New Years resolutions … always a bit intimidating, aren’t they? We have great aspirations but it can be hard to follow through. Here are some ideas for how to achieve those resolutions you make:
1) Make reasonable resolutions! None of us can easily lose 20 pounds in a month. Similarly, none of us can raise a grade of C to an A in one fell swoop or become a better parent overnight. OUr hearts may be inthe right place, but how can we figure out what type of resolutions are reasonable and attainable? One approach to goal setting is called “SMART” goals. The acronym SMART stands for
You can ask yourself the following questions to see if your idea for a New Years resolution is “SMART.”
S/Specific – What exactly is it I want to achieve? What are the details involved in this resolution? Who does it involve – just me, or others? What do I need to acquire, get rid of, or change to make it happen? Where do I do it? When will I get it done? Why do I want to do this, what will it mean for me?
M/Measurable – Will I be able to assess my progress? How can I count or measure my achievement: how much? how many? How long will it take?
A/Attainable – Is this a dream or a real possibility? Does it stretch me a bit without intimidating me too much? Do I have the means to achieve it? Can I figure out what it will take to get there? Can I learn what I need to make this happen? Do I have the time to do what it takes to achieve my goal?
R/Relevant – Is this something I really want? Is it in synch with my other current choices and commitments? Am I willing to do what it takes?
T/Timely – What is a realistic deadline or time-frame for achieving my resolution? Can I sustain the effort over this time-frame?
2) Break resolutions into small steps. Knowing the steps you’ll take to achieve your resolution can make the process both less daunting and more successful! If you’ve considered a “SMART” goal for your resolution, you’ll be on your way to considering the steps involved. Set aside some time to do some thinking and planning to identify small, measurable increments of success you can strive for. Lay out the steps and a time-line if you can. Talk to others you know who have achieved what you are striving for in your resolution – how did they break down the goal to make it workable? Then, work step-wise toward your goal, acknowledging and rewarding yourself for progress along the way.
3) Find an accountability buddy. Ask a friend if they would support you in achieving your resolution in exchange for you supporting them. Let each other know what you want to accomplish toward your goal each week and then check in weekly. No-one is perfect, so be supportive but non-judgmental of each other. Ask each other what you’d like to hear if you do achieve your weekly goal or if you don’t.
4) Consider hiring a coach. Working with a professional whose specialty is helping people identify and work toward achieving their personal goals, and the life they envision, can support optimal achievement of your resolution(s). The International Coach Federation defines coaching as follows: ” … partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential…. As a result of professional coaching, clients set better goals, take more action, make better decisions, and more fully use their natural strengths.” (http://www.coachfederation.org/find-a-coach/)
Contact me through my website to learn more about my Life & ADHD coaching: www.lizahmann.com
In the meantime: Happy New Year!