Many of us look at the new year as a fresh start – a new beginning and a new lifestyle.
So they come up with New Year’s resolutions year after year.
But, how many times do you achieve your New Year’s resolutions?
You end up procrastinating, or worst, forget about it.
And then you feel guilty about it like when you took that one little bite into that chocolate chip cookie but ended up eating it all. #JustSaying.
Instead of just making resolutions, it is essential to understand the thought process behind why you want to achieve these things and come up with a list of actionable goals instead.
This article delves deeper into why you should not many resolutions only on New Year’s Eve, and how you can undergo the right goal-setting process to have a better 2022.
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The right goal setting process
First, it is important to recognize that goals are the means to an end, and are a series of calculated steps designed to help you achieve your resolution.
This means that your resolution is your final desired outcome, while goals are the steps that you have to undertake to reach there. Thus, it is goals that are the key to growth and success.
Here are 4 vital tips you have to keep in mind when you are doing your goal settings:
1. Be realistic with your goal setting
Avoid setting goals that are so far beyond your reach.
Yes, we need to aim high to achieve higher dreams, but setting goals that are into the clouds will not have you feeling on cloud 9 or 19.
You will only end up feeling dejected because you will have difficulties seeing improvements in whatever you aim to achieve. For example, if you want to lose weight, don’t just write “Lose 20KG in 10 days”.
Instead, be realistic. Perhaps give yourself six months. Reduce your soda intake, alcohol, and snacks. Start a workout routine. It is fantastic to lose a kilo or two after a month if you have never worked those muscles your entire life.
2. Be clear on the reason behind your goals
There is a deeper reason for everything that you do.
Perhaps your New Year resolves to find a new job. However, is it because you would like higher pay to achieve financial freedom? Or perhaps, you would like to learn more about your field in a different role.
By understanding the true purpose of your goal, you will find a way to achieve that.
3. Commit to the goals
It is not easy to kick a habit or to achieve certain great milestones. However, you have to be committed to making a change. That way, you will be able to change your lifestyle and move towards the direction of making your goal happen.
4. Find ways to measure your progress
Sometimes, New Year’s resolutions fail because they are not specific enough, or too lofty. Instead, it makes more sense to break down your resolutions into specific and realistic goals that can be measured, so that you can track your progress.
With these tips in mind, you will be better equipped to kickstart your process of goal-setting. But when should you begin?
When should you make your resolutions?
The Transtheoretical Model of Change can be a suitable theory to look at when deciding when to make your resolutions – and it’s not as complicated as it sounds!
The theory is based on the notion that people do not permanently change their behaviors on a whim and will need to experience a mental shift that propels them in the right direction.
Thus, if you change your behavior before a shift in mindset has taken place, your new habits likely won’t stick.
According to the theory, the five stages are
4) action, and
Pre-contemplation (stage one) – People do not see the need to change but might be interested in changing when they hear about the consequences.
Contemplation – They recognize the potential consequences of not changing, and as the name suggests, are considering making a change to their habits. However, it is not until they see that the benefits of changing outweigh the risks before they move on to the next stage.
Preparation – You create a plan to change. This is where goal-setting comes in. If you’re tired of being in debt, you might start selling things to get rid of your payments. Or, if you’re intent on losing weight, you might start planning your new diet and thinking about how you’ll eat healthy at home, at work, and in restaurants. A solid plan will set you up for success.
Action / Maintenance – That’s where the strategies created during the preparation stage come into play. Furthermore, it is easy to make a change, but maintaining it might be more difficult, and takes more effort.
Start your New Year’s resolutions whenever you’re ready
Only you know when you are ready and committed to making a change!
So whether you decide to commit to changing your habits on New Year’s Day or in the middle of the year, know that you will only be able to succeed when you are ready to shift your habits.