As the calendar recently turned to 2022, many of us have established or are working on new goals, something we want to take on this year. Common resolutions this time of year often include exercising more, getting organized, quitting a bad habit, eating better, reading more, losing weight, saving more money, or learning something new (an instrument, language, skill, etc). Unfortunately, We have all heard that less than half of resolutions are successful. There are several keys to being able to accomplish a goal or fulfilling our resolutions.
One is determining how we define success. If we miss a planned day of exercising, or slip up with our nutrition on one day we can be too hard on ourselves and think that “all is lost”. We beat ourselves up and consider the entire goal a failure. We end up using a “slip up” as an excuse to spiral with the result being sabotage of an opportunity for self-improvement. What we need to do is focus on the positive instead of the negative. We may have eaten the way we wanted to or exercised according to plan for 2 full weeks before our mis-step, but we tend to focus on the one time we didn’t do what we had aimed for. We need to give the successful days more attention!
A second key is how we define our goals. While we want them to be measurable, we don’t want them to be so rigid that we set our selves up for failure. For example, a lot of people set out to start some kind of streak, whether it be nutrition, or exercises, or practicing a skill, or reading. The goal is to do the activity every single day. While there are individuals who are able to succeed at such endeavors, going from “zero” or “occasional” to every day without a day off is a difficult place to start! While holding ourselves to standards is important, it is essential (especially when starting something new) to give some wiggle room in our goal setting. Instead of defining our frequency as “every day” perhaps we say “4-5 out of 7 days”. If the aim is to read 4-5 days/week and we get to 4 we have succeeded, 5 is even better, and if time allows and we can read every day, Great! But if not, we don’t have to look at it as a failure! Likewise, we don’t want to be too vague with our goal setting by saying something like “I want to read/exercise/eat right” as much as possible. While it does give us something to aim for, it doesn’t give us as much feeling of success.
So, as we start our 2022, stay positive! Try not to make a complete overhaul of your life in the first couple weeks of the year, celebrate the little “wins”, and allow a little wiggle room!
#TogetherWeShall accomplish our goals
More to common on goals in the coming weeks!