Have you set your New Year’s resolutions this year?
I have been thinking lately about all of the New Year’s resolutions that are abandoned as the year goes on. A resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something” or “the quality of being determined or resolute.” So if resolutions are supposed to be firm decisions, why do we so easily forget or disregard them? How do we make resolute resolutions?
Most people have heard of “SMART” and “WISE” goal setting. SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and timely. And you need to be WISE in order to work toward fulfilling those goals. (People have different terms for the WISE acronym.)
Together, these philosophies can help you work to make and keep your goals. However, the problem with both of these is that they only come into play after you decide what goal you want to make. So most people’s goals tend to be focused on changing behavior, which means that people are expecting to be able to change their behavior without changing the causes of that behavior.
Sometimes life does work out in a way that allows our behavior to change our thoughts, but usually it is our thoughts that change our behavior. So I’ve come up with my own acronym to help you with deciding what goals to make in the first place. I hope that this will help you to make goals that will make you want to change rather than simply change your behavior.
Here are my steps to GREAT goals:
The first step to making a great goal is to get ready. You need to be ready to change, ready to become better than you are now. You get ready by recognizing a desire to change. That desire could be due to health problems, family concerns, or mental or emotional needs. For example, “I want to be healthier because I have a family history of diabetes.”As much as you can, try to get to the root of what causes the behavior you want to change and then determine why you want to change.
Next, explore the areas you want to change. If you want to be healthier, explore your options for becoming healthy. If you don’t enjoy using exercise equipment, don’t make a goal to go to the gym. Instead explore options like walking around a mall. Look at your behavior and explore options that you would enjoy doing. If you take the time to explore the areas you want to change, you’ll likely find an option to change that you can commit to doing.
Then, turn your life to make the change you want to see. It’s good to make goals to change behavior but unless you choose to change yourself, your behavior will likely remain unchanged. You need to commit to turning your life. Turn in the direction you want your life to go. Make your goals part of your life rather than add-ons. Integrate your goals into your normal routine or better yet integrate your normal routine into your goals.
Once you’ve decided to make great goals, be smart and wise in how you make those goals a reality. Get help and feedback along the way. Changing yourself isn’t easy so use all the help you can get.
Good luck with your goals this year!