As the end of another year approaches many people decide to declare to others and themselves, useful and healthy New Year’s Resolutions. These can include ‘I will exercise every day of the week’ or ‘I’m going to conquer my fear of heights’. Whilst these may be great ideas in theory, often after a few weeks or months that initial motivation is lost and the new year starts to resemble the one before.
Why does this happen?
Often, our goals just really aren’t that SMART. If you want to increase your chance of achieving your new year’s goals, follow this guide from THIS WAY UP.
SMART is an acronym that can be useful when setting goals.
- S for Specific: Goals should be clear and targeted rather than vague and general. Compare “I will overcome my fear of heights this year” to “I will make it to the top floor of the shopping centre by the 1st of December this year”. The first may seem like a large problem that is impossible to overcome, but as soon as it’s broken down into a specific action it can be more easily approached.
- M for Measurable: Goals need to be put in a form that can be assessed such as “I will run 2km today” as opposed to “I will go for a long run today”.
- A for Achievable: Be realistic! Whilst goals should challenge you, they need to be achievable. Don’t set a goal you could never in your wildest dreams accomplish at this point. Achievable goals can be reached and are more motivating than impossible goals.
- R for Relevant: Set a goal that’s important to you, not just because you think you should do it, or someone else wants you to do it.
- T for Time-bound: Give yourself a hard deadline. Goals are more likely to be achieved if you say you will do something by a certain date.
Recruit technology, a friend or family member, or a piece of paper and a pen to help keep track of progress. When you write things down or verbalise them, goals become more concrete and your likelihood of achieving them increases dramatically!. Technology, including apps and alarms, can help you get motivated, whilst friends can offer support if needed.
Don’t Give Up
It’s okay to fail, most people don’t get it the first go. The trick is perseverance because the longer you stick at it the more likely you are to succeed!
However, if you find yourself unable to reach your goal and losing motivation maybe you need to be SMARTer about it and revise your goal. Ask yourself, can the goal be broken down into even smaller steps? Am I being realistic? Am I utilising all my available help resources? Follow this guide and use the printable worksheet to help achieve your goals this New Year’s.
Use this worksheet to write down your goals!
We hope this guide helps you make those New Year’s Resolutions become reality! All the best and a happy new year from the THIS WAY UP team.
If you are experiencing a crisis please contact 000 or your nearest emergency department. If you need over the phone support you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Information from this article was sourced from mindhealthconnect, black dog institute and the American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/lifestyle-changes.aspx http://www.mindhealthconnect.org.au/goal-setting