As you may know, I am a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. I’ve had success with them in the past, but I’ve also made many wishful general statements in the past on New Year’s Eve, that I didn’t carry out past the first or second week of the New Year.
This isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but throughout the last few years I have been able to make some positive changes in my life due to learning how to effectively set goals. As an educator, I think that goals are essential in helping students succeed academically. I love thinking about goal setting as deciding what your finish lines are going to be. Although resolutions are never really finished since they are permanent changes, setting milestones and celebrating them will keep you on the race track!
Think about it if there was a starting line in a marathon with no finish line, people will run in all different directions and those who don’t have insane discipline will lose interest after the first ten miles. Envisioning that finish line is fuel to your journey.
New Year’s is a perfect time to make a resolution because it is a memorable day to measure from. If you ask me what I did on December 8th, of last year, I can’t really recall. For this reason January 1st, is a great day to start so you can think back to how your journey began the following New Year’s. Even if your changes don’t begin on New Year’s Day, we can still remember the time when we were preparing to change.
Write down your goal. In February 2015 I was forced to practice writing a SMART goal for an education class. I rolled my eyes while doing it, but this goal is something that I came back to all the time and kept me motivated. I wrote: “In the next year I will lose 30 pounds by adding healthy foods, cutting back sugar and exercising once a day”. Now that’s a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based goal!
(by the way, Over the course of the year I kicked my SMART goal’s butt! I lost 40 lbs.)
The one thing I can add about weight loss is you won’t be committed until you start to feel better from the healthy changes in your life. Think about it: even though you are unhappy with the way you look, you will tolerate it. You have done it this long. Once I started to notice changes in my mood and energy from eating healthy and working out, the journey did get easier.
If your goal is really a SMART goal and you know why you want to accomplish it, you can change in 2017!
My planner is littered with weekly, monthly, yearly and long term goals. I love setting these goals because I get to celebrate all of these little finish lines.
It’s not too late to make a resolution now, just think about how you will thank yourself next year. Take some time reflect on what your resolution will be this year, make a plan and envision your finish line.
Happy New Year!