At the start of the year, most of us reassess our lives, set new objectives, and have plenty of motivation to get started. But as anyone who’s ever given up their New Year’s resolutions (and that’s most of us) knows, wanting to make positive changes is the easy part. Setting achievable goals and putting in the work on a daily basis to reach them, is a bit harder.
So, what can you do to set yourself up for success?
You may have heard of the SMART method for setting goals. It suggests that, in order to be effective, your goals should be:
Don’t be vague when you set your goals. For example, rather than saying that you’d like to get fit, be specific about what you’d like to do – whether that’s committing to weekly yoga or Pilates classes or training for that half marathon you’ve always wanted to do. For extra motivation, write down your goal and stick it somewhere you’ll see it regularly.
How will you measure your progress as you work towards achieving your goal? It’s a good idea to set yourself some ‘small wins’ along the way that you can aim for, and that will ultimately get you to where you want to be. Let’s say you want to run a 10 km race in three months’ time. Set yourself smaller goals with specific time frames, so you can ensure that you’re on track. And don’t forget to celebrate and reward yourself when you reach each of these milestones.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by choosing goals that are unrealistic or possibly unattainable. Instead, set objectives that are not only challenging but also doable if you put in the effort. For example, if your goal is to participate in a triathlon and you know you need about 12 weeks to train, don’t pick one that’s a month away. Give yourself the time you need to succeed.
Try to ensure that your goals are relevant and meaningful to you and the things you like doing. If your goal is to improve your cardiovascular fitness, for instance, choose an activity that you actually enjoy doing and that will help
you reach your target, rather than one you simply feel will help you get there in the least amount of time, even if you don’t really enjoy it. So, if you love swimming, get into the pool; or if running is your thing, hit the road. It’s much easier to stay motivated when you’re doing something that makes you happy.
Give yourself a time frame in which to achieve your goal, as this will also help to keep you motivated. And remember to set those smaller milestones along the way. For example, if one of your goals is to learn more about meditation in 2019, why not set yourself the milestone of at least having completed an introductory course by March.
So, whether you’d like to improve your overall fitness levels, lose weight, develop healthy eating habits or reduce stress in your life, set some SMART goals to help you get there. Here’s to challenging yourself and achieving more in 2019.
Start achieving your goals and try out a new yoga, Pilates or fitness class. View the timetable online: elixr.com.au/timetableprint