By Kimber Keating Kiefer
[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]he end of the year is approaching and everyone starts to make New Year’s Resolutions. The issue with New Year’s Resolutions is that people rarely keep them. Most people think that the New Year is a great time to start changing their ways, eliminating bad habits, and start new routines. Why wait until the New Year? Change now! This year set goals instead of New Year’s resolutions. There will be a better chance for success if short term and long term goals are set for the entire year.
Why wait until January to make a change? Start goal setting early this year. Take advantage of the time away from work and school in the next few months around the holidays to start making healthy changes. Create a family tradition like participating in a fun run/walk. This time of year there is good food and treats everywhere. What better time to get you and the family moving than NOW! Start making small changes now and working towards the bigger goals. Remember to take time to celebrate your successes along the way, no matter how big or small. It will increase your confidence to meet a goal and make life changes.
Set goals that are realistic and attainable. Try not to change too much in your life all at once. It is not realistic to quit smoking, start exercising and start eating healthy all at once. Small changes make it easier to stick to new habits and increase long-term success. If your goal is to run a marathon, start by jogging 2 times a week. If your goal is to eat healthier; start by eliminating a few of your favorite junk foods each week. Focus on taking baby steps that ultimately get you closer to larger goals.
Commit your goals to writing. It gives you a destination in life and gives you a purpose and significance. If forces you to clarify exactly what you want and provides motivation to make it happen. Create a vision board with your goals, pictures, and quotes that motivate and inspire you. Hang it somewhere that you can review it everyday and remind yourself daily what you are working towards.
[dropcap size=small]G[/dropcap]et support from your family and friends. It is important to surround yourself with positive people that support you and your goals if you want to be successful and stay motivated. Make sure your close friends and family are aware of your goals and lifestyle changes you want to make. Let them know you need their support and accountability to be successful. People can have difficult time with others changing and it can take some time for them to adjust to the new you.
There are going to be challenges and obstacles that get in the way of your goals. Don’t allow them to be excuses that keep you from achieving your goals, use them as an opportunity to learn and grow. If you have a setback and get off track from your goals don’t be hard on yourself and feel like a failure. Don’t allow slip-ups to let you spiral out of control either. Just learn from it and move forward. Tomorrow is a new day to start fresh. Mistakes are a part of life and it is important to use them as lessons. Life is about moving forward in the right direction, not about being perfect.
Change is a process and takes commitment, dedication and will power. It may take longer than you like or anticipate to reach a goal. That is ok. It is not a race to the finish. It is best to think of your goals as lifestyle changes not something temporary. Setting and accomplishing goals is about challenging and becoming better than you were yesterday. Set goals, dream big and go for it starting NOW!