Without even realizing it, we constantly set our sights on new goals, whether it’s resolving to get up each morning on your first alarm (no more snooze button!) or to go to the gym 3 times a week. We’re able to meet many of those goals with a bit of discipline, but others inevitably get slowly pushed aside, replaced by a vague sense of guilt in the back of our minds.
Did you know that 25% of resolutions are abandoned after just a week? Not very encouraging… But what if the problem wasn’t you, but rather the goal that you’ve chosen?
We want to do everything we can to help you get a bit closer to your goals each and every week. So if you’re looking for success, look to the following recipe to transform your desires into attainable goals.
Ready, set, go!
1. Conceive of the right goal
The right goal is one that is good for you
It may seem obvious, but it’s worth stating. We often instinctively know what’s good for us, but we don’t always do it. Taking care of you, your body, and your mind should always be a priority, so choose goals that are good for your mental and physical health.
The right goal is one that you truly want
Often, our goals don’t really come from within. Instead, they are the reflection of others’ desires, and these goals are almost always destined to fail. Focus instead on goals that you really want to attain.
Try a new fitness class because it’s fun and rewarding, not just because the rest of your colleagues go to the gym during their lunch hour. Cast aside what you think should do, and try whatever piques your interest, regardless of what others are doing.
Tip: Carve out 10 minutes of calm reflection, and put down on paper your true desires and goals. List 3 things that you are proud to have accomplished this past year. Now list out 3 things that you weren’t yet able to accomplish. Perhaps you’ll find your next resolution on this second list…
The right goal is a singular one
There are probably several important points in the list that you’ve just written. However, start small by concentrating on just one goal, perhaps the one that is most important to you, or the one you find you can most realistically achieve at this time.
The desire to lose weight, a very common resolution, requires constant commitment to become a reality. If it’s truly a priority, then don’t let any other project interfere with your goal!
Now that we’ve chosen the right goal, let’s make it attainable.
2. Plan out how you’ll achieve your goal
A good goal is a SMART goal.
Perhaps you’ve heard this acronym before—It helps to define a goal in order to transform it from an idea on paper into something bigger.
Your goal should be:
- Specific: Create a precise goal. Don’t say “I want to lose weight,” but rather “I want to lose 10 pounds.”
- Measurable: In the same vein, your goal should be measurable. If it’s not, how can you track your progress or know when you’ve hit the goal? If you want to lose weight, consider using a scale to track your progress, or take frequent body measurements.
- Attainable: Your goal should not be too out of reach (or you risk burning out), nor too easy to hit (or you won’t feel accomplished when you reach it).
- Realistic: Consider your limitations and your lifestyle when setting your goal. It’s probably unrealistic to set a goal of sleeping 9 hours a night if you have two kids, or working out every day if you work 60+ hours a week. Take into account your life circumstances so you can set a goal that is challenging but still realistic.
- Time-bound: A goal should have an end date or last a defined length of time. To continue with our weight loss example, this means you should say “I want to lose 10 pounds in 2 months, or by March 15.” This helps keep up your motivation, because you can’t simply delay your goal or come up with excuses to push it off. It also allows you to effectively track your progress based on time.
Tip: If you find yourself with a big goal that you are really excited to achieve, yet it seems daunting, you shouldn’t give up on it, as long as it is still a SMART goal. If it’s challenging, but still attainable and realistic, instead consider breaking up your large goal into small mini-goals. For example, if your goal is to lose 50 pounds, break this up into a 5 pound weight loss each month, to be achieved in 10 months. 5 pounds a month sounds a lot easier than 50 pounds overall, right? This strategy can be applied to other big, overwhelming goals as well.
3. Start working towards your goal
The right goal is one you can visualize
Whether you track your progress via graphs and data in the Health Mate app, or simply on a post-it note on your bathroom mirror, write your goal out in full and visualize what it will feel like to reach it, and how your life will change.
Moreover, tell your friends about it—they can support you and help prevent you from falling off the wagon.
The right goal is one that you celebrate!
If you’ve followed our guidelines and put in the work, congratulations! You reached your goal! Savor it and be proud of yourself.
And now that you know the recipe for success, let’s get on to the next goal.