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Out with the Old Resolutions, in with the New Year Goals

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By Cheryl McCormick, M.S.S. |

Many individuals are unaware of the differences between resolutions and goals. New Year’s resolution planning is the process during which people undergo mental preparation and start making a list of things that are most important to change in the New Year. To be successful in accomplishing resolutions, goals should be implemented throughout the resolution process. As we quickly approach the end of January and transition into February, many individuals will continue working on their New Year’s resolutions while others have already given up. But why? Why would anyone be so quick to give up on New Year’s resolutions?

It is easy to speculate that some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions are to go to the gym more often, lose weight, eat healthier, sleep more, and work on a positive mindset. Unfortunately, when the list of resolutions continues to grow, the ability to master each goal at the same time, is unlikely. This is a common reason behind failure for many individuals. Although there are many reasons why people fail in maintaining resolutions, I personally want to address two important reasons and provide a solution that can help people succeed.

First, let’s rethink the way we use the word resolution. Resolution means to make a solid decision or agreement with oneself to follow through with something. This means that the word “something” is typically a goal. A resolution can be anything that is altered in your life with no end date. Therefore, I recommend removing the word resolution and replacing it with the word goal. Goals can be viewed as a resolution, but with an actionable and measurement framework. A goal is something that holds significant importance and value, and has a process, plan of action, and amount of time to accomplish it. Goals assist in the transition of bad habits to good habits meanwhile commitment and motivation are set into motion each day for one to be successful at mastering goals.

Taking one-step-at-a-time will ensure your success at accomplishing the goal. Short-and long-term goals should have steps that are taken to help one achieve the ultimate goal. During this process, the SMART method should be applied. The SMART method is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. This method will ensure that each step taken to accomplish a goal is doable. Although this process appears rigid, having it in place will help ensure individuals that the correct steps are taken to be successful.

The second reason why individuals fail at maintaining their resolutions (let’s call them goals now) is because they have too many goals on the list. If one chooses to lose weight, workout more often, and eat healthier, then they will soon realize it is extremely hard to change too many things at once. When people want to achieve everything, all at once, they fail to understand that each goal should be focused on, one-at-a-time. There is a process that should be performed when working on goals.

Working on New Year goals should be an easy process. People should not overcomplicate it, nor should they make the change take up all the time of your day. This will alleviate added stress and make sure to keep you focused and interested in obtaining the goal.

To start this process, I often recommend writing two important goals down in a journal logbook. Refrain from writing several goals. If you have multiple goals that are important, write them all down as “future goals.” Next, identify which two goals are the most important. While identifying these two goals, make sure they are attainable. This means, the two goals that you choose to work on, are goals that you believe you can accomplish. To identify which goals are attainable, refer to the SMART method and ask yourself questions like, how specific is this goal, which goal is the most important for me to accomplish, how long will this goal take me to complete, will this goal be a healthy challenge for me, and how measurable will this goal be for my success?

Remember, attainable goals are goals that are realistic. If you know that you want to lose weight, and you have a large amount of weight to lose, be realistic and allow yourself time to lose a specific amount of weight each month, for a healthy duration of time. This will ensure that your goal to lose weight is attainable, rather than trying to lose all of the extra weight in a short amount of time. This process applies to all goals, both short and long-term.

Overall, refocusing the word resolution to goals is extremely important. This process will allow you to take the necessary steps to achieve your goals. Next, understand that it is important to work on one goal at each time, meanwhile, keeping a list of “future goals” will also allow you to stay focused and motivated at accomplishing your goals. And last, applying the SMART method will provide you answers during each step you take towards completing your goals. This method is commonly used to make sure the goals you choose throughout the year are goals that are not far out of reach. This process will assist you in mastering your goals and should help keep you from giving up! So, as we move into February, now is a perfect time to refocus your “goals” and work on a plan that will help you be successful in completing them, throughout the year! For more information on goal setting, please visit www.gravitationalperformance.org and view “The Lecture Hall.” There are several lectures that Cheryl McCormick will be hosting throughout the year for her students, athletes, coaches, and all others who are interested in learning more about effective goal setting, and much more!

Cheryl McCormick, M.S.S., the owner and founder of Gravitational Performance and School of Sports Science, is also a doctoral student at the United States Sports Academy. Her former years as an athlete has guided her interests into education in sports and passion for research as a sports scientist, content developer, educator, and sport science consultant- working in sports medicine, sports nutrition, and sports psychology. She can be reached at gravitationalperformance@gmail.com.

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