Health Wise: Life Hacks for Goal-Setting for 2024
With the holiday season in full swing, there’s so much to do and think about. As the stress of gifts and get togethers and the transition to cold weather subsides somewhat, we start to look ahead to the new year. For many of us, that means making New Year’s resolutions!
Every year, many people set goals and resolutions only to give up on them or find them too difficult to even start, in January. This makes for a negative start to the new year, marked by guilt, shame, or disappointment . Why is it so hard to do the things we set out to do, and what can we do to prevent that disappointment?
While many people believe motivation and other personal characteristics account for achieving goals, or failing to achieve them, one of biggest (yet least discussed) factors is actually setting the goals well in the first place!! We all have different levels of motivation and energy, different time constraints, different values, etc. and it’s true that some people just have better follow-through, but the way we set goals actually has a huge effect on achieving them.
One of the best guidelines for setting goals is the SMART goals approach.
S- Specific - What exactly do you want to accomplish, and what steps does it include? What exactly are you hoping to manifest?
M- Measurable - The best goals are quantifiable, so you can see exactly when you reach it/how close you are. For example, say “I want to save up $2000” instead of “I want to save money”.
A- Achievable - Can you reasonably accomplish your goal? Often, we are influenced by expectations or accomplishments of others, or thinking too idealistically, then wondering why we cannot achieve what we want. Assess your means, time, and constraints. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
R- Relevant - Why are you setting your goal? Why is it important to you? Make sure your goal is driven by your own values and that it will lead to the outcomes you hope for.
T- Time-Bound - When will you start your goal journey, how much time will you spend on it each day/week, and when do you want it to be achieved by? Set deadlines, so you can motivate yourself rather than putting it off. Saying you want to achieve something “in 2024” may not be as motivating as saying “I want to be halfway to my goal by March of 2024 and completed by June, and I will allot 3 days per week to this goal”, for example.
Also, if you feel that the word “resolutions” leaves a bad taste in your mouth, you’re not alone! Using language like “goals”, “intentions”, and “plans” can change the way we perceive what lies ahead.
So, let’s be SMART about how we set our goals for 2024.
Wishing you a joyful holiday season and an inspired transition to the new year!
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