Realistic Goal-setting for the New Year
As the new year is fast approaching, so is the constant stream of “new year, new me”. It’s hard to escape the positive, ambitious goal-setters broadcasting their new ways to be fit, healthy, and happy. If you’re like me, you might have tried your fair share of new year’s goals to maybe go to the gym more, eat healthier, and stay positive. Maybe you have even tacked on number targets to make the goals more realistic, for example, I am going to go to the gym for X amount of days per week. Then every year, without fail, I seem to flop on these big goals I’ve laid out for myself. And I feel like a terrible person. Every year I fall into the same cycle of positivity at the start and then disappointment in myself at the end. In an effort to break this constant cycle for myself this year, I’ve come up with some suggestions on how to formulate positive, realistic, and healthy goals for the new year. However, before I jump into that, it’s important to remember that January 1st is just like any other day of the year. Society has painted this day as the beginning of a new year, so the beginning of new habits and a new life should follow. Don’t wait for the new year! If you want to make a healthy change do it! Waiting around for the right time means nothing, because there is no right time.
There is always the aspect of proper goal-setting. Determine the area you want to make a difference in in your life, state a goal, figure out a plan, and boom! This is very important because without specifics, it is easy to lose track of why you wanted to change anything in the first place.
Make your goal about something you think you would enjoy. If you want to lead a healthier lifestyle, and to you maybe that means exercising more, but the gym stresses you out. Try going for a run/bike/walk outside. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try yoga, but maybe you don’t like being around too many people? There are some good YouTube channels – you can grab a towel and watch at home! One specific yoga channel I watch at home is: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene
With these goals, there always seems to be a number attached. Most of the time I find that this number is attached to a week. Sometimes you are extra busy one week, maybe you have three assignments, or there is a massive meeting at work you need to prepare for, and you just don’t have the time to make your target for that week. Try extending the time range. Instead of a week, give yourself a month. This might allow for more time flexibility and rearranging if something unexpected comes up.
Just like with school and work, I tend to procrastinate goals as well. Buy yourself a day planner, or the calendar in your phone or on your computer works as well. Schedule in specific time slots to work on your goal throughout the month. This way, if something does come up, you can simply reschedule the time.
Mistakes happen, and plans change, but slipping up is not failing. Don’t feel bad, which I know is easier said than done. I, myself, know all too well the feeling that when you don’t succeed you’re a disappointment. But this is far from the truth. Usually when this happens people are upset with themselves and just say they’ll try again next year. But there is no better time to try again than tomorrow. Don’t let a slip up tear your whole plan apart. The old plan did not work, so make a new one and try again. But don’t wait for that new year mark again because realistically January 1st is just another day.
If you love the way you are living, keep doing your thing! It’s hard to ignore all the “new year, new me” mantras. If you are happy with your life, and the way you live it, then that is all anyone needs to know.
I hope everyone found this slightly helpful, although you have probably already heard most of it many times before. But most importantly, do not ever feel bad about yourself for not succeeding at something. To succeed, you need to fail a few times. Without failure, we wouldn’t learn anything. So on that note I hope everyone has an amazing new year! Also if anyone gives some of these tips a try, let me know how it worked out for you below!
Post by: Maja Menegotto