You are close to two weeks in. 2020, a new decade.
If you are like most people, you have at least thought about new year resolutions. But even though 45% might see their resolutions through until the next December, a mere 8% are successful in achieving them.
How come? What do you need to do to lose the weight, to feel your better self, or set those first steps to a long-awaited dream job?
Here are my 5 tips to goal setting. You can take it from there.
1. Limit yourself to 1-3 goals
Too many goals bring distraction. Rather make it one big and a few smaller ones, so you can keep your eyes on the ball. The likelihood of success will be much greater.
2. Break down your goals, make them SMART
I know, easy right? But have you ever written your goals the SMART way? That is, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based. Almost any manner of breaking down your goals will help you make it more specific and therefore more likely to accomplish it. The SMART way is one of many helpful and easy tools.
I’ll take you through my big goal of finishing the NY marathon (and getting rid of that leftover baby fat).
S: What is it you want to accomplish?
Finish the NY marathon in a decent time. More specifically, in less than 4 hours.
M: Can you track progress?
Every smart runner knows that this cannot be the only run I do this year, so to be able to finish this marathon, I need to practice and run at least two 10ks, two half marathons and one 30k. To accomplish this, I will practice every other day and increase the length of my runs on a weekly basis.
A: Can you do this?
My body has been capable of running half-marathons, so I have some idea on how to set myself up for success. Obviously, a marathon is a different ball game, but it’s a challenge for which I can practice.
R: Can you really do this?
I still have some time to practice, over 9 months. Since I haven’t been running for a while, I must be realistic that it will go with baby steps in the beginning, so therefore best to start early and run often.
T: Can you set a deadline for establishing your goal?
The NY marathon takes place on November 1st. As mentioned, I must run a few other races before my body will be able to successfully (<4h) finish the marathon. This means I will set myself additional deadlines: finish 10k within 45min in April; finish a half marathon within 1h45min in July; finish 30k within 3h in September.
3. Know your weaknesses
There is a reason why many resolutions are not met, and with any resolution (be it weight loss, saving money or changing jobs) there are excuses, reasons why we defer to the next day or simply give up.
So, before you promise yourself that new bikini for summer, list the reasons for not meeting your goal, so you recognize them when they sneak up on you (on that nice comfy couch at night when you should be hitting the gym…), and think of the best way to respond.
I, for example, can think of a million other things to do instead of training for a marathon, number one the mere fact of having my kids around. This means I must carve out dedicated time and make sure I either have my husband at home, or train when they are at daycare or have a sitter.
4. Find an accountability partner
You need someone that can challenge that voice of “I’ll do it tomorrow”. This should preferably be someone who does not like sitting next to you on the couch after a long day of work or playgrounds… Nor should it be that colleague who brings in chocolate every meeting.
Better yet, find someone to join you in your resolution to run, to eat or at least share your daily milestones with towards your end of year goal. It can be a friend, your significant other, or a more objective person such as a coach that can support you along the way.
5. Motivate yourself, set milestones
Getting in a circle of motivation will keep you going for the long run. Feeling healthy and energized after having cooked your own meals for a week, or after you finished that 5k in 20 minutes? You can keep it going by setting milestones. Nothing beats those endorphins. They create motivation that makes you do it again. Looking for a new job? You’d be amazed by the motivation it generates talking about your dream job on a regular basis.
Set your daily or weekly milestones, celebrate when you reach them, and set your next ones.
So, tell me, how are you going to meet your resolutions?
I’m here if you need help.