2019 is here which means it is time for New Year’s
resolutions. For many people, the beginning of the year is a time to turn over
a new leaf and start fresh. The most popular resolutions revolve around saving
more money, losing weight, getting a better job, and taking a great vacation.
Most people set their resolutions so high they can’t reach them, get frustrated
and quit by the end of January. What I have found is to not set resolutions,
this way you can’t fail! I know it sounds crazy but hear me out. I found it
more beneficial to set small, specific goals instead of abstract resolutions.
There is a great article from the New
York Times that discusses how to set SMART goals. (Read the article here).
Be specific: Your goal should be very specific, abstract goals are unclear and easy to quit. You have no real direction when you set a generalized goal for yourself. For example, I have two goals for this year, to run at least one 5k race per month and to climb a 14,000 ft. mountain. Ambitious yes, but very specific.
Be measurable: You need to have some way to measure your success. Take my goals for example, I will be able to directly measure my improvements with progress photos, distance ran and the times from each race.
Make it achievable: Your goal needs to be something that you know you can achieve. This doesn’t mean you can’t set crazy goals (hello mountains!) you just need to be able to reach them. In my case I climbed a smaller mountain this past October, so I have a basic idea of what I am going to need to do. Know your limits. Doing too much to quickly is a sure-fire way to burn yourself out.
Be relevant: This doesn’t mean be relevant to society, but rather to have a goal that is relevant to you. Is it important enough for you to work towards, are you doing it for the right reasons? When I was trying to lose weight, because of self-hate, I failed miserably. When I changed my thinking and said, “hey I want to be able to physically do this amazing thing,” I started succeeding and it felt awesome.
Time bound: Similar to making a goal achievable you need to have a realistic timeline. I know I am not going to be ready for a mountain in 3 months, but in 7 months I should be. Setting a realistic timeline keeps you from getting frustrated and allows you to celebrate the small victories you are going to achieve on the way.
Whatever your goals for 2019, be patient with yourself. Changing habits takes time. If you fall off the wagon don’t just throw in the towel, jump back on and continue working towards your goal. Look to friends and family for support, advice and accountability. You can achieve your goals. I know you can! I am always here if you need support, think of me as your personal cheerleader! Email me at Val@rivervalleycu.org or find me on Facebook.
You got this!