Should you make New Year's Resolutions?
Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017
Each year, people of all ages decide that there are changes that they would like to see in their lives. While making these resolutions, it is possible to forget that making and achieving goals is an ongoing process. It is also a science and an art. Sometimes life makes things easier, and sometimes it works against us. Sometimes you reach your goals, while other times you fail within the first week of trying.
There are a number of methods to help outline strategies and work toward goal completion, and finding the one that works for you and the youth in your life is the key to success. Here are a few suggestions as the New Year approaches (and inevitably continues):
- SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based. By making this type of goal, you are headed for a very specific destination. There is a clear "Pass/Fail" and a wide variety of ways to reach the goal. An example would be someone who wants to run a 7 minute mile.
- A Systems Approach means that you focus on the process of moving in a set direction, perhaps with a general direction and outcome in mind. The emphasis is on engaging with the system, rather than reaching a set ideal. This approach is more flexible and encourages complete and ongoing lifestyle change. For example, committing to being active for 2-3 hours a week.
- Winging it, or whatever phrase you would prefer, would mean having no set goals, values, or direction. Without an idea of a future, you can find peace in going with the flow, but you can also get lost.
- Choose goals that are appropriate to your stage in life. This can change depending on age, circumstances, or seasons. A list of New Year's Resolutions for healthy youth provides a helpful starting spot for choosing goals for youth.
- Incorporating regular affirmations and recognition of your efforts can be motivating. Keep some notes of what changes you can see so you do not forget the results!
- Ask yourself "Are my goals aligning with my values and needs?" Perhaps some goals are acting as obstacles, or distractions. Is running a 7 minute mile more important than other items in your life?
So this year, why not try blending a few of these approaches. If you consider the running examples, some people might be motivated by reaching a specific goal, then continuing to push to improve. Others might reach the 7 minute mark and quit training. There are also those who would rather focus on improving their mile time without having a set goal in mind at all.
Having awareness and flexibility to build your desired lifestyle will serve you, and the youth in your life, as you continue to experience success throughout the whole year...and maybe even into the next.