Choices abound. With New Year’s around the corner, many will be contemplating how they’ll celebrate the ringing in of their new year. They might speak with friends to see what their plans entail, do research on New Year’s Eve event pricing and package offerings, purchase a new outfit, maybe make a hair appointment…
While that’s a lot of planning for one evening, people take action and get it done in order to enjoy a fun celebration. Yet, when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, thought often seems to surpass action. The commitments to lose weight, quit smoking, eat better and exercise more (among many others) seem to easily roll off the tongue without much thought or planning. These are good and worthwhile commitments. However, after just a few short weeks, people falter in their commitments. The gym isn’t as full, and the junk food reappears in the grocery cart.
What happened to all those good intentions?
I believe the answer is, good intentions are just those…good intentions. But to translate those intentions into reality, they must be followed up with a plan of action with specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) milestones. With small wins along the way, you’ll be encouraged to keep going and will ultimately be more likely to meet your goals. But that’s not all you’ll need.
Let’s say your resolution is to exercise more and join a gym. You will want to further define this goal into something SMART. For example, “I want to be able to do 15 push-ups in 10 seconds by February 1st, 20 lunges in 30 seconds by January 15th and run 5K in 35 minutes by June 30th.
Next, you’ll have to prepare yourself. Let’s say you aren’t the gym-going type, but you’ve committed to going to the gym 3 times a week with the goal of losing 2 inches around the waist and gaining 2 pounds of muscle by April 1st. Simply getting a gym membership isn’t going to get you the results you want. You have to actually go and be productive once you get there. But gyms are full of strange looking equipment and can be very intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing. To beat this, you could do one or many of the following:
- Hire a personal trainer
- Have someone show you how to use the equipment
- Develop a workout schedule with specific exercises to be done each day, including the number of repetitions
- Schedule rest days
What about a resolution to get back into the kitchen to prepare healthy foods? You’ll need a few things to do this:
- A commitment to do a little research on recipes you’d like to prepare
- A grocery list to make sure you have the right ingredients
- An inventory of your pots and accessories
- Glass storage containers for the leftovers
My intent is not to dissuade you from your resolutions, but rather to help you achieve your resolutions and feel great about yourself and your ability to follow through!
Over the past few days, I’ve been planning my upcoming year. 2014 is going to be a great year for me, and I am taking steps to ensure that I meet my goals and dreams.
I bought myself a beautiful monthly calendar, and I am filling it up with as much information as I can about what I’m going to achieve and how to do it by my established deadlines. Some of my goals scare the crap out of me because they are so big and, frankly, I don’t really know how I’m going to achieve them. But I’m breaking them down into bite-size actions with completion dates to help me to stay on track. I’ll need help with some of these pieces. Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband and coach who will help to encourage me. Other pieces will require me to enroll in some training to learn how to accomplish them. The point is, I not only have goals, but a plan in place to help me reach these goals.
Something else I’ve done to help me realize my goals is join two mastermind groups. One group consists of my sister and my cousin’s wife. The other consists of people I’ve never met before, but who are striving for similar things.
These two groups of people will receive a copy of my year’s plan and will help to encourage me, support me and keep me focused. It’s like having a workout buddy. These people will hold me accountable and this act alone will greatly improve my odds of reaching the goals and dreams I strive for in 2014.
Choices abound. What plans will you put into place to help you accomplish your dreams in 2014? How will you hold yourself accountable?