Be smarter with your New Year’s resolutions.
It’s time to review those New Year’s resolutions. Review them I hear you say? This early? Well you might be doing ok with yours but there’s no harm in giving them the quick once over.
According to a survey done by BUPA, the private healthcare company, sixty three percent of Brits fail at resolution attempts with forty three percent lasting less than a month. On reflection of this I think we could all benefit from stopping in this cold, crisp month of January and having a real think about what we are hoping to achieve.
Right ladies, lets lose our emotional heads and put our practical ones on. I studied Marketing Management at University and as part of my business studies and subsequent career I couldn’t avoid the following pertinent question as part of any planning….. are your objectives SMART? Are they specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed? This acronym is proven to keep the hardest tasks in hand. So are yours? Ummmm, I wonder.
My aren’t. In fact, I’m not really a New Year’s Resolution person. I find the pressure too much and I hate the fear of failing and looking at myself in the mirror with disappointment. It’s not the best way to start the year! However, I have got some resolution ideas which I hope I can integrate into my life permanently. This January I’m going to make them SMART.
First thing I have learnt in life is not to overwhelm myself. It’s great to have a list of ideas but you need to cull them to the most important. Have you made loads of resolutions? Is it worth asking yourself which are the most important? Remember, you can add new things into your life at any time of year – resolutions can be flexible! This brings me to my next point. Expect to fail! It is old hat (and we should all know by now) that failing is part of life because we pick ourselves up, learn and come back stronger.
So the first thing to do now is look at your resolutions and follow the SMART technique:
How many of you have said I want to increase my earning and achieve more success in 2017? Well, that’s a pretty broad statement. Ask yourself how you’re going to do this and be specific. If you want to earn more, what do you need to do? You might need to work overtime, get a promotion or move jobs. To be specific, how about having the resolution to approach your boss and ask for an appraisal. This will give you the opportunity to ask for what goals could be put in place in order to reach the next pay scale. If you don’t ask you don’t get!
My resolution this year is to lose weight. How many of us are saying the same? However, I couldn’t have chosen a bigger black hole to launch myself into! That’s why my resolution needs to be specific. I want to lose one dress size because I will feel more comfortable in my clothes and have a bit more energy (I don’t give a shit about being skinny but I do care about going on a dog walk with my friend and being out of breath). I know I need to do more exercise, that’s a fact.
So lets work with these two specific resolutions. I want a promotion to earn more money and I want to lose one dress size. Lets move forwards and be SMART….
Are they both measurable?
Yes. Time, money and dress sizes are all measurable so I’ll be able to make clear targets for myself.
Are they achieveable?
Absolutely. I don’t feel overwhelmed by either. I need confidence and belief in myself for both as I’ve got to be able to approach my boss to increase my pay as well as motivate myself to start exercising.
Are they realistic?
Well I’ve been specific with what I’m aiming for so they are bites I can easily chew. If I was aiming to become the Director of the business in one year or lose three stone in one month I would say they were completely unrealistic. Remember that your realism is different to someone elses – you have to be specific to what your capabilities are and what you’re able to achieve within your lifestyle. For example, if I work late every night I can’t realistically tell myself I’ll make Zumba classes in the evening. Think of what else you can do? Is morning the best time to exercise? Would you rather be in your home and follow a DVD or go to the gym after work?
Can they be timed?
They both can. I can organise a meeting with my boss straight away and prepare my argument on the need to progress within the business. Remember to ask for specific goals that you can realistically achieve and prove what added value you can bring to the business. Training and development takes time so be realistic. Maybe set yourself six month to work towards and if you don’t feel you are moving forward it might be time to review your resolution and move to plan B…..search for another job! Always review, be flexible and readjust your resolution if you need to – don’t forget that!
My weight loss can be timed also. There are crash diets and thirty day fat burner programmes out there but my resolution is to lose only one dress size and feel better in myself. This has to be a lifestyle change. I have decided to join two manageable classes per week, avoid high sugary treats and reduce my portion sizes as I already eat a balanced diet I am happy with. I am not going to hog the scales and I will judge my progress by clothes fit. I am going to be very kind to myself over this resolution and give myself two months. It’s more than enough time to lose a dress size so I can be relaxed and instil a routine where I will achieve my objective, feel good for doing so and hopefully change my life for the better (I’ll be able to run on the next dog walk!)
Take some time out ladies to review those resolutions and I promise, if you follow the SMART technique your chances of success will increase ten fold.
Now I’ve sorted my resolutions out I’m quite excited about starting them properly. Everything feels manageable so I have the confidence and belief that I can do it!
Good luck everyone! x
If anyone is struggling with every day stress, visit http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/stress for help.