal for yourself. Is it for a special occasion? Do you want to have more energy to keep up with your kids? Having a "why?" is central to your achieving success - it will be your driver on the days when your goal challenges you.

What TIME frame do you want to achieve your goal in? What time frame will you achieve each of the steps you set for yourself in? There's nothing like a deadline to keep you moving towards your goal. Keep it realistic- remember your why, remember to keep it achievable but you must set yourself a date.

If you do this, instead of declaring a New Year's Resolution this year, you'll undoubtably set yourself up for success and it won't be another flop.


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