New Years Hack! Making 2016 Your Best Year Ever!

Want To Make 2016 Rock? Toss out the resolutions.  Set Goals instead!

I find it totally mind boggling that each year we set New Years Resolutions. We do so with enthusiasm and zest believing that this will actually result in success.  We vow to do better than last year, or even the year before that. We promise that we’ll lose weight, be nicer to our spouse, stop being lazy, mean, or just plain ordinary.  When we find that our New Year’s resolve totally fails we feel, well…like a failure.  Nice!!!

Seeking Help! What Works in Setting New Years Goals?

Research would suggest that the majority of people that set New Years resolutions on January 1st have bailed on their resolution by February 1st.  For those that do continue many more actually waffle by March 1st.  Wow! horrible success rate.  What actually works?  I provide these 5 simple, doable, and reachable principles that will make your goal setting an awesome reality this year.

#1) Set Doable Goals! Many people begin by setting Mount Everest type goals that are simply not going to happen. These goals include losing 40 pounds by March 1st, or getting a 40 percent raise this year, or becoming amazingly healthy essentially overnight.  This just doesn’t work. I would suggest that rather than reaching for Mount Everest why not stretch for the foothills of the Wasatch or Oquirrh Mountains? Once you’ve reached your doable goals at these lower elevations, then rethink your goals and perhaps add a more challenging goal…something akin to Mount Olympus.  The key here is to make your goals doable.  It actually makes a ton of sense and shockingly it works!

#2) Make Your New Years Goals Exciting! I find it amazing they we set goals that are boring, monotonous, or just plain dumb. And then wonder why we don’t want to do them. No kidding!  Goals such as becoming more healthy, exercising consistently, or being a better employee are nice…but very tedious.  For example, if you want to become more healthy and find going to the gym boring, don’t be surprised if you sabotage your goal right away.  However, if you like to run and set a goal to run a minimum of 3 times per week don’t be shocked when you actually do it! So very important here!

#3) Set Your Goals For the Year  This may sound overwhelming but it actually works.  I’m not suggesting that your goal in January needs to carry you through until December.  On the contrary, I’m asking you to set goals that are 3 to 6 months out…then revisit them often.  At the 6 month interval you simply fine tune or update your goal to get you the next 3 to 6 months.  This allows you to not put huge pressure on yourself to perform, perform, perform.  In actuality, it allows you to gradually improve on reaching your goals.  And voila’! You actually make it through 2o16 with many successes…not a plethora of failures. This is profoundly different that what you’ve experienced in past 5, 10 or even 20+ years. Success breeds success.  Perceived failures breeds more failure.  Don’t do it! Stay away from New Years Resolutions. New Years goals are the way to go.

#4) Avoid New Years Resolutions! To reiterate my previous point, setting New Years resolutions absolutely doesn’t work.  Goals work. Planning works. Consistency works. Finding a work out partner or buddy works. Get it? Don’t buy into the quick fix the infomercials promise…and with very little effort. Buy into setting goals that will have you on the gradual track to great success.

#5) Review Your Goals Regularly In reviewing your goals, build in reward(s) for reaching even the most mundane of victories. In fact, celebrate your successes and often. If your goal is to visit the gym 3 times per week during January, awesome! However, if you manage 1-2 times per week celebrate the success…not the “I’m just too lazy and will never, ever achieve my goals!” vilification.  That’s negative self-talk that will get you nowhere…and the subject of another blog in the future.  Click here for a few more healthy tips! http://englandcounseling.org/10-quick-tips-about-healthy-living-for-the-new-year/

Where Do I Go From Here?

You may be asking yourself, that makes total sense Michael but I still feel overwhelmed with the idea of consistent exercise.  Thank you for being honest! Many people feel this way.  Take a deep breath and keep a good and healthy perspective.  Many of us have heard the wise advice to start small and gradually build upon our successes.  Exactly! Even more importantly may be finding a workout partner to help motivate you. You can also locate awesome motivating Facebook pages that focus on moving forward in 2016.  For example, Magna In Motion (http://www.magnautah.org/healthy-magna/) is starting their newest workout challenge 01/04/2016 (today!). It goes for 12 weeks. Want to sign up? Want more information? Click here for more details.  They’re doing wonderful work in the community! https://www.facebook.com/events/913475775369023/

Make sure to be kind to yourself in your journey to reach your New Years goals in 2016.  You’re going to blow it once in a while. Expect it. You’re human. That’s natural. What’s not natural is to simply give up because you’re not being perfect.  Simply pick yourself up and move forward. Remember, consistency, excitement, and a workout partner are recipes for success.  May you be you’re own great chef this year in your recipe for success!!!

Michael Boman, LCSW, is a huge advocate for health and wellness in the Magna, West Valley, and greater Salt Lake City community. He blogs and speaks often on key subjects related to health, wellness, and family success.  Michael welcomes your comments and amazing suggestions at [email protected]