As 2016 is approaching us very quickly, how many of you can honestly say that you accomplished all of your New Year’s Resolutions or goals? According to Harris Interactive, 1 in 3 individuals ditch their resolution by the end of January. Below are the top 10 resolutions that are made.
- Weight loss
- Improve finances
- Get a new job
- Healthy eating
- Manage stress
- Stop smoking
- Improve relationship
- Stop procrastinating
- Set time aside for self
The question is, why aren’t people sticking to their goals? Some reasons could be lack of discipline, inconsistency, no plan, too busy, not enough time, or laziness. I would say the two main reasons are; 1. Goals are not written down; and, 2. The mind. A goal is not a goal until it is written. Even the Bible says, “Write the vision and make it plan on tablets that he may run that reads it” (Habakkuk 2:2). Writing down your vision helps motivate you to get to work. Make sure that you have steps to your goals. Your mind cannot work on vague goals so they must be specific. Here is an example.
Goal: To lose 20 pounds by March 31, 2016
Eliminate fried foods and sodas
Work out Tuesday (cardio), Thursday (weights), and Saturday (cardio) for 1 hour
Drink 8 bottles of water per day
Now your mind has a clear picture of what it needs to do. What one could do is put a picture of themselves when they were 20 pounds smaller. This cues the subconscious mind that there is work to be done. The subconscious mind responds to pictures, images, metaphors, and stories. Hence, the reason to write down the goals; be specific as possible, and have a picture of your goal. Make sure that the goals are realistic and attainable.
The next step is to put your goals in a place where you will see them often. You have heard of “out of sight out of mind.” If you don’t see the goals you won’t think to work on them. A good place to put them could be the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, or take a picture of the goals and put them as wallpaper on your phone. I highly recommend having an accountability partner. This person must be dependable and will check on you to see how things are going. You all may decide to check-in once a week, monthly, or bi-monthly.
You also need long-term goals so you will not get discouraged over your short-term goals. Remember to be patient with yourself. Maybe get some inspiring quotes, a scripture, or a song to keep you motivated. It also helps to have a partner that is working toward their goals too, and this could be your accountability partner. Be encouraged and know that the best is yet to come!
Sonya Waddell is a Licensed Professional Counselor right outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of “Single Ladies: Living Holy in a Sexy World” which can be purchased on Amazon.