The key to keeping your resolutions

Happy New Year!  Everyone is talking about resolutions.  It makes sense.  A new year feels like a fresh start, and who couldn't make a few changes for the better?  No one.  Even us perimenopausal women are all works in progress.

But, as I'm sure you are aware, new year’s resolutions have a bad track record.  They remind me of diets.  We've talked about them before here.  

Maybe you think its just semantics, but I prefer to think of goal setting at the new year.  They are similar concepts, but the mindset is what makes the difference.

Hopefully by illustrating the differences, you will see the value in setting great goals for 2015!

1  First, goals can be set for the week, the month, or the quarter, etc.  Whatever time frame makes sense for the goal, you can create a reasonable time to fit.  Nobody makes monthly resolutions!

 By setting a shorter time frame, with a more attainable goal, you see success and are more likely to continue to make improvements.

2  Also, a goal is better defined.  At least if you set SMART goals, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable (within the defined time frame), Realistic, and Time bound.  Resolutions are generally statements of a behavior one plans to stop or begin.  That just doesn't hold up under pressure.

By having a well defined goal, you have a clear image of what success looks like.  That image will drive you to move toward it.  You can also create action steps that perfectly fit your goal, using the SMART framework.

3  Goals lead to bigger changes.  If you make a lofty resolution, you are even more likely to fail.  I'm just being honest.  

A long term goal with the same lofty desire can be build with several short term goals.  Hooray!  
All you need to do is reverse engineer your goals from your big yearly goal, and think about the milestones that will lead up to that. 

Let’s say you want to lose 40 pounds in 2015.  That is totally reasonable, at just over 3 pounds per month.  You could even set a goal of losing 2 pounds in January (Its better to start with a smaller goal to begin, so you get immediate gratification), by cutting out cream in your coffee every morning and adding a big glass of water 4 times a day.

After that works, you create a bit more of a challenge the next month, and so on.

And if you didn't lose the 2 pounds, you figure out what you can do differently, and still have plenty of time to meet your year end goal.  See how that works?

4.  You can, and should, set a goal any time you are ready to make a change!  There is no need to wait until January 1 to make a change, and there is no reason to feel bad about not keeping your resolution come February 1.  Every day is a fresh new opportunity to start over.  I learned that from this song, which has been a favorite song of mine for years.

So, even if you did make a New Year’s resolution, it's not too late to create the goals to back it up (if you haven't already).

And, as always, I am here to offer you support and accountability.  Contact me to let me know what your goal is for January.  I will help you make sure it is SMART, and be in touch throughout the month to help you meet that goal.

I want to hear from you.  Let’s make a great beginning of 2015!