It’s that time of year again and if you’re like many of us, you’re all making the same resolutions, again. Stop drinking or smoking, go to the gym, lose weight. Some of the other popular resolutions that get recycled every year include spending more time with family and friends, participating in your community, getting organized, starting a new hobby or learning a new skill and getting out of debt. These are all good goals and the reason we see them year after year is that they are never really “done.” You can’t complete “spend more time with family and friends” or “getting organized.”
Here are some tips to help you keep and succeed in your resolutions this year:
Mentor Christine Kane suggests this as an option for providing more of a framework for the year rather than goals that may or may not resonate. See http://www.christinekane.com/word/wordoftheyear.html for a free guide to discovering your word for the year.
We’re all busy with loads to do – work, school, parents, children, pets, hobbies, homes – it can be very overwhelming. While many of these are on a equal footing, they can’t all get equal attention.
What are the items you can let slide this year? What are the items you might have been letting slide that you really want to focus on? This can be enough to refocus you or can be the basis on which you set resolutions.
Specific – if your goal is to spend more time with family, how much more time – if you live locally, you might set the goal to have dinner with your family once a week. If your goal is to lose weight, set a goal for a certain number of pounds.
Measurable – this doesn’t have to include scales and measuring tapes (but they help!), but has more to do with how you determine if you’ve reached your goal. If the goal is to get organized, maybe your measure if the size of the pile of loose papers “to be filed” on your desk.
Attainable – this will vary for each person, but SMART goals are both challenging and within reach. Being attainable also requires that you have the time, energy and attention to give to achieving your goal.
Realistic – your goal should also be something that can really happen. Flying to the Atlantis on the back of a winged pig is not a realistic goal for 2012.
Timely – “Goals are dreams with deadlines” (Diana Scharf Hunt) New Years resolutions are always somewhat timely, because you make new ones every year, but if 365 days is too long, bring your window in somewhat or even break your goal into parts with shorter deadlines. This will help keep you on track and also give you some milestones to celebrate along the way.
Keep your word, priorities or goals visible. Tape it to your mirror, post it on your dashboard in the car, write in on paper and use it as a bookmark, make it your theme or wallpaper on your computer or smart phone. Remind yourself frequently of your desired outcome to keep motivated through the year.
You are the only one who can accomplish your goals, but you don’t have to do it alone. Share your resolution with friends and family and ask them to gently remind and support you. Enlist professionals who have experience and resources in the area of your focus. If your goals are health related, including weight loss and smoking cessation, the physicians at True Health Medicine can help with dietary advise, appropriate supplementation or herbal medicines, specialized diets and acupuncture.