It’s time for New Year’s Resolutions-a new year, a new you, right? Everyone is talking about it. I saw at least ten Weight Watcher’s commercials during “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” last night. (Come on, can you just put Justin Bieber back on?) I usually don’t make resolutions, but this year I’m doing it. When it comes down to it, New Year’s Resolutions are really just goals. And I hate setting goals. This is an interesting problem, since my job as a corporate trainer is centered on teaching others to set goals. Trust me, I am a pro at teaching others. But when it comes to setting goals for me, I stink at it. I tend to live in the here and now and goal setting is all about the future.
I want to take control of my future and I also want to start my daughter off early with a goal setting mindset, so I plan on involving her in the process. Even though she is only 4, she can still contribute to some ideas for growth.
Here are a few basics about setting goals. First, start with the end in mind. If you have a clear picture in your head of what you want to accomplish it becomes easier to set the plan in motion. I mean, really see yourself accomplishing the goal. If you want to lose weight, it will be useless to just start eating salads, exercising and stepping on the scale because, let’s be honest, most of us who struggle with weight really don’t find that part to be any fun at all. But picture yourself rocking that awesome dress to your high school reunion, turning heads as you walk in the door, now you’re cooking! You still have to do the hard stuff but it won’t seem so bad if, during the exercise and the vegetables, you can see how great you’ll look at the end. The vision needs to be vivid, colorful, and even tactile. Cut out pictures, even go so far as to buy that dress and touch it. Revisiting that picture will help you to stay motivated when the going gets rough and tedious too.
When I asked my daughter what she wanted to learn how to do this year, I talked about her starting kindergarten in the fall. I asked her what some of the big kids at daycare who already go to kindergarten know how to do. Since she’s only 4, it took some guiding, but we decided that big kids brush their teeth, sleep in their own beds and can put their toys away when they are finished using them. (Nice, right?) To make all those hard things fun, I am taking a page out of Kris-Ann’s blog and starting a sticker chart with rewards. Prize bucket here I come! Keeping the end in mind, with rewards along the way, will help keep us both on track. With older kids, you can let them come up with ideas on their own. Let them be creative! I would suggest only 1 or 2 goals to keep it simple.
Another key to successful goal accomplishment is to keep the size of the accomplishment manageable. If the goal is huge, then I’m less likely to see it to the end. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. It’s the same with goals. It’s ok to have a big goal, as long as you break it up in to manageable steps and milestones. Milestones are smaller, mini goals that help you track your progress. A series of small wins will help you reach the finish line. When you set milestones within your goal, setbacks don’t ruin the whole goal either. To go back to the example of losing weight, you wouldn’t just pick a number in January, and then step on the scale again in December with the hope that you achieved your goal, right? You need to break that larger goal into smaller goals and check your progress weekly.
Here are some ideas that I’m throwing around for starters:
I will feel great about the way I look in my skinny jeans (I will be able to bend over in them too!) this year. (Every time I think about my end result of this goal I see myself on a runway somewhere with my fantastic hair blowing in the wind. The jeans are on and make my a** look awesome. I think I even hear RuPaul’s “Supermodel” playing in the background.)
I will create photo books on Snapfish (or something like that) to fulfill my scrapbooking needs and preserve the memories of my daughter’s childhood. (I can almost hear my mother oooh-ing and aaah-ing at the sight of them!)
I will save time every morning by keeping my closet organized and laundry done! (I’m a working mom and I’m put together? Yeah baby!)
For my daughter, we’re working on these:
She will brush her teeth without crying and screaming 4 out of 7 nights a week. (Fresh breath! Shiny teeth!)
If she sleeps all night in her own bed she will get a sticker and then a prize at the end of each week. (Fantastic princess themed prizes? Sign her up!)
You get the idea. How about you, what are your goal setting tips and ideas?