Monday, January 6, 2014

Breaking the New Year's Resolution Cycle

Do you find yourself making the same resolutions ever year just to break those resolutions within the first month or two? It doesn’t matter if this is a fitness regimen, to start or stop doing something or to just to finish something you keep putting off. Anytime you start something new or even if you've been at it for a while, you need goals. Goals don’t just give you something to aim for - they are also a good way to measure your results and your progress. 

Here are some tips to help you with setting goals:

 1) Be realistic. If you haven't been very active over the past few years, it's unwise to plan for a marathon in four weeks. Your goals need to be just beyond your current fitness level so you have something to strive for. From time to time you will want to push yourself, but never set a goal that is beyond your reach.

A realistic goal for someone who hasn't been working out is to start off with half a mile or a mile. A mile should take you about 15 minutes at a steady pace. For beginners, that's a great start. You can add half-mile increments every week or every two weeks.

If you house is cluttered, it is not realistic to expect yourself to clean out the entire basement in one weekend. Set smaller goals to clean one section.

Setting and accomplishing smaller goals will help keep you motivated to reach your end goal.

2) Set your own goals. Never set a goal because someone else is or because you think someone else wants you to. This is about you, not them. It doesn’t matter what the goal is, whether it’s your health, your home or your career, it has to be something you want.

3) Be sure you want it. When you set a goal make sure it's something you want and are planned to work for. Like mentioned above, you don't want to set a goal for yourself because someone else wants you to do it. You have to want it for yourself. Setting a goal that isn't personal to you is a sure way to not reach it. You will come to despise any goal that isn't something you want to reach for yourself.

4) Set small daily or weekly goals. If five minutes is all you can manage on your workout, do it. That's five minutes you didn't spend sitting on the couch. Plan to add one minute each day. If that seems too much after a few days, then add one minute every other day. Likewise, in decluttering, if one shelf is all you can manage in one sitting, do it. That is one shelf that will be clean the next time you come to it. Find what works for you and do it.

Baby steps are key when implementing something new. We don’t expect our children to learn to walk overnight. When something is overwhelming, breaking it down into small attainable goals you can achieve will help you stay on track.

5) Set a bigger monthly goal. This should not be a huge goal but something you can reach if you push yourself a little more. Set this goal to ensure that twice a week you do more than your daily routine. This will help build endurance and stamina. It will also help you add those extra minutes a little faster.

Goals are important in life. You may want to use something referred to as SMART goals. This means your goals should be:

Specific - The more specific your goal is, the easier it is to work towards. Instead of wanting to lose weight, set a goal of wanting to lose ten pounds.

Measurable - Your goal needs to be measurable. That's another reason it should be specific. You can't keep track of wanting to lose weight, but you can keep track of how much of that ten pounds you've lost.

Attainable - If your goal is way out there, like wanting to lose thirty pounds in thirty days, that's not very attainable. A more reachable goal is to lose ten pounds in thirty days. That may not seem like a lot, but it can be measured and attained.

Relevant - Your goals should be relevant to what you want to accomplish.

Timely - This means it needs a deadline. You need a time frame to work with. Wanting to lose ten pounds is great, but if you don't put a deadline on it, it could take you months to reach. Instead, give it a due date so you can keep track of it.

I know this post may seem a little late for tips on setting goals or resolutions for this year. But, here is the really great thing about goal setting. WE  CAN start over at any time and reset those goals to make them better and more on track with what we want. So if you set resolutions for this year that have already been broken or just need to be tweaked. Now is the perfect time to readjust those goals to what we really want and make them realistic for where we are!

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