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Reality Check: Setting Goals You Can Keep

Jumping into the new year, a lot of us like to come up with a few areas in our lives we would like to touch up. Some like a full makeover or just a few new add-ons.

There are goals like losing 30 pounds in a month, cold turkey quitting eating your favorite food, earning a million dollars at your part-time job or just throwing your phone away until further notice.

These goals can be ridiculously hard to keep. Let’s get a quick reality check! How many of us could truly stick with those improvements?

These goals or desires take more than simply wishing on a star. You need motivation and drive, but firstly a plan. The New Year is the most popular time of year to create a better you, but which areas are the best ones to improve? There is no one answer I can tell you that will change your life. You must decide those for yourself. Whatever we set our mind to and get passionate about is what we will accomplish. I guess it's time for me to go dumpster diving for my phone…oops.

Setting realistic, accomplishable goals requires creativity, a healthy mindset and support from the people around us. These 5 steps will help lead us in the right direction to achieve our goals. The Start Today blog on this topic reminded me of the SMART Strategy.

  1. Specific Goals! We need to think of our lives for a second. Think of three things you love about yourself or your lifestyle and then think of three things you don’t love so much. Find those specific areas in your life that you want to change or improve and write those down.

Identifying our goals and specifically stating what we want to change within those places are so important to creating strong goals. Do not just say you want to stay organized. Say I want to keep my room picked up and put my stuff away while keeping my agenda up to date weekly.

2. Measurable! Find a way to hold yourself accountable. Having a way to keep track of our progress is so smart. Keeping a progress journal or finding an app to help you keep track of which goals you complete or continue to do. Check this app out to start tracking your goals.

3. Achievable Goals! When we are creative and make resolutions for ourselves, we do not want them to be too hard. Keep them simple. Allow ourselves to go one at a time and once we achieve our simple goal we can make it one step harder as we go. Gradually making our dreams a reality is better than a quick fix that will probably not stick.

       4. Relevant Goals! Make sure your goals relate to your lifestyle. Allow yourself to succeed. Don’t create a goal that is so far out of reach and not relevant to your life unless you are 100% committed to that change.

       5. Timely! Making a mental or written timeline for ourselves is key. We must track progress while also giving ourselves a deadline. When do we want to accomplish this goal? Will it take two weeks, three months, six months or the whole year? Let us allow ourselves to think about those goals with a reasonable finish line.

One of my goals this year has been to drink a glass of water every morning and eat a salad with my lunch. My personal goal is not to lose weight but to nourish my body. I am making the choice every day to do better for my body with these specific habits.

My alarm in the morning has a message to remind me to fill up my water first thing. As for my salads, I have a great support system to encourage me even if I am really not feeling it that day. These two new habits I am working with are simple which makes them easier to achieve. Each day I can tell a difference in my energy levels, mood and maybe even lose a pound or two.

My goal is to make these a habit. If I can do this for a month straight, what's to say I can’t do it for another?

Success in achieving our goals requires a conscious decision and a transformative mindset. We must allow ourselves the freedom to manage these goals. We are capable of anything we set our minds to, we just have to do it the smart way.


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