How to Be Successful in 2022 Goal Setting
It’s that time of the year again! The time when people set big goals and make resolutions to build healthier habits and improve their wellbeing. The new year allows for the feeling and appearance of a fresh start. So what if you spent the last week in sweatpants, binge watching Squid Game, while plowing through holiday leftovers and a few pints of chocolate ice cream? 2022 is gonna be your year, baby!
The reality is that even with the best intentions, people do not always end up following through with their initial goals and resolutions. This can be the result of a variety of reasons, but generally falls into a few similar categories.
How can you give yourself a better chance of being successful?
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they set goals is that they set their sights too high and set goals that are not reasonable. Big changes happen from making consistent, small changes and generally, people tend to over-estimate what they can do in the short term and under-estimate what they can do in the long term. Are you going to go from not working out at all to suddenly doing an hour of running every morning? Probably not, but you can work to up to that, by slowly increasing the amount of time and setting more reasonable goals for yourself in the present. Start at 15 minutes. Once that's a habit and you've been successful for a few weeks- work up to 25 minutes then 35 minutes and so on.
Before you commit to something, determine where it falls in your priorities. Often when people say they don’t have time to do something, what they really mean is that it is not a priority to them. And this is okay, but when setting goals, it’s important to recognize where it falls so that you can adjust accordingly. If getting your kids ready for school is a higher priority than exercising- don’t plan on exercising at a time where they might coincide, and it becomes easier to excuse not working out.
Add, rather than subtract.
Most people tend to focus on eliminating foods or behaviors when they set healthy goals, but the better method is to focus on adding healthier foods and behaviors. For example, instead of telling yourself you’re going to stop eating cookies for all eternity, focus on maybe adding a vegetable to each meal. This is a gentler, more effective method for creating healthier habits.
Make it convenient.
The harder a task is to complete, the less likely people are to choose it over convenience. That’s why it’s important to set yourself up for success by making tasks within reach. If you want to work out first thing in the morning- sleep in your workout clothes or leave them right by your bed. If you want to eat healthier meals, prep food that can be used to make a variety of healthy meals quickly.
Focus on one behavior.
Often, the behaviors we’d like to change are so rooted in habit that making lasting differences comes down to being able to build new habits. This makes it important to focus on one behavior at a time. It’s not easy to change habits- it takes time, patience, and dedication, so trying to change many at once can be overwhelming and cause you to fall back into all of your previous patterns.
Ultimately, no matter how you choose to work on yourself, it takes patience to see results and to feel secure in your new patterns. Being sure to set yourself up for success the best you can is the most surefire way to get you to where you want to be.
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