5 Tips for Setting Goals and not New Year’s Resolutions

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IMG_0045It’s a touchdown! Well, we’re getting to the middle of January. It’s the Playoffs; you see the best of the best in football. The goal is to get to the Super Bowl. Who will be the next MVP? Another activity that’s popular right now is working out. It’s crowded when you go to the gym, right?   Everybody is always talking about how they want to lose weight at the beginning of the year. Are they serious about it or is it just talk? I used to make New Year’s resolutions until I realized that when December 31 came, I had not crossed anything off of my list. When I started setting goals, the list became smaller. As you get older, your wants become crystal clear. (At least that should be one’s thinking). How do you change things this year?

  1. Be realistic. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight, find a job, or whatever it is that you’d like to accomplish. You just have to keep your situation in mind. Are you trying something new, or are you doing the same things hoping to get the same results? For instance, you may have to take the job at Walmart until something better comes along. It may not be the time to change jobs. You may need to wait a few more months. Follow up on that position that a friend referred to you. You may have to move in with a family member until your financial situation changes. Also, understand that to lose weight is a lifestyle change. Eating fast food 3 times a week and not exercising is not going to help you reach your goal.
  2. Plan carefully. These days, many things require planning. Finding a job isn’t always as simple as it looks. You may have to go on multiple interviews before you get a job offer. You may have to get more creative with blog topics. People are looking for creativity, originality, and excitement in most cases. What do you have to offer?
  3. Resolutions rarely stick. Your goal may be to lose 10 pounds or give up smoking. However, as I previously stated, those are lifestyle changes. You may go 2 weeks without smoking or try this diet that appears to work for you. Then, you stop. You go back to your old habits and “comfort foods”. You let something small upset you. There could be a number of things that can throw you off course.
  4. Avoid those things (or people) that are distractions. At some point, we all can fall into temptation. There are wolves out there waiting to prey on people. However, you can avoid certain situations. You may have to stop hanging out with that friend that encourages you indulge in alcohol and drug use. IMG_0043You may have to stop going to Dunkin’ Donuts if that is your weakness. You get the gist of the point I am making.
  5. A goal is more powerful than a resolution. You achieve a goal with directed effort. A resolution is an intention. For instance, I achieved my goal of earning a Master of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry. I researched schools, applied, and I was accepted. It was difficult, but I fulfilled my credit requirements with lots of time and study. I even had a job offer by graduation. My intention or resolution may be to work out three days per week. As they tell you, half the battle is getting to the gym. If I’m tired or something comes up, I won’t make it there.

Some of these examples may have been a little extreme, but I hope that you now know the importance of setting a goal rather than making a resolution. Life happens, but with careful planning and determination, you can reach your goals. I wish you the best in 2015!

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