New Year, New You!
The start of a new year is an opportunity to reflect on the previous year (and wow, wasn’t 2021 a corona-coaster!) but it is also a time when we consider the year ahead and what positive changes we want to make in our lives.
Many of us will start 2022 with good intentions. We will make resolutions and set goals for ourselves but unfortunately by mid-February most people will have stopped acting on those resolutions and goals.
Common new year goals
When I ask people what new year resolutions they will set for themselves, the most common responses are:
Exercise more regularly
Get better quality sleep
Save more money/reduce debt
Why don’t we stick to our resolutions?
There are many reasons why our new year resolutions don’t stick, such as:
Setting too many goals
Setting unrealistic goals
Not being clear on your goals
Not measuring progress
Not being accountable
How to get New Year goals to stick
There are a number of things that we can do to set ourselves up for success:
Set SMART Goals
This means that a goal needs to be:
Specific - the goal needs to be clear and precise
Measurable –you need objective evidence to measure your progress towards, and achievement of, the goal
Achievable – the goal needs to be realistic and reasonably easy to accomplish
Relevant – it needs to be relevant and aligned with any longer-term goals
Time-based – you need a target date for completing the goal to help provide motivation
For example, saying that you want to lose weight is not a SMART Goal. Instead this can be reframed as a SMART goal such as “By 1 July 2022 I will weigh X kilograms”.
One thing at a time
Setting too many goals will most likely result in feeling overwhelmed and an inability to then act on any of those goals properly. Instead, focus on one or two things you'd like to change. Interestingly, one or two positive habit changes can lead to positive changes in other areas of our lives. For example, if we start to exercise more regularly we are then more likely to then eat healthier and get better quality sleep.
Consistency beats volume
Just with setting too many goals, trying to do too much at once - for example going from being a couch potato to doing a one hour bootcamp session - can be overwhelming. Instead, take smaller steps and consistently repeat, for example, going for a fifteen minute walk every day after lunch is achievable and sustainable for most people and it is easier to build on this over time.
No one is perfect and it is normal to occasionally slip up. If that happens, don’t use it as an excuse to give up. You set yourself a goal for a reason. Instead, get back on track as soon as possible and reflect on what you have achieved, not what you haven’t.
Measure and reward
Most goals can be broken down into smaller steps. For example, you may have a goal of running 5km by 1 June 2022. This can be broken down into smaller steps eg run 1 km by 1 February, 2km by 1 March and so on. Keep track of your progress and the milestones you hit. This can act as a reward in itself or you may wish to give yourself a reward as you hit each milestone eg buying a new running shirt at each monthly milestone.
As the past two years have shown us, life can change quickly and we can’t always control what happens. As a result, our goals may need adjustment or even a complete re-think. It’s okay to change your goals if they no longer suit you.
Being accountable to someone else is a great way to get support and encouragement for your goals. That can be friends, family or even a third party such as a life coach.
If you want to know more about how a life coach can help you smash your goals, why not book a free 30 minute discovery call with me to discuss your goals and see if I can help you.