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Set Goals instead of Resolutions

New Years Snow

I do not make New Years Resolutions.  Instead every year on New Year's Day, I take a considerable amount of time to reflect on the past year and restructure my goals for the next year.  Sounds like resolutions?  It's not.  In today's blog post, I'm going to take a second to explain the difference between resolutions and goals, how to set goals for next year and how to get started on them.  

Resolutions and goals are two very different things.  A resolution by definition is a firm decision to do or not do something.  Some examples are: "I'm going to work out 3 days a week" or  "I'm going to stop swearing".  A goal on the other hand is something you put effort into to achieve an end.  Some examples of goals are: "I'm planning to lose 20 pounds" or "I'm going to make it through a full day of work without swearing".  The difference is that resolutions are the effort with no end in sight, but goals give you the opportunity to change the effort to reach the clearly defined end.  People often joke about setting their resolution and failing, but without a clearly defined end, there's no way you can succeed.  The best way to succeed is to set goals.  

The first week of January creates a wonderful environment for reflection and change.  It's a time when we all have a ritual of letting go of the past and moving on to the future, but how much time do you really give yourself to reflect?  For most, it's a few minutes and glass of champagne.  I'm going to challenge you this year to stretch yourself a bit.  The following is a three step process full of questions to help you set and achieve your goals.  You'll want to write these down in a journal or in a word processing document.  Give yourself about an hour to do this reflection and goal setting exercise.    

1. Reflect

1.  What goals or resolutions did I set for myself last year?

2.  What events happened last year that I want to remember forever? 

3.  What did I accomplish last year that I am proud of?  

4.  What struggles did I go through and how did they help me grow as a person?

5.  What projects am I willing to let go of from last year?

6.  What projects do I still want to pursue in this year? 

2.  Set Goals

1.  From your above reflections, make a list of goals. 

2.  For each goal, rewrite it to show a measurable end.  Do not include times or dates.

Ex. I want to lose 20 lbs. = I plan to weigh 140 lbs.
Ex. I want to learn Italian = I will have full 20 minute conversation in Italian

The final step is to actually get started:  

1.  For each goal, write down 10 different things you could do to reach that goal

Example 1.  I plan to weigh 140 lbs.

  1. Walk everyday for 30 minutes
  2. Buy a scale and find out how much I actually weigh
  3. Write down everything I eat
  4. Replace potatoes with mixed greens at breakfast
  5. Always leave food on my plate
  6. Alternate water and wine when I go out
  7. Swim laps
  8. Go running
  9. Hire a Personal Trainer
  10. Go to class at Stretch Chi

Example 2.  I will have a full 20 minute conversation in Italian

  1. Sign up for Italian Classes
  2. Look up online resources
  3. Check out CDs from the Library
  4. Watch Italian Movies
  5.  Find out if any of my friends have Italian speaking friends or relatives
  6. Join an Italian meet up group
  7. Do an intensive study in Italy
  8. Listen to Italian radio
  9. Find a friend who also wants to learn
  10. Go on an Italian vacation and refuse to speak English

2.  Chose one method of effort and get to work. Sometimes starting is the hardest part.  Promise yourself for at least 1 minute everyday you'll do one of these 10 methods.  

3.  When you find that your method isn't working anymore, pick another and get back to work.  

3.  Achieve

The final step is reaching your goal and because it's so clearly defined, you'll easily know when you've reached it. 

Want to make bigger changes this year?  Follow me ig: @carriestretchchi for inspiration to find your purpose and create a happy and healthy life.  Now is a great time to start!!

Anno Nuovo, Vita Nuova!

 

 

 

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