I felt that this cartoon accurately explains what a New Year's resolution is. I can't tell you how many time I have wrote down my resolutions sealed them up and then read them at the end of the year; only to find that I had not accomplished but maybe one of them.
Don't get me wrong...I'm all about setting resolutions but there has to be some planning to go along with it. Just writing down on a piece of paper that you want to lose weight, pay off debt, or whatever you choose; will not magically make it happen.
This year I will be setting goals for the new year not resolutions. At work we create what they call SMART goals. I have found that this is very helpful not only in my professional life but my personal life as well.
For those that don't know what SMART stands for:
Specific - your goal can not be too ambiguous. It has to be clear what the goal is.
Measurable - There has to be a way to measure when the goal is reached
Attainable - What is the plan to get to the goal
Realistic or Relevant - It is great to set high goals but they should be realistic. (I would never set a goal to completly stop eating candy...not gonna happen in this lifetime)
Timely - What is the time frame for completing the goal (set a time and stick to it)
I am going to use one of my New Year's
My goal: Lose Weight
S: I want to be able to fit into my size 4 jeans without feeling like the button is going to pop off into somebody's eye. Also I want to get down to 130.
M: This can be measured either by simply trying on my jeans and weighing myself weekly.
A: I plan to achieve this goal by working out at least 5 days a week for 30+ minutes. Drink 6 glasses of water daily, and monitoring how many calories I take in.
R: My goal is pretty realistic. I am currently at 136 and wearing a size 6 jeans. The time I have set to achieve me goal is also realistic.
T: I want to reach this goal by my 30th birthday (24 more days).
After I have reached my goal I will rework it to help me maintain my weight. Also keeping you goals somewhere visual as a reminder is a great way to not forget your goals.
I hope that this was helpful.
I would love to hear some of the goals you would like to accomplish in 2011....