Many people use the new year as a way to wipe the slate clean and to embark on a mission to improve their health and well-being. New Year’s resolutions have a bad reputation for being cliché and doomed to fail. This year, try setting small, frequent, and attainable goals so you have a full-year resolution plan to keep you on track of your goals.
Winter: Plan Your Resolution for the Year
Winter is the perfect time to assess your health, finances, and personal goals and to prepare for your year ahead. When planning your goals for the year, it’s more important to pace yourself and plan ahead rather than state your intentions ambitiously without a plan of action to follow through. The more concrete and tangible your goals are, the more likely you’ll have the tools to succeed.
Winter is also an ideal time to plan ahead because the cold weather will allow you to stay inside and strategize. A helpful tool to use when planning your resolution is to apply your goals to the SMART test. The SMART test gives criteria to help guide you in setting objectives for your goals. If you answer “yes” to all of these questions, then you’re well on your way to success.
Is your goal:
Spring: Execute Your Plan
Now that you’ve ironed out all the details, we hope that by spring you’ve gotten started on the doing part of your yearly resolution. How’s it going so far? Did you get off to a shaky start? If your goals are health or weight specific, are you keeping track of your meals, weight, and exercise? How are you measuring up to your winter plans?
Spring is a great time of year to get moving. Many people feel motivated to start exercising more and eat healthier, fresher ingredients as the warm weather allows us to spend more time outdoors and prepare for the summer season ahead. By the end of spring, you should be well underway to achieving your goals and forming healthy habits.
Summer: Half-Way Check-In
You’ve reached the halfway point of the year, and now it’s time to check in and reassess your goals. Are there some areas that need improvement? Are you satisfied with your progress? If you notice that you haven’t reached your mid-year goals by the summer, go back to the SMART test. If your goals are health-related, such as quitting smoking, exercising more, and eating healthier, consider talking to your doctor or dietician for advice, tips, and motivation.
While evaluating your progress, give yourself a huge pat on the back. You’re doing a great job! You’ve successfully managed to work towards your resolution for half a year without giving up. By now, you’ve developed healthier habits and stayed true to your full-year resolution.
Fall/Winter: One Last Push
You’re coming to the end of your year of resolutions. Whether you were focused on financial, professional, interpersonal, or health related goals, the important thing to remember is that even if you didn’t accomplish everything you were hoping for, you’ve achieved success in so many ways. The hardest part about a resolution is maintaining it. The reason that it’s so hard to maintain our resolutions is that it takes us some time to develop habits, even healthy ones. If you’ve made it this far, chances are you’ll carry these healthy habits with you into the next year, and the next.
If you have reached your ultimate goals, congratulations! You’ve proven to everyone and to yourself that it’s possible to reach your goals. When next January comes around, you’ll be better prepared to face and overcome personal challenges.