The smoke from the New Years Eve fireworks has well and truly cleared and 2016 is officially upon us. While the start of every year brings excitement and the promise of a clean slate, many of us have forgotten the goals we set for ourselves by the time the Christmas decorations are back in their boxes and it’s time to return to work. Unfortunately the optimism we feel in December often doesn’t match the reality of January. But there are ways to make your New Year’s Resolutions stick and help you blaze a trail to the best version of you.
Whether you are determined to put those brand new Nikes into action and shed a few silly season kilos, save money for a holiday, quit smoking or learn a language, the fact that you have made some goals means you’re already off to a good start. Now the reality is that you are going to actually have to put in some work to bring these to fruition!
Many of us have used the term ‘SMART goals’ in a professional context but this are just as relevant when setting goals in your personal life. In order to give yourself the best chance at achieving your objectives for the New Year, make sure they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
Broad goals such as ‘exercise more’ or ‘lose weight’ are tough to achieve when life gets busy and after work drinks with friends seem more enticing than a visit to the gym. If you want to make sustainable, lifelong changes, really set some parameters for yourself that you can measure. Try something more specific such as ‘do one weights session on Monday and Tuesday morning before work and a hot yoga class on Wednesday’ or ‘no take-away food during the week’.
Set a time-frame and reward yourself if you have met your goals when this time is up or re-evaluate, you may need to make some adjustments – and that is ok! Word on the street is that it takes 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. Consider this when you’re setting your time-frames and give yourself some grace, take each day at a time and don’t beat yourself up if you slip up.
Dr. Deepak Chopra says “Intention is the starting point of every dream. It is the creative power that fulfils all of our needs, whether for money, relationships, spiritual awakening, or love.” Climb mountains. Read more books. Meditate. Get enough sleep. Go somewhere new. It’s not too late to put pen to paper and really set your intentions for 2016.
Sure you might drop the ball at some point, no one is perfect – but anything is possible. People do reach their goals, they start running and one day they finish a marathon. Make this the year you cross the finish line with your arms above your head celebrating your own personal victories.