“I hate New Year’s resolutions!” This overheard in March last year. Odd I thought and never thought to ask why.
They warned me but I didn’t believe them. Surely it can’t be that bad! I stuck my head in the sand avoiding the issue and the dreadful horror that was to come. For months I stayed in my own little bubble just doing my thing.
That was a bad idea. If only I had listened I might have been prepared…
I was caught off guard.
My first warning should have been the parking lot. There wasn’t a spot to be found. I thought maybe a nearby store was having a Boxing Day sale. Wrong!
I walked in only to find snow boots everywhere. Every locker was taken. Every machine had a line up. That’s right….New Year’s resolutions were in full swing and the gym, my “me time” has turned into a circus.
I must have worn that deer in the headlights look real good. A nearby member started laughing and she called to me, “First one, huh?” *gulp!* “Don’t worry by the end of the month half are missing and the rest are gone by February.”
And isn’t that the sad honest truth?
New Year’s resolutions might start out with great intentions but we all know where that ends up…upset, guilt, anxiety, regret, self-pity and more when those great intentions crash and burn.
And that alone just kills me inside.
No one should have to feel like that, ever.
Why do your New Year’s resolutions fail?
- Your foundation is weak. In order for anything to stand up to “life storms”, it must be built on a strong foundation. Like the house you live in you want it to weather the storms and keep you safe. As New Year’s resolutions are often based on sheer will power they can’t stand up to the challenges such as distractions, roadblocks, and changes in our life.
- You choose to pick something unrealistic. “I’m going to play a game with my kids every single day this year.” Yet you have no idea what games they like, you don’t even like games AND you have played one game in the past 12 months. Honestly, what are the chances you are going to play a game every.single.day for the next 365 days?
- You are not specific. “I want to read aloud to my kids.” Sounds like a great goal but it isn’t. It doesn’t tell you anything. This is too vague and flimsy. Remember the 5 W’s from your school days? This goal does not answer any of those.
When you set these goals and fail over and over it is easy to get discouraged and downhearted. Here is a crazy suggestion…stop setting New Year’s resolutions and start making goals instead.
Setting Goals Instead
“But Jen, these are the same thing.” You are right they could be…or they could be the very thing that changes your world. It’s the process that makes the difference.
5 Ways goals are different from New Year’s resolutions:
# 1. You the way you treat them. Have you ever talked to someone who plans on running a marathon? They never just hit the treadmill once or twice and say, “Ok all set!” What do you think their chances of success would be? So why do you view your goals the same way? New Year’s Resolutions, you throw that baby out there and say, “Ready, set, go!” *Splat*
Goal setting is like a marathon in that it is built on solid research, time and hard work. When marathon runners plan they research the race, set up a workout schedule, find an accountability partner, look at their diet, invest in the proper gear, training and more. They do all this in order to reach their goal not because they have loads of time. Aren’t you worth the same investment?
# 2. You invest your greatest asset. You. Goals take planning, research, time and commitment. It takes hard work and determination. Pretty much like everything else worth doing. Goal setting, done right, is not quick or easy.
# 3. You think AND take action. Often times, due to the fact you have failed over and over again on your New Year’s resolution, you get caught up in the research phase and never actually take action. Fear keeps holding you back. Why try, you already know the outcome.
With goal setting you take action, so stop throwing away all your hard work in the research and start taking action!
#4. You do it because you want to, not because everyone else is doing it. Goal setting can be done at any time of the year. This breaks the thought pattern of jumping on the bandwagon along with everyone else because you don’t have a goal picked for yourself.
Setting a goal you’ve chosen for you, your life and your circumstances is much better, don’t you think?
#5. It’s all about timing. New Year’s resolutions seem to hit at the same time…probably why they call then New Year’s resolutions. However, that is not always the best time for new goals. You need to consider you-your life.
If you want to accomplish something you need to work hard, plan and make it solid. If you want to get in shape, read to the kids, play more and laugh harder you can’t do that on a flimsy last minute whim. It didn’t get you there last year and it probably won’t get you there this year.Set the goals YOU want to reach! #goalsetting #ihsnet Click To Tweet
Why setting goals is important
Goal setting is important especially if you have been setting new year’s resolutions for years and not reaching them.
Setting goals helps us rebuild our self-esteem, feel accomplished and sometimes pushes us beyond our personal boundaries!
Setting goals is vital because:
- They help you move forward in your life.
- They give you the inspiration to aim for the things that seem impossible.
- Setting goals helps you figure out what you want.
Goals give you direction and a point to aim for.
For example: Let’s say for illustration purposes you want to visit me in Canada.
In the middle of winter, no thank you! It’s an example people, stick with me here.
Alright, you go to the airport and you say, “Give me a ticket for Canada.”
Let’s consider, what are the chances of you being given the right ticket and hitting the right province, county or town I live in?
Last time I looked Canada is pretty big, it could take you years or a lifetime to reach me.
Goal setting done right gives you the answers to:
- Where you want to go?
- Why do you want to reach this goal?
- How do you want to get there?
- Challenges you might face along the way?
- How are you going to overcome them?
- Support and tools you might need and more.
This plan needs to be simple and yet detailed enough to give you the tools to stick to your new goal.
By setting and reaching your goals you are on your way to rebuilding your self-confidence and trust in a system that works.
So go ahead and build a solid foundation. Take the time to think it through and take action.
Goal setting doesn’t have to be hard.
Make it practical, make it simple.
Take it from me, I love to set and reach goals. What I don’t like? Feeling bad, frustrated and annoyed about not reaching them.
Finding a system that is both practical and doable is what helps me reach the goals I set no matter what time of the year I set them.