A New Resolution
So another Christmas has come and gone and many of us are now turning our sights to the new year (come on that’s where the real party is!). Ah New Years, you give us the opportunity to cleanse our souls of our indiscretions of the previous year and state our good intentions to start the year clean and fresh – (once the hangover wears off that is). New Year’s Resolutions are a timed honoured tradition made in good faith, with a sprinkle of good intentions. However, half-assed presentation and dedication and inclination often see many of the New Year’s resolutions left in the garbage with empty champagne bottles and party streamers. So how can we bring about meaningful change to our lives? And make sure that we stay the course to create positive and effective life change?
Many resolutions are begging to be broken through no fault of their own. We make blanket statements of I’m going to lose weight! I’m going to work less. I’m going to get fit. Think I might climb Everest this year. I might get healthy. While these are all admirable resolutions they lack the substance of proper goal making and are as fuzzy and many heads are on New Year’s Day. Yep goal making can be as simple as stating the intention to the little voice in our head, but for truly successful results we need to give it a little something, something to help us achieve.
Anyone who has completed business or sales training (yep – me in a previous life) would have come across the acronym of SMART is commonly used in relation to goal setting. So what are SMART goals?
Specific, Measurable, Attainable/achievable, Realistic and Timely. Add details to your goals, so you want to lose weight – how much weight? By when? Is that doable for your with your body makeup and composition.
Specifics in goals relates to the nitty gritty. The more specific the goal the easier it is to measure success. The difference between I’m going to get fit and I’m going to run my first 5 km.
By making our goals measurable we have something to determine (measure) success by. The term fitness is intangible what is fit for one may not be for another, however achieving you first 5km run – that can’t be disputed!
Attainable, is this doable for you? So you want to run 5km, maybe not say you’re going to run 5km in a month if you have never run further than to the toilet. Be realistic, look at where you are and where you want to be – honestly how long will it take and how committed are you going to be? Don’t set yourself up for failure by creating short term time frames that can’t be met.
Once you have a clear destination mapped out remember you need to plot the journey. How are you going to achieve your first 5km run? Are you going to just go out and keep trying until you do it? Are you going to seek the help of a personal trainer? Are you going to download and app to help? Add these all in, the more detailed the better your chance of success.
SMARTer works for big goals too, remember you can’t eat the elephant all in one sitting. Break it up, portion it out. What are the steps you need to help you achieve your ultimate goal? Make sure each bite size portion is SMARTer too. Then you can eat the elephant one bite at a time (please note this a metaphorical elephant and not a literal elephant. Please Note - we do not endorse the actual eating of elephants ;) .
It’s ok to change your mind. This is not a failure. While we are making plans sometimes the universe and her humour intervene, providing obstacles which may hinder us from reaching our goals. This is only a detour in the path, if you truly want it there is always away. A reflection upon our goals is often needed at times like this to help ensure that the goal is in fact what you still want and help you identify if there are any tweaks needed to your goals.
Tracking your progress is super important to achieving goals too. Sometimes it can be tricky to see our accomplishments, we spend so much time looking forward we can lose sight of where we have been and what we have done. This important to help see that you are progressing towards your dreams and goals, as when we dream big it can see too far away which may cause you to lose faith.
Remember: It is better to try and re-evaluate and re-design our goals, than never to have tried at all!
Happy New Year Everyone.
Allison Faulkner is a qualified and accredited Naturopath, also holding additional qualifications in Nutritional Medicine. She runs a Naturopathy and Wellness clinic in Albion Park, NSW.