Today’s topic is yearly goal setting. Why not wait until New Year’s Day you say? Well, because it’s an ongoing joke that Valentine’s day marks the death of New Year’s Resolutions.
There’s a lot of truth in that. Typically, resolutions are made in loose and vague terms, a unclear and unformed approach to a change that you want to make at some point during the New Year.
So why wait to start doing it right?
Hello and welcome to Fearlessly Holistic.
My name is Irma and I want to share my journey to improved health by eating whole foods, moving my body and eliminating stress as much as possible.
It is my hope to inspire you to make daily changes. Why? Because eating fresh, seasonal food, getting some sunshine, and managing stress is the best way to increase longevity. But you do not want just a long life.
You want a quality long life.
My blog posts are my opinion and the results of things that I have tried that either worked for me or didn’t. My opinions are for informational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. Medical advice should always be obtained from a qualified medical professional for any health conditions or symptoms associated with them. As well, there may be affiliate links in this post. Read more here.
The reason why resolutions are so hard to stick by is that there is nothing there to hold on to, there is no plan. Thus, by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around, we’ve already lost our impetus.
So Why Do Yearly Goal Setting?
Well, for one you can start anytime. Why wait to create your best year ever? Why not start now?
What’s the difference between resolutions and goals?
A goal has two things a resolution does not have: They’re measurable, and they are specific.
- A resolution happens sometime this coming year.
- A goal has a date.
Resolution wording is vague; a goal is specific.
Thinking, “I want to lose weight” is a resolution.
Saying “I will lose five pounds by the end of the month” is a goal. It’s measurable (5 pounds) and specific (by the end of the month).
Here’s how to create your yearly goal:
Keep it S.M.A.R.T.
SMART is an acronym for:
- Specific – I will lose 5 pounds
- Measurable – What your goal is and when it will be achieved
- Attainable – Choose a realistic goal that is achievable i.e. lose 5 pounds by the end of 5 weeks
- Relevant – Is something that is important to you
- Time-sensitive or time-bound – The goal has an end date so you can measure your success.
The vaguer the goal, the less likely it’s achievable. Keeping the SMART in your goals vastly enhance the possibility of success.
Write it down
It’s one thing to say, “I will learn a language by the end of the year,” but things spoken are soon forgotten.
Typing it out on the computer is better.
But actually, writing it out on a piece of paper takes a shortcut through the conscious and lodges the goal in the subconscious where habits and practices are born.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
There is no one exactly like you, and your progress isn’t theirs. You don’t know the journey they have been on; it might have been very different from yours.
Instead, compare where you are now to where you were a month or a year ago.
When a child learns to walk, they fall. A lot. That is not a failure, it’s learning.
A child learns to balance by overbalancing on one side or another to see how far they can go.
When you’re trying to make a change, you will “fall” by occasionally retreating into old patterns of behavior. Accept that fact, pick yourself back up, and start again.
How to Set One Goal at a Time
When you sleep, you dream. Even if you don’t remember those dreams when you wake up, you do still have them.
The thing about dreams is that we have them one at a time. They don’t overlap. They are content to wait in line and be taken one at a time.
Your goals should be like your dreams—one at a time. Here are a few tricks on how you can decide on your next goal.
How to find the ONE goal.
It might be that the reason people make vague “resolutions” instead of New Year’s “goals” is that a goal is a big thing and can be overwhelming. But losing the big picture means losing the prize.
Ask yourself these questions:
Why are you doing what you’re doing?
The why provides motivation even when you’re discouraged. Knowing the why will also help clarify your goal.
Next year, what achievement from this year will have the most significant impact on your life and get you closest to achieving your goals?
If you’re looking to become healthier, this might be becoming a non-smoker.
Maybe you’re looking to change careers, so your goal might be going back to school for more training.
What takes your full attention while you’re doing it?
Where does your passion lie? Are you consumed by cars? Perhaps being a mechanic is what you need to investigate.
What do you believe that is worth doing that maybe other people wouldn’t?
That is a question designed to give insight into your personality.
In the 1960s Rosey Grier played pro football for the Giants and later for the LA Rams. He was 6’5” and 300 pounds. He famously passed the time between plays knitting. It was his passion.
- Do you have a hobby that makes you so passionate that you don’t mind standing alone to do it?
- What drives you or from what do you take comfort?
- How can that be a part of the goal? Or can it become the goal?
Translate your goal into a number.
Numbers are easier to remember. What number?
Consider your goal is to become an ex-smoker. If you smoke a pack per day at $5 per pack, that’s 5 X 365 or $1,825 spent each year on cigarettes. That’s a good number. Call it $2,000 by the time you factor in all those trips to the gas station for cigarettes.
Does saving $2000 a year while improving your health make the goal real?
Keep your eyes on the prize.
Get out a sheet of paper. Write that number down in big, bold, colorful numbers. Use crayon if you like. Post that number where you can see it. Often.
Learn to prioritize your goals.
By doing so, you will find it easier to pick the one that means the most to you right now. Then put your focus solidly on that particular goal until you get to where you want to go.
I was not raised with the concept of how to set goals and have learned what I know about from setting my own goals.
One thing I do know is that I have more success achieving goals when I actually set goals.
My biggest issues was trying to set too many goals at one time. I will cover this in a future post (and then link to it from this post), and that is why I included the section on choosing one goal to work on.
If your health is your priority, set a health goal first.
If money is a priority, set a money goal first. And is is perfectly okay to rearrange your goals according to what is happening in your life.
Once you are rolling on one goal, you can work on a second goal. I would also recommend keeping the number of goals you are working on at any one time to a maxiumum of two.
Trying to achieve too many goals can be overwhelming and then procrastination can cause zero goal success.
As you achieve one goal, you can then add in a new goal to work on.
Holism targets overall wellness, and when we are well, we only get better with age.
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Until next time, here’s to our health!
– Irma xo