Often when it comes to new year’s resolutions, many of us fail to achieve our resolutions. It is not because we do not want to achieve them but because we have been unable to establish measurable goals.
Broad goal setting can often look like “I want to get into shape” or “I want to learn something new this year. Unfortunately, this type of goal setting does not address the specific ways you can get there.
Instead, measurable goal setting is the act of establishing attainable goals with a plan in mind.
In this article, Dr. Mason highlights 3 steps that you can take to make your new year’s resolutions both measurable and attainable.
Step 1: Establish Small, Specific & Measurable Goals
The lesser-known but most straightforward way to achieve your goals is to establish specific, bite-sized steps to get there.
If your goal is to get into shape this year (for example), identify what this would look like in action:
Does this look like shedding a specific number of pounds? Being able to surpass the number of push-ups you can currently do? Or to feel less tired and gain more energy?
Once you have identified your measurable goal, follow through by creating small, manageable steps to help you get there. Actionable steps can look like adhering to a workout regimen X days per week, working with a nutritionist to establish a meal plan, or committing to a wellness routine.
Most importantly, make sure your goal is reasonable (i.e., Don’t set a starting goal of 100 push-ups/day when you have never done more than 10 in a month.).
Step 2: Establish a Timeline
Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel serves as a huge point of inspiration for any journey, and when it comes to achieving your new year’s resolutions, this does not have to look rigid.
Start by identifying a timeline for when you would like to achieve your goal and document it, then break that goal down into daily objectives and follow through one day at a time.
Pro Tip: Try to limit your objectives to no more than 3 at a time to ensure that it is actionable and doable for your lifestyle.
Step 3: Incentivize Yourself
Are you rewarding your good behavior? Implementing a new behavior is always a challenge, so feel free to use the power of incentives. This could look like allowing yourself an extra 20 minutes of self-care or purchasing a new dress or suit upon reaching your fitness goals.
Pro Tip: The key is to do so in moderation and not indulge in behaviors that would distract you from your goals.
That stated, one of the simplest ways to fall short of your resolutions is to get too comfortable rewarding yourself. Incentivizing yourself is always encouraging; however, steer clear of rewarding yourself when you do not meet your daily objectives. This can look like refraining from consuming an indulgent dessert (for example) if your goal is weight-loss related and refraining from purchasing an expensive gadget if your goal is finance related.
Quote from Dr. Mason:
“Frequently, my patients struggle with finding motivation in keeping their new year’s goals, but I always remind them, it is important to remember to strive for intermediate progress, not perfection. Over time all these daily practices will add up, and before you know it, you will have achieved your goal!”– Dr. Lauren Mason