It’s January–the time when lots of people think back to the previous year and what they could’ve done better, and a time when people are making New Year’s Resolutions.
Over the years, I would overhear teachers and radio spokesmen talk about how even though a lot people make New Year’s Resolutions, a lot of people don’t continue to follow those resolutions as the year progresses.
When I was in high school, one of my teachers suggested that maybe people don’t always follow through with their resolutions because they weren’t specific enough with setting their goals, and they don’t remind themselves of their goals.
One of my resolutions that I made this year is to exercise more consistently. Last year, there were some months when I would exercise often, and then there were other months when I would let it slide. As I was making my resolutions list, I tried to figure out what I could do that would help me be more consistent. I realized that I needed to be more specific about how often I should exercise and make a month by month plan.
One of my personal problems that I have when I set goals is that I make a huge laundry list of all the things I want to accomplish for that year. In other words, I have a tendency to set unrealistic goals for myself. I just get so excited when I make a list of all the things I want to do that I get ahead of myself. But, I’ve been trying to work on my weaknesses, so this year when I made my resolutions, I only made 8 goals for myself instead of making a list of 30 things that I want to accomplish. I’ve also tried to be more specific with my goal setting. For example, instead of writing, “Exercise more often,” I wrote “exercise more consistently by planning out how many times you’re going to exercise per each month.” Ideally, I would like to exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes, but sometimes I get so busy that I can’t always exercise 3 times a week, so I need to give myself room to be flexible too. When I looked for the picture that I posted in this blog, I read some of the article that the picture came with, and it confirmed that it’s important to turn your goals into specific, quantifiable goals instead of vague goals. Here is the article if you’re interested. http://www.productivity501.com/productive-new-years-resolutions/9152/
So here are my tips for making goals:
#1. As mentioned before, when you make a goal, think about how you can realistically carry out this goal for the rest of the year, and be specific about it. Define how often is more often.
#2. Write down your goals and put it in a place where you can see it. You’re more likely to accomplish a goal if you see the list of goals that you made.
#3. This one kind of goes along with #2, but keep a habit tracker. There are habit tracker apps, or you can make your own with graph paper and track your progress.
#4. Get accountability. Find a friend or family member to keep you accountable. Better yet, if you both have the same goal, why not work on it together? You can write a blog about it! Those are just some ideas.
#5. Don’t be like me and get ahead of yourself with a list of a million things you want to do. Think about a few things you can change or would like to do. If you feel overwhelmed by your list, you’ve probably set too many goals or at least too many unrealistic goals. [I have felt overwhelmed by the lists that I’ve made for myself.]
Here are some other helpful resources about this topic:
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey or the teen version 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey