Every year we all make our New Year resolutions. We want to lose 30 pounds, eat healthy and get to the gym 8 days a week, start that new business or change just about every aspect of our lives. This year we are really going to do it! The reality is that most of us fail at our resolutions because they are unrealistic. We look at the whole goal but not the steps it will take for us to get there. When we set smaller goals in order to get to the big goal, we are more likely to stick to the resolution we set.
Take the example of losing 30 pounds. Do you really believe that you can get to the gym every day? Life happens and things come up. Getting to the gym three days a week seems more realistic to me. Start small. On days you don’t go to the gym - take the stairs at work, walk around the building, switch that afternoon “pick me up” to the morning so you have more time to work off the calories. Sometimes it is easier to reach your goal if you do it with someone else. Having an accountability partner can get you to the gym or to remind you to put down that doughnut. Having someone else who knows what you are going through because they are right there with you can make the goal much more obtainable (and the journey more fun!)
I know I can get overwhelmed and lose interest or momentum in trying to reach a goal. Eighteen months ago I decided I wanted to start a private practice. The goal was to have an office and clients, but to reach that goal there were so many little things that had to happen. If I did not break tasks down into manageable groups or goals I never would have accomplished my overall goal. If the goal that week was to build my website, I had to figure out who would host it, what content, pictures, or text to add, and a million more issues. Even though it actually took a month, only by breaking down that monumental task into more manageable pieces was I able to get it done.
If you fall off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up. Pick up where you left off. Our lives are not defined by how many times we fall, it is defined by how many times we get back up. By changing a few of our routines and breaking down larger goals into smaller steps we make obtaining our New Year’s resolutions a reachable goal.