First of all…HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone, I hope you have all enjoyed the holiday season!?
It is a great time of year to think about all that you have achieved in the past year and what you want to do in the new year. New year resolutions are a great way to think about what you want to achieve over the next year, and we all know what the common ones are 🙂
I have read a few Facebook/Instagram/Twitter posts today from people posting their resolutions. Writing down your resolutions is a great thing to do as it gets you committed, sharing them with people is also another great way to commit. From what I have seen so far I feel that structuring them in a slightly different way will help to think about exactly how you are going to go about achieving what you want and also help you realise why you are doing it in the first place.
I previously talked about SMART goals from a management perspective, and we can adapt this to structure personal goals and new year resolutions.
Each goal should be descriptive in nature and include the following elements:
||Be very specific about what you want to achieve – what it is and why.
||Make sure you are able to measure it, so you know you are working towards your goal.
||Make sure you have the ability to reach your goal. There is nothing worse than feeling like you are not achieving anything – but this is not an excuse to make it easy.
||Similar to above; make sure the goal is realistic. You may want to increase or adapt your goal as time goes on, as you get better/used to it. Initially, make sure the goal is within your grasp.
||Give yourself a target, a time in the future when you want to be at a specific level or position.
We can now apply this structure to a few examples
Example 1 – “I want to get more exercise”
Currently I exercise once or twice per month and I would like to increase that to two times per week, which I feel is realistic according to my current schedule. I will go to the gym on Wednesday evenings at 6pm (directly after work) and Sunday mornings at 10am. I want to lose weight and get fitter, so I will weigh myself once per week and measure my fitness by how long I can run for; I will aim to lose 1lb a fortnight and run two miles in twenty minutes, and increase these targets as I get better. I will review this in March and increase my cardio and weight targets as I see fit.
Example 2 – “I want to eat healthier”
I would like to improve my eating habits and ensure I eat between 3 and 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. I also eat out far too much so I am going to cut out restaurants and take aways to once per week, with the aim to cut it down to once per month by June 2012. In order to help myself achieve this I am going to go shopping once per week, on a Sunday, and buy all the food, fruit and vegetables that I need to last me the week, which will also save me time and money. The reason for doing this is to be healthier but also to lose weight, so I will weigh myself once per week with aim to reduce my weight by 1lb a fortnight, I will increase my fruit and veg consumption to 5 portions per day by March 2012.
Helping to track your achievements
There are some great free apps available online now, which can be used on several platforms. I use all the below applications to help me keep notes and lists.
- Commit – A great way to gamify your commitments – try it on your iPhone, I love it!
- Remember The Milk – Great for managing several task lists at once.
- Evernote – Can be used to keep track of your everything
- Google Docs – Notes used for things to do lists
I hope this helps you to think about your goals slightly differently.
Please post any comments below, it would be great to get some input – any of your own examples of your new year resolutions are perfectly welcome.
Thanks and all the best for 2012!