Most people find it hard to make resolutions, and often times because they don’t think they’re going to keep it. I say we give resolutions the boot! You don’t need January 1st to determine how your year is going to go! That’s just not realistic. So let’s scrap this whole resolution thing and start marking goals. Real goals. Reachable goals. Realistic goals. Your goals.
Here’s a method I use and find it incredible effective. It forces you to think of your goal from start to finish and how you’re going to accomplish it. I will layout the principle using one of my goals for this year: to get myself physically ready for my hike through the Nepalese Mountains! Follow my goal through the SMART principle.
S – specific. Be very specific. Don’t be vague by saying “I want to work out”. How are you going to do it? What kind of classes? What part of your body do you improve? How many times a week do you plan to be active?
Nicole: I want to increase my cardio, leg and back strength to make this the best hike ever. I will train myself 3-4 days/week at home and at the YMCA with my man.
M – measurable. How are you going to gage your hard work and how are you going to get it done? When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and will see your hard work pay off.
Nicole: I will create an 8 week challenge for myself to monitor my strength increase. I will test myself every 2 weeks so I can continually watch my improvements as well as note my areas to improve.
A – attainable. When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, and skills to reach them.
Nicole: By creating the challenge for myself it will force me to stay on track in order to truly see my improvements. I will also use my partner to help challenge and push me through our trips to the gym and at home routines.
R – realistic. To be realistic a goal must represent an objective towards which you are willing and ready to work towards. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide this. A high goal can be easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational energy.
Nicole: Increasing my workouts from 2-3 times/week to 3/4 isn’t unrealistically pushing my limits of availability. I have a limited time frame before I leave (10 weeks!) and I want to get the most out of my trip and hike by being in the best shape possible.
T – tangible or time-related. If you can taste, see, hear, or touch your goal then you will have a better chance at hitting it. The same is true for setting a timeline as without a specific date there is no sense of urgency. For example, if you want to be a dress or pant size smaller find a day you want it to be; by your wedding in June, or by your southern March Break trip. Setting a timeline and tangible goal will make it more real and keep you working hard at achieving it.
Nicole: I have until March 11th when we board our plane! I will also be able to gage my success by how much better I feel during the hike than previous hikes I have made.
Work hard at being the best you. Your success will shine through your body, your skin, your personality and your spirit.
Stay strong. Stay focused. Stay proud of yourself!
Showing you the difference between liking and loving your body,