Word for the year
January 15, 2018
Self-care for real women in the real world
January 29, 2018

Goals trump resolutions. Always.

At the start of a new year, it’s common to hear people sharing their new year’s resolutions.

According to an article in The Telegraph the most common resolutions for 2017 were:

  • to lose weight
  • exercise more
  • eat more healthily
  • take a more active approach to health
  • learn a new skill or hobby
  • spend more time with family and friends
  • drink less alcohol
  • stop smoking

And since only 8% of people actually keep their resolutions according to the University of Scranton, I would like to suggest that you rather set goals for 2018.

Goals are achievable when they are specific, measurable, realistic and time-bound. And all goals start with small, incremental steps taken consistently.

“I want to exercise more”, is vague and can’t really be measured. “I will go to the gym twice a week for the next three months”, ticks all the boxes for a successful outcome.

“I want to spend time with family and friends”,  is an admirable resolution. But which specific family and friends – the ones that you run with or the ones you party with? And how much time is more? If you currently only see your great aunt at Christmas, do you only want to increase that with a visit on her birthday? You need to be specific about who, what, where, when and how.

A goal to run Comrades in June while you are currently a couch potato is achievable (but unlikely) and it isn’t realistic. You want to be aspirational with your goals, but don’t set yourself up for failure by setting a goal that is very unlikely.

Your goals need to have a time frame. I want to drink less alcohol is meaningless, really.  I will stop drinking all alcohol by December 2018, starting with no beer in January meets the criteria of effective goals. You can then track your progress and gain motivation with small successes.

I have finished my review of my 2017 running goals and I will be posting my 2018 goals soon. In the meantime, head over to the Fitter Faster 5 to 10 Facebook page and let us know your goals (running and otherwise) for 2018.

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