If you are like 62% of Americans, you will participate in a tradition that dates back over 3,000 years to the ancient Babylonian civilization… the making of a NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION. Did you know that it is GOOD for your brain to focus on goals? Yes! Goal-setting actually helps to improve prefrontal cortex function. Varying considerably, most New Year goals have something to do with self improvement or living a better life. According to Wikipedia, here are some of the most popular (in case you need ideas, LOL):
- Improve physical well-being: eat healthy food, exercise more, eat better, drink less alcohol, quit smoking, stop biting nails, get rid of old bad habits
- Improve mental well-being: think positive, laugh more often, enjoy life
- Improve finances: get out of debt, save money, make small investments
- Improve career: perform better at current job, get a better job, establish own business
- Improve education: improve grades, get a better education, learn something new (such as a foreign language or music), study often, read more books, improve talents
- Improve self: become more organized, reduce stress, be less grumpy, manage time, be more independent, perhaps watch less television, play fewer sitting-down video games
- Take a trip
- Volunteer to help others, practice life skills, use civic virtue, give to charity, volunteer to work part-time in a charity organization
- Get along better with people, improve social skills, enhance social intelligence
- Make new friends
- Spend quality time with family members
- Settle down, get engaged/get married, have kids
- Try foreign foods, discovering new cultures
- Pray more, be closer to God, be more spiritual
- Be more involved in sports or different activities
Don’t YOU want to succeed? I do!
How can we beat these odds?
Here are 10 steps to set a goal… SMART Goals!
If you have ever done any workshops in training for success, the first five will simply serve as a reminder, I didn’t write them, just going to share this acronym “SMART” for success…it’s the beginning of my curriculum at Edge Neuro Fitness.
1. Be Specific
A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. Goals must be clear and unambiguous. What do you want to accomplish?
2. Make it Measureable
Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. If your goals are not measurable, you won’t know whether you are making progress toward successful completion of your goal. When you measure your progress, it’s easier to stay on track, reach target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal. Ask yourself, “How much? How many?”
3. Make it Attainable
Goals must be attainable. They may require a bit of a stretch to achieve, but not too extreme. Goals that are set too high or too low become meaningless, and will be ignored.
4. Make sure your goal is Realistic
Are you willing and able to work it? Is it possible to accomplish?
5. Set a Timeline
Not just for completion of the goal(s) but set a framework of short term, intermediate, and long term goal deadlines to keep you on track, i.e. daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals. Charts, journals, smart phone apps and checklists may come in handy to chart your course.
So that’s the SMART part, here are a few more tips to help make your goals become reality...
6. How will you do it? Come up with a game plan.
In order to make changes and get different results…
What are you willing to DO to achieve this goal?
What are you willing to give up?
What are you willing to do differently?
Compose a letter to yourself. Tell yourself WHAT you want for your life, what your goals are, and your reasons WHY. Also write down promises to yourself about what you will do in step 6.
8. Write an Affirmation
Write a positive affirmation statement about your new goal as if it already happened. How is it to be this new you, or this new way, how do you feel, think, act, respond? Imagine your new habits, etc. Make a vivid statement with action verbs, emotions and feeling. Read the statement out loud daily, look at it, meditate on it and imagine how it will be…and replace any unwanted negative thoughts with this new affirmation! Some people even make a picture board.
9. Share it with someone.
It helps to establish accountability. Share your commitment with a friend or family member. maybe enlist some support and encouragement. You can even send me a reply and tell me your goal, I love to hear this stuff and promise to offer support and encouragement on my end (well as long as it is not something destructive!)
10. Finally, take it ONE DAY AT A TIME!
Never give up. If you slip, know that you can start over any time, not just on January 1. Look for opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals, one step, one day at a time.
Think healthy, eat healthy, and stay well!
Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year
Becky Bassham – Edge Neuro Fitness – Lake Havasu City