Christmas is coming, and so is the New Year. I already posted once about New Year’s resolutions, so you may wonder why am I on about it again? Two reasons- I have been putting weight back on this fall (apparently my body is under the impression that I am a bear getting ready for hibernation), and I have a love/hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. I love the idea of them, but not how they are carried out.
So, today I am giving a mini course on how to make a successful New Year’s resolution, and in the next post I will use myself as the guinea pig and put my own goals into place. In later posts I will report back on my progress as I go, and later on I have a challenge for myself and for you, as well.
In any endeavor in life, if we really want to be successful, we plan ahead. New Year’s resolutions are no different. Think about it- if we want to pass an exam, we gather the necessary knowledge and materials, we study, and then we take the exam. Nobody would expect to pass an exam without that preparation, yet we beat ourselves up for “failing” at resolutions we threw up for ourselves on December 31st. That is why I am starting this three step plan in November.
Step one- Set Your Resolution as a Goal.
I like to use the “SMART” goals acronym. There are several possible variations of this acronym. I will list a few of them here- you choose the words that fit best with your goal (I will illustrate my use of this in the next post). Smart goals are:
S – specific, stepped, significant, stretching
M – measurable, meaningful, motivational
A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T – time-based, timely, tangible, trackable
Step Two- Plan for the Goal.
Learn what you need to know and do to be successful in your resolution. There are two sources of information for this step, and they are both important. One, check out the research on what has worked for other people. Two, figure out what has worked for you in the past. Do NOT skip this step- you have had successes in the past, and they did not just happen by accident. The more you learn about how you achieve success, the more you can put it into practice here. (Note- these do not have to be done in this order)
Step Three- Prepare for Success.
Set up the tools and supports to begin and maintain your journey to achieving your goal. In other words, take the information from step one and two and create an environment where you are able to succeed- better yet, create an environment where you cannot fail!
So come on- Let’s do this!
(next post- illustrating how to put the steps into action)