2017, a new year, and a new you. Sound familiar? It’s that time of year when we set our resolutions and hear that little voice in the back of our heads saying, “This is my year! This is the year I will lose a few pounds, start exercising more, get eight hours of sleep, wake up early, balance my work & personal life more (Never a challenge at New England Construction, right team?)…etc.” In our last blog, Mike Gorman discussed our team's attitude toward resolutions and goals. Today I want to follow up that feature and look at ways we can all triumph when we make our goals!
All of the above are very realistic and obtainable intentions. For most of us, a strong start in early January quickly leads to waning interest and enthusiasm in February. By March, forget it. But what about the prosperous ones that are able to stick to their resolutions throughout the year? In regards to losing weight and exercising it is said that only 5% of people who have lost weight have been able to keep it off for the long-term. Want to know their secret? They are S.M.A.R.T. goal setters.
- Specific - By identifying the 6 W’s; Who, What, Where, When, Which and Why they set specific goals and make them public. The successful 5% don’t keep their efforts to themselves, they ask for help, recruit others, and swap stories with their friends. All of which develop a give-and-take method of encouragement. Joining Facebook groups, setting up a My Fitness Pal or a Map My Run account is a great way to connect with other likeminded people.
- Measurable - They set concrete criteria for measuring their progress. They plan and track their workouts and meals, read labels and menus, ask questions and review progress plans. Your brand new Fitbit is more than just a watch, do your research and use it for what it is intended for, to keep you motivated, aware and on track.
- Attainable - They figure out ways to make their goals a reality and enjoy themselves in throughout the process. Optimists are proven to reach more goals then pessimists and tend to live longer and healthier lives. If the thought of walking through the gym doors causes you to break out into a cold sweat, don’t go! Find something you enjoy doing instead. Get the family involved, take the dog for a walk, take a jog in the park, go snowshoeing, play a pickup game of basketball etc. Find what you enjoy doing and the workout won’t seem like work.
- Realistic - They make gradual changes and are willing and able to work toward these changes. They spend the time to build a few small habits at a time rather then try to completely change their entire lifestyle in one weekend. Doing too much too soon often leads to permanent failure. Take baby steps, if your goal is to run a marathon by the end of 2017 don’t start your first training day running 10 miles, believe me you won’t want to ever run again.
- Timely - They set a realistic timeframe in which to achieve their goals but also allow themselves to fail, knowing that every failure is a step forward into learning from their mistakes. They have learned to forgive the setback and get back on track. Bottom line here, don’t beat yourself up if you have a setback. It doesn’t mean that all your efforts up to that point are lost. We are all human, it happens.
These goal setters, the successful 5% have been successful because they have kept their goals and resolutions S.M.A.R.T.; Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. And this process does not just apply to making changes in your wellness, we use the S.M.A.R.T. Goal model here at New England Construction as a part of our Performance Management process and find that it is an incredibly useful tool for meeting our professional and personal objectives. What could it hurt to give it a try? This IS your year, go out and get it. Make 2017 the best one yet!!