February is already over! How are your new year's resolutions coming along? Hopefully your year has gotten off to a great start, and this is YOUR YEAR to drop a few pounds, become more financially stable, and learn to play the piano. I know a few people who have given up on annual resolutions altogether, because by February they are frustrated and have thrown in the towel. It got me thinking, it's likely not a lack of willpower or focus that is to blame, but perhaps their goals were poorly constructed, making them too difficult to execute. Here are a few questions that might help you evaluate the goals you set. Could yours use some fine-tuning?
- Are your goals realistic? If you haven't checked into your gym in months, is it likely that you are going to start going five days per week? Probably not. Start small, and give your goal the flexibility to change as your habits do. Start with two days a week, one on the weekend and one during the week, for example. Once that becomes a no-brainer, add on from there.
- Is your resolution stated in a way that marks your path to the end result? For example, your resolution might be to lose 10 pounds. Great, but how are you going to do that? Perhaps the better resolution(s) would be: pack a lunch for work daily, no alcohol during the week, or fruits and veggies with every meal? Identify how you are going to lose those 10 pounds, and have those be the resolutions that you follow. Small victories can lead to big results.
- Are you tackling too many things at once? Try one change at a time. I have some friends that one year decided to set a new goal each week for 52 weeks of the year. It's a great idea. They kept a weekly blog about it too, and it kept them accountable.
- Can you take it public? Goals are so much easier when you have support. If you want to eat healthier, bring the family on board. Workout more? Enlist a friend. Or, more simply, tell someone about your goals. It makes you more likely to stick with it.
- Is your goal just not working out? Impossible to meet? Change it. Adjust. Re-word to make it feasible, realistic and achievable. On that same note, avoid 100% resolutions. Is it realistic to NEVER eat dessert? You should be able to have a piece of cake on your birthday if you want.
So, while my goals for this year started out well, I'm faltering. So, here I go, making them public. You can help keep me accountable, thank you very much.
- Eat three fruit servings everyday. (This is to help curb my sweet tooth, more fruit means less room for chocolate.)
- Dessert on special occasions only. (Completing my workout or not yelling at my kids does NOT qualify as a special occasion. A homemade dinner with friends does.)
- Do yoga at least once a week. (Just watch me reduce stress!)
- Drink 100 oz of water per day, and record it. (LaCroix and tea count)
- In bed by 10:30pm each weeknight. (Yes, I'm actually nailing this one!)