If you set yourself a new year’s resolution, chances are you’ve already abandoned it but don’t worry, you’re in good company. Research shows 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. But there’s no need to feel bad or wait 10 months before you start on another resolution. You can set yourself a goal at any time of the year and with a little more preparation than you spent on your new year’s resolution, you have a far greater chance of succeeding.
Why Set Goals?
If so many people fail to achieve their goals, you may question why we bother? Goal setting allows us to:
· Decide what is important to us and what is irrelevant
· Work out what we want to achieve
· Motivate ourselves
· Build self-confidence and belief that we can achieve what we want
· Have a purpose or something to work towards
Follow these steps to a setting a goal you can achieve.
Make your Goals SMART
By keeping in mind the mnemonic SMART, your goals will be more powerful and measurable.
S – Specific – make the goal clear
M – Measurable – put a time frame on your goal
A – Achievable – what is the action related to the goal
R – Realistic – make sure you can achieve it
T – Timely – when you will achieve the goal by
An example of a SMART goal is ‘I will improve my diet and exercise regime to lose 10 kg and weigh 80kg by 31 December this year.’
The problem with new year’s resolutions is they are often big goals that are doomed to fail in the early months because they seem too difficult to achieve and will take too long so you lose motivation.
Break down your big goal into smaller steps (goals). It will be far easier to see how you will achieve the ultimate goal by achieving these steps along the way.
For example, if you set a new year’s resolution to lose 10 kg by the end of the year, try breaking that goal into smaller goals with shorter intervals.
One Week Goal: Start walking with a friend three mornings each week
One Month Goal: Set up a healthy eating plan with new recipes and a pantry full of healthy food
Six Month Goal: Lose 5 kg
When you achieve one goal, set yourself another goal. If the goal was too easy, make the next goal a little harder. If you don’t meet a goal, look at the reasons why you didn’t achieve it and learn from the experience for next time rather than simply being hard on yourself.
Training yourself in Self-Discipline
No one is born with self-discipline, it is a learned skill. You can develop your self-discipline by setting one challenge after another and making sure you deliver. Treat yourself with small rewards for finishing a task. During the day stop yourself from procrastinating or wasting time on things that don’t have a worthwhile outcome. Use that time to achieve something that will make you proud and confident in your ability to self-discipline.
If you are a naturally pessimistic person, try to turn around that mindset and look for the positives in everything. When you find yourself complaining, tell yourself you don’t do that anymore. Complaining has become a bad habit over the years, but if you are mindful that you’re prone to do it, you can stop.
Review your Goals
There is no point writing out your goals and filing them away for months. You may have committed your long-term goal to memory but you need to review the steps you are taking to achieve this goal. During your regular reviews, tick off the small goals you have achieved and set yourself new ones. If your priorities or circumstances have changed, recognise it and amend your goals.
Healthy Lifestyle Cover
If you are keen to achieve your exercise or weight goals this year, check our HIF’s Healthy Lifestyle Cover which allows you to claim a benefit on weight management programs, gym memberships, exercise physiologist appointments and health assessments.
Benefits are not available where the service is eligible for a Medicare rebate
A two month waiting period applies for Healthy Lifestyle benefits
Benefits are not payable on online program purchases, with the exception of Michelle Bridges 12 WBT and Susie Burrell’s Shape Me.