2017 New Year’s Goals
Yes, it seemed like a never ending year of disappointment. Yes, there were many tragedies that seemed to never end. Yes, there was an election that seemed more like reality television and the Real Housewives. Yes, you’re older now. There may have been a lot of personal struggles in your life; family, financial, personal.
But guess what?
It’s over, so thinking and harping on the trials and tribulations of a sad, decrepit 2016 will only make it worse. It’s always easy to say put the past behind you and trudge on to the next adventure. But sometimes it’s easier said than done. I’m not here saying that you should forget anything that happened in 2016, or for that matter you shouldn’t forget anything. Our experiences shape what we become in the future. The old saying “We must learn from our mistakes” comes around every so often when we think we did something wrong, or feel we’ve been wronged. That’s all fine and good, but do we really know what that means or how to react to it? Are our mistakes as tragic as we make them out to be?
One example we try and fail at every year is the New Year’s Resolution…
This is the time to make a significant change to positively affect you in the upcoming days, months, and hopefully years. How long do we abide by our new way of life? Some stats say 66% of resolutions dissolve by the end of January. That is pretty sad. What can we do about this travesty? We can set SMART goals and have an accountabilibuddy!
SIGNIFICANT- Make sure this goal means something to you and is easily explainable as to why you are doing it. (The example I will use is running a 10K). This goal is explainable in the sense that you need to get healthy to run this race. Joe Shmo and Sad Sally aren’t going to be able to wake up one day and run this distance. This goal is very specific, get healthy, train, complete in said 10K.
MEASURABLE- Making mini goals along the way is important. There needs to be a way to mark progress so you know you’re on the right path. If you need to change something you can. In our example, a 10K is quite measureable and easy to know if you accomplished it or not. For this goal, setting weekly and monthly parameters is essential. So at the end of a month or two, depending on your athletic ability, you could plan on completing a 5K. Adding from there until you reach the 10K, in which case you should make a new goal for yourself. ACHIEVABLE- Does this goal mean something to you on a personal note? Can you see yourself getting to the finish line? Eating healthy and exercising is great for you, but if you just have “getting healthy” as your goal, you are more likely to fail. I know this sounds pessimistic, especially coming from me, where that glass is always half full. So think to yourself: is this something that will progress in a positive way when I achieve it, and will I learn from this process?REALISTIC- Is this something you want to do, and is it something doable? Will you be in the top 5 of this 10K? Doubtful. Is this a goal you could potentially shoot for in the future? Possibly. Assess where you are and make appropriate goals. I would love to play hockey in the NHL, however I realize who and where I am. So I set out to not let the other team score any goals and play the best I can in hopes of moving up to the next division. A larger goal is sometimes more attainable because you will be more motivated to reach it. Don’t try and run a marathon before you complete your first 10K. However, the 10K could be a step on the path to your marathon. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but having a goal to just lose weight may not be the right fit. As humans we need to shoot for something, even the least competitive person in the world needs something to achieve, be it at work, home, or in the gym. Losing weight should be the result of running that 10K.TIME-ABLE- There needs to be progress milestones and a final date to accomplish this by, so you are held accountable. Don’t simply say, “Yea I’ll run a 10K next year.” Research a training program, find a 10K held near the end of this program, and then sign up. Don’t be afraid of the commitment. If you don’t commit to something you will never grow and learn. When you achieve this goal you can start setting your next goal!
Another means to make these goals more achievable is to have someone keep you accountable. Not everyone will have the same mission in life, but if the idea is to get better, everyone can mobilize their efforts. Maybe your accountabilibuddy, yes this is a term, will stop you from eating that doughnut you really want. Maybe you both choose to eat a salad instead. Even simply texting each other to keep your eyes on the prize. Having an accountabilibuddy is essential to getting to where you need to be and makes keeping your goals easier and more fun. My best friend back home is my accountabilibuddy and we text or call everyday, either about what we ate, our workout, or friendly bashing one another claiming superiority. It’s fun, lighthearted and keeps the competitive spirit alive, along with camaraderie. So find your accountabilibuddy, set some SMART goals, and get ready to knock 2017’s socks off!