Emem Washington is our guest today.Back on Track: 3 Steps to Reviving Your Resolutions
The New Year is in full swing but, as is usually the case every year, much of the talk about goals and resolutions has taken a plunge. The U.S. News & World Report states that the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is about 80 percent, with most people losing their resolve by the middle of February.
And yet, every year many all over the world continue to make resolutions. Does the solution lie in ending the practice of making resolutions or does it lie in changing the way we approach them? And what can be done to revive the momentum and zeal to achieve them once?
Many goal-setters have heard of the philosophy of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. The SMART acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable (or Achievable), Realistic (or Relevant) and Time-bound. Setting goals in this way increases the likelihood of success. For example, setting a goal to lose five pounds in one month is a SMART goal and allows a greater chance of success than saying I want to lose weight or I want to lose 20 pounds by this Friday.
Since a New Year’s resolution is just a goal a person typically makes at some point between the end of one year and the early days of the next, it follows that in order to achieve our resolutions, we should be “SMARTer” in setting them.
If you fell off the resolution bandwagon and haven’t followed through on your goals, don’t lose heart. There’s still hope. Here are 3 things you can do today to revive your resolutions:
1. Remember your Reason. Why did you set that goal in the first place? What is it about your current situation that caused you to decide that a change was necessary? How will the result you are seeking change your life?
For example, if your goal was to quit smoking, your reason might be that you want to breathe better, save that money instead and/or decrease your insurance premiums.
Write out each resolution you set this year, and your reasons for setting them.
2. Recalibrate and Realign. Assess your current situation. What can you do differently? Where can you readjust your actions? What are some obstacles that have kept you from achieving this goal and what can you do to remove them? Rethink the process currently in place.
How can you plan and prepare for each day or week, so that the chances of taking action in furtherance of your goal? For example, for the goal of losing 25 lbs, you might try eliminating or reducing the unhealthy foods you have in your pantry and fridge. You could also plan and prep your meals ahead of time or pack your gym clothes the night before (in addition to your post-gym outfit).
For each resolution listed above, write out:
a. Obstacles or challenges that have kept you from staying on track.
b. Planning and preparation steps you can take to overcome each obstacle.
3. Renew your Resolve. Maybe you have made some progress, but not at the level you thought you would be by now. Or maybe you are still in the same position you were in back when you set the goal. Perhaps you have regressed and are in a worse state than when you started. Wherever you are, there’s still time. Show yourself grace and then resolve to start afresh.
Renew your commitment to yourself. When we think that resolutions are only made for the first of the year or the end of the year, we potentially set ourselves up to fail, because if we get off course, we may decide to wait until next year.
Instead of waiting till next year, try breaking your “big” resolution into smaller more manageable parts. Where possible, set monthly (or even weekly) mini resolutions, which focus on shorter timeframes and smaller milestones.
Be intentional about renewing your resolve in the following ways:
a. Extend grace (and forgiveness) to yourself for falling off the bandwagon. You’re not alone in the struggle.
b. Write out how you can divide each resolution listed above into mini or micro resolutions that you can achieve this week or this month.
Getting off track happens to all of us. The good news is that you get the opportunity to decide whether to stay off track or get back on. The steps listed above provide a roadmap to getting back on track. Who knows, you just might be able to redeem the time you’ve lost and restore yourself to where you need to be.
Known as “The Dream Ambassador” to many, Emem Washington’s mission is to inspire, motivate and cheer millions towards success, regardless of where they are, or where they have been in life. She is a firm believer in the God who gave Joseph dreams of his own and made them come true.
You may find Emem on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Her handle is ememwashington.
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