Geez! I don’t know about you but I cannot believe how fast this year has gone!! I picked one goal at the beginning of this year and I am actually going to achieve it before the year ends!!
Raise your hand if you set a goal to complete this year and were able to accomplish it!! Now raise your right arm straight up in the air, over your head, and bend it at the elbow until your hand is resting on your upper back. Give yourself a pat on the back!! And then do a happy dance!! How good does that feel to know that you set out to do something to better yourself and you actually DID IT!! WAY-To-Go!!
According to this article from TImesTribune, 80% of people who set a New Year’s Resolution will give up by the end of the first month. And then there is this one from Sundried that says 43% of people who make a New Year’s Resolution goal already expect to give up on their goal by February of the same year!! People choose to set a goal and 43% already expect they will fail!! We will come back to talk about this later….
I was curious how many people actually stick it out and finish what they set out to do. I found this article by Forbes, that says only 8% of people will achieve their New Year’s Resolutions.
I read other articles that said 50% of people choose not to make any New Year’s Resolutions at all.
When I was a teenager, I participated in a church youth program that encouraged the youth to make and keep goals. Once the goal was achieved the youth received some kind of reward. I loved setting these goals and completing them. My reward was a necklace with a symbol that represented the theme for the goal I finished. There were a series of 3-4 necklaces you could get. I was able to get all of them.
Now as an adult, I can see how that program helped me learn how to not just choose a goal but make a plan to carry it out. I hope I can share with you what I have learned and provide you with tools that will help you with your own goals as we head into the new year.
The Power Behind S.M.A.R.T. Steps
First things first. We have to cover the basics. Have you heard the acronym S.M.A.R.T. used for the steps in making a goal? Let’s review these quickly:
- S – Specific – Saying you want to lose weight is still too broad. But if you say you want to lose 20 lbs that will help you narrow down your plan.
- M – Measurable – You need to be able to track your progress through some way of measuring. This tells you if you are heading in the right direction.
- A – Attainable – Is your goal something that you can actually achieve this year? If it’s not something you can achieve, then maybe reconsider if there is a part of that goal that is achievable and work on that first.
- R – Relevant – Your goal should be relevant to you and your priorities and what your long term objectives are and your values.
- T – Time based – There needs to be an end date. Having a deadline helps to light that fire to get it DONE.
In my own experience, I find myself going through these S.M.A.R.T. steps but then it stops there. Many of us don’t know how to translate this information into a plan. We forget to be specific in our plan. For example, if exercising more is your plan, that’s not very specific. But if you said you were going to start by going for a walk Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at 7 pm for 30-45 minutes, that’s way more specific. You know what you are doing, when you are going, and for how long. If you’re like me, if it’s not on the calendar I’m not going to be there. Make it specific enough you can put it in your calendar.
Power Behind the Right Goal for the Right Reason
If you are one of the 43% of people who already doubt their ability to achieve their goal, think about why you feel that way. Are you setting a goal because that’s the thing to do every New Year? Is there a different goal that will better serve you?
I read this study in the ScienceDirect relating to how one’s belief in themselves at the beginning of the goal will affect the outcome of them achieving their goal. Basically, if you feel confident that you can achieve your goal you are WAY more likely to achieve it. The same is true in the opposite. If you set a goal but you don’t really believe that you can do it, then you’re right, you probably aren’t going to achieve it.
The Power of Baby Steps
I saw this image of two ladders. One ladder had all of it’s steps and the person on the ladder was well on their way to reaching the top. The other ladder was missing a large portion of the lower steps and the person at the bottom had to jump super high just to get to the first step. This was a great reminder to not to make that first step so hard dang hard! Nor should the next step be really hard. Do not underestimate the power of baby steps.
The Power of Saying “I Can & I Will”
I read another article recently that talked about what happens to your subconscious when you finish something you said you were going to do. It didn’t matter what it was but only that you said you were going to do it and you did. It strengthens your belief in yourself that you know when you say you’re doing something, you do it.
It can be as simple as making your bed. When you say you’re going to do it and you do, you are building your belief in yourself. Then you can move on to other things, like drinking more water, or eating more veggies, or exercising, or whatever it is. Because you’ve shown you can and will do it, you know you can and will when it comes to bigger goals, like weight loss.
The Power of Fostering Motivation with Small Goals
Another VERY important step in achieving your goals and facilitating your motivation, is setting smaller progress goals. Don’t wait to lose those 20 lbs to pat yourself on the back! Make sure you celebrate the first 2 lbs! Setting progress goals will help manage your expectations. By the end of January you know you’re not going to be down 20lbs, but maybe 2-4 lbs might be reasonable. By knowing what the expectation/progress goal is, when you reach it you can celebrate and feel good about yourself. By doing so, you will foster your motivation to keep going.
Whatever goals you set, be sure to believe in yourself!
For more UpLifting tips follow me on Instagram @taylorkati2018