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Published on January 08, 2019

new years resolutions on a chalkboard

#TryItTuesday: Let’s Set Those Goals

New Year’s resolutions – like losing weight, exercising more or quitting smoking – are great and easy to make. Unfortunately, like 77 percent of us will discover, they are just as easy to break.

Perhaps if we understand a bit about why our resolutions break, it can help us plan and implement our well-being goals.

Three Reasons Why Resolutions Fail

  • We make the wrong goals.
  • We make too many resolutions and over-commit on an already busy schedule.
  • We don’t have an action plan. 

Set Yourself Up for Success with the Right Goal for YOU!

Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve. Motivation is key to achieving goals, so it’s important to set goals that motivate you.

A few questions to ask yourself:

  • What is your “why” for the goal?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, ask yourself, how important is the goal to me?
  • If the importance of your goal is under 6, ask yourself why you are considering this goal.
  • Does the goal relate to my life priorities?

Once you identified your goal, follow this simple seven-step method developed by speaker and author, Brian Tracy.

Step 1: Decide Exactly What You Want

Be specific.

Instead of saying I want to lose weight, say “I’m going to lose 15 pounds by April 2019.”

Instead of saying I’m going to eat healthier, say “I’m going to add a fruit and vegetable to every meal in January. I’m going to limit my going out to eat to twice weekly in February. I’m going to try one new healthy recipe every week in March.”

Instead of saying that I’m going to exercise more, say “I’m going to move my body at least 10 minutes every day in January. I’m going to walk 30 minutes a day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in February. I’m going to practice yoga for 15 minutes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in March.”

Instead of saying I’m going to decrease my stress, say “I’m going to do something I love at least once a week in January. I’m going to practice meditation five minutes every day during February. I’m going to schedule an hour once a week for something fun in March.”

Step 2: Write it Down

An interesting study done in 2006 by USA Today showed 44 percent of the people who wrote down their New Year’s resolutions had success and the people who didn’t write down their goals only had 4 percent success.  A written goal becomes something you can see, touch, read, and modify if necessary.

Step 3: Set a Deadline 

  • Deadlines help force us to think through our goals and what we need to do to achieve them.
  • Deadlines help us prioritize and stay on task.
  • Deadlines help push us.
  • When making your deadline, look at your life season and your schedule. It’s good to have deadlines that push us, but we also want to make sure they are realistic in our given season of life.
  • If your goal is a big one, like lose 50 pounds, set multiple deadlines, like lose five pounds a month.

Step 4: Make a List of Obstacles

There will be challenges to overcome to achieve your goal. Some common barriers include:

  • Negative mindset
  • Lack of focus
  • Trying to do too much
  • Fear
  • Influence of others
  • Excuses
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Lack of skills
  • Lack of time
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of money
  • Lack of support

Review your list of challenges and obstacles and identify how you will overcome them. If you make a list of people whose cooperation and support you will require to achieve your goal, you'll be better off.

Allies pay off. 

Step 5: Make Plans and Priorities

A list organized by sequence requires you to decide what needs to be done first. A list organized by priority enables you to determine what is most important.

An example of how this works:

Goal: to lose 30 pounds in 2019. What I can and need to do to achieve this includes:

  • Make a plan
  • Schedule the time
  • Learn more about nutrition
  • Learn about at home exercises
  • Listen to podcasts, audiobooks or read books on healthy living
  • Find a friend or family member for support and accountability
  • Obstacles include lack of time, skills, money, excuses, negative mindset, procrastination

Sequence List

  • Share my goal with my family/roommate/friends.
  • Learn more about nutrition and home exercises by reading, listening to podcast/audiobooks, watching videos/documentaries
  • Make a plan
  • Schedule the time

Priority List

  • Start today with making healthier choices with the knowledge I do have
  • Share goals with my support system
  • Make a plan and schedule the time to act on the plan
  • Continue to be diligent in learning about healthy lifestyles

Depending on your goals, the sequence and priority list might be the same. In the case of my goal to lose 30 pounds in 2019, the priority list would be my focus. I personally could spend all day learning about wellness and never taking action.

Step 6: Take Action Immediately

I love this quote, “Procrastination is not only the thief of time, it is the thief of life.” – Brian Tracy.

Don’t delay, take action today. Do something.

Step 7: Do Something Every Day

If it's moving you in the direction of your major goal, do it each day.  This is my favorite step and something that I’ve already implemented in my plan to achieve my goals for 2019.

One small thing every day is possible even with a busy schedule. I’m discovering that this step helps me say no to any excuses. Back to my goal of losing 30 pounds in 2019.

One of the action steps I need to take is to move more. On New Year’s Day, we had our grandchildren, ages 1 and 4, and if you remember, it was super cold outside. Going to the gym or outside to exercise wasn’t an option.

So, I found a kids’ exercise video on YouTube, and we all burned some energy, plus had a few good laughs. When we do something every day that moves us in the direction of our goal, we develop momentum. This momentum is sooooo energizing and invigorating.

Now that you have identified your goals and have an action plan in place ... 

READY, SET, GOAL!

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