Washington Post Question: Why do most people abandon their New Year`s resolutions so quickly? How much of a role does goal-setting play in achieving success? What are the most effective resolutions you have made?
Several years in a row, my New Year`s resolution was to lose weight. That lasted until I either had a craving or was delightfully presented with some yummy food, which usually took all of a day or two!
Then, a few years ago, I learned the best words to use as it pertains to weight loss. And slowly, over a year, I lost the weight. Rather than saying, “I want to lose 20 pounds,” I learned it`s better to say “I am at my ideal weight of 145 pounds.”
State what you want to gain, rather than what you want to lose. Do you want to gain health, increase your income, or clear out space in your home? What, specially, do you want to gain — a gym membership and a fitness trainer? What is your ideal weight? Exactly how much money do you want to make?
After you write down what you want, clarify why you want it and the small steps needed to achieve success. While “looking good” to attract beautiful people was a nice goal for me, it didn`t work. When I realized I wanted to gain my health to strengthen my self-esteem, I reached my goal. Of course, attracting beautiful people is a nice bonus!
Some of my smaller steps I took to achieve my weight goal were (and are): daily meditation, exercise, eating three well-balanced meals and two small, well-balanced snacks a day, take three breaks throughout my workday (go for a short walk or read), write in my journal five times a week, get a good night sleep every night, therapy two times a month, medication to help reduce anxiety and spend time every month educating myself on best practices as it pertains to overall health — mind, body and spirit.
While I did not do all of those things in one day, or even one month, those are the steps I continue to take to help with my self-esteem. Instead of wasting any time beating myself up when I realize I`ve fallen off track with this goal, I simply get back to my healthy routine — one step at a time.
My friend, Walt, said, “People who need a special occasion (a new year) to inspire a change in their life are not the ones who will stick with that resolution. Those capable of enacting change just make it happen.”
While I agree with Walt, I also know that consistently setting goals is a great way to learn what you really want and how to achieve it. Every time you set (or reset) a goal, you learn what hasn`t worked, what might work and what goals are truly important to you.
Nathan Wright said, “…setting goals for yourself is still good because you are 10 times more likely to attain your goal, rather than people who don`t explicitly make goals.”
More than simply thinking or even verbally sharing your goals, writing your goals will drastically increase your chances for achieving them.
“Success psychologists say that 95 percent to 97 percent of the people in the world do not have written goals and fail, while 3 percent to 5 percent have written goals and succeed.” — Tom Venuto.
Regardless of the reason or the season, I say write your goals and keep them in a place where you will see them every day. As my shot put and discus coach always said in high school, “inch by inch is a cynch — yard by yard is hard.”
I`m eager to hear about your goals – please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a free, simple, easy-to-use goal-setting form, please visit http://inspirioninc.com/article.php?post_id=125. This link will take you right to the form.