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Maintaining momentum: Reaching your personal goals using creative ideas that help keep you motivated.
It's difficult to believe, but only a few short weeks ago we were ringing in the New Year. Today, halfway through February, many of us have abandoned all hope of achieving our new year's resolutions.
According to one study, 35 percent of people break their resolutions by the end of January. Nearly 40 percent of the people surveyed said they had too many other commitments, while 33 percent said they were not committed to resolution they set to begin with.
Failure to achieve one's resolution can be blamed on a litany of reasons. However, I firmly believe that by implementing a few far-from-dramatic changes success can be achieved. First; most people articulate their resolutions in the form of an activity, lose weight , for example. It will strengthen your resolve if you identify why losing weight is important to you. If your resolution doesn't offer an innate motivation, perhaps now is not the time to set that goal.
Second; I've often thought that employing the word 'resolution' was misguided. I prefer the word goal. If you are resolute in your desire to lose weight, you are unwavering in your course of action. I think that is a recipe for disappointment. A goal is defined as "the purpose toward which an endeavor is directed, an objective". I think the word 'goal' is a more positive word and when you are challenged don't you want more positivity?
Third; Most people maintain some type of calendar to schedule their appointments and obligations. Most people keep a running list of groceries they'll be needing or bills they must pay. But few people write their goals down. Writing down your goals increases the likelihood of your reaching them. There is much satisfaction to be had when you can cross something off your list.
Of critical importance to reaching your goals is the manner in which you set your goals. If you ever read an article about how to keep your resolutions, you've heard these tips a hundred times, but rarely do I see people structuring their goals with these tips in mind.
Goals should always be S.M.A.R.T.
BE SPECIFIC: One of the top new year's resolutions is weight loss. Lose weight. That is not specific. Losing weight is a fairly ambiguous resolution. Restructure your desire to loose weight by understanding how much weight you want to loose and by when.
BABY STEPS: By stating your intended goals in a very specific manner you are beginning to develop a strategic plan. Like all planning, there are incremental steps to make before reaching the desired end. Understand and accept that forward movement is progress.
BE FLEXIBLE: Life is uncertain. Just because you have professed your charted course does not mean that you'll be able to set your compass and sit back. Plan on being forced to readjusting your strategy from time to time. If you know that you are going to have to tweak your stratagem, you won't feel count off guard and will be better able to correct your sails.
Cut Bait: Are you one of those folks that re-writes the same resolution year after year? Don't continue to torture yourself and feel like a failure. Remove that resolution from your list and move on. I have an aunt who has said that she wants to give up smoking. Smoking is horrible for your health, it's expensive, it's stinks. There are so many reasons for her to give it up and yet she has not. Why? For all abandoned resolutions there is always a why. She understands the consequences of smoking, but emotionally she has not yet made the commitment.
Does that scenario seem familiar? Scratch that resolution off your list until you are truly ready to work on it, otherwise, you will continue to feel badly. This is your life, don't feel compelled to do change for any other person but yourself.
Garner support: Few people are capable of reaching their goals alone. More people find strength to persevere through the support be of friends and family.
Make Time: Remember, this is a strategy, a plan. If your intention is to exercise more, you must schedule it. Write in your calender that Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you have scheduled a 30-minute walk. It's an appointment. Don't break it. If you break a doctor's appointment these days, the office will charge you. If you break your exercise appointment, plan on putting twenty bucks in the till.
Reward Yourself: When you've achieved a goal, how did you celebrate? You didn't? I'm surprised by how few celebrate their achievements when talking about resolutions. It does not matter what age you are. Everyone loves a reward, a treat, a pat on the back. Don't let your hard work and commitment go unrewarded.
Okay, so you've read every article that's ever been written on goal setting. You've purchased every self help book that makes mention of commitment and you've sign up for too many classes that offer a sure-fire way of saving money, losing weight, learning a word a day.
What ever your goals are you need to want them. You need to have a plan. You need to have support. You need to write them down. You also have to live. Try one or two of these more creative methods of holding to your resolutions. If one should help you, wonderful. Don't give up. Keep the prize in mind.