Happy New Year’s! Have you set your New Year’s resolution yet? Everyone usually has one, no matter how big or small. While I love to see people set goals, they are often unrealistic, which is why so many people end up falling short of their expectations. Many businesses prey on this phenomenon, especially the fitness industry. Recent studies have found that over 12% of all new gym memberships are purchased in January alone, and many of these are yearlong contracts. The funny thing is that most people will only go for the first couple weeks before their motivation runs dry, which equals big profits for gyms Why does this happen? New Year’s resolutioners love to dream big…they envision the six-pack, toned muscles, and overall perfect body. That’s great and all, but when someone is 50 pounds overweight and expects the change to happen overnight, their expectation falls short of reality and they stop going. In short, their goals aren’t realistic or clear.
Through my own research and experience, I’ve come across three qualities that achievable goals exhibit. They arise from dreams, are realistic, and are clear.
- Don’t Forget to Dream
I think there’s a stigma around dreaming. Not the kind you do at night, but the type of dreaming you do when you’re thinking about your future and what you want to achieve. So often people say that you should take action instead of dreaming, but I think you need both. Yes, a dream without action never becomes reality, but dreams are where we envision what we want in life. We see the possibilities that could arise, and that is what motivates us. That is what motivates the New Year’s gym goer. So, dream. Dream big. Envision what you want to achieve this year and let that initial motivation get you on the path to achievement.
- But Be Realistic
Dreams often fall short of reality because they are not realistic. Trying to read a book a week probably isn’t going to happen if you haven’t picked up a book in a few years and work/are a student. But, reading for 15-30 minutes a day is doable and more sustainable. Even if you manage to finish a book a week, did you consider how much that is going to cost you? With the average paperback (not hardcover) book costing between $15-20, a book a week would equate to around $780-$1,040 a year. That’s a lot of dough!
What’s also important is remembering that life will happen. You’ll go on vacation, there will be family emergencies, and other bumps in the road that will force you to put your goal to the side for a little while. Recognize that this will happen and be okay with it, but don’t let it prevent you from achieving your goals. Pick yourself up and get back on the path to success.
In short, do yourself a favor and be honest with yourself. Push yourself, but don’t break yourself.
- Make Sure Your Goals are Clear
This ties in with the realistic quality. Make sure you define your goals specifically. Write them down exactly how you want them to be. Create a timeline for them. Know when you want to accomplish them by and have a clear path to get there. If you leave ambiguity in the air, it is sure to mess you up. Going back to the book example…if you simply tell yourself that you’re going to read every day, you may never finish one book. You might get tired after a long day and only read a page or two. It’s fine since your objective was to read every day, but in reality, will this get you to your goal? Probably not. So, be clear and define what you want to achieve and when. It’ll make your goal just that more attainable.
I hope these three qualities help you set some attainable goals for the New Year! Let’s make 2018 a great one 🙂