It’s that time of year again. When you sit down and try to figure out what your new year’s resolutions are going to be. Do you want to run faster? Get stronger? Lose a little weight? Below are several tips on how to set obtainable goals for the upcoming new year.
1. Make Your Goal Specific & Measurable
When you set a goal, don’t leave it vague. Instead, make sure your goal is specific and measurable. For example, instead of making your goal “to lose weight”, figure out how many pounds you want to lose and by when. Similarly, instead of resolving “to run more” make your goal to run at least three times a week or to run five more miles a week until your next half-marathon. Making your goals specific will help you know when you have reached your goal and will help keep you motivated.
3. Set 1 or 2 Goals, Not 50
While it may be tempting to set a goal for every different aspect of your life, focus on one or two specific goals and implement one change at a time. It takes about a month to create a new habit. If you focus on one goal at a time you will be more likely to stick with your goals in the long run.
4. Don’t be Afraid to Reach for the Stars
Many goal-setting experts would encourage you to make your goals realistic. Not to make them too big because if you do you will end up realizing that you can’t reach your goals. You will become discouraged and will lose motivation. However, I would like to encourage the opposite. Dream big.
When I told my dad six months ago that I was going to try to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials during my first marathon he thought I was crazy. So did the majority of people I told. I set the goal anyway and six months later I am registered to run with the best marathoners in the nation on January 14.
I would encourage you to set big goals and to go for them! Recognize that you may not reach this “impossible” goal, but as Les Brown put it, don’t be afraid to “shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.”
What is your goal for 2012?