So many times, and especially during this time of year, we make resolutions, that we believe will make us better. And they are usually HUGE: “I will lose 20 pounds”, “I will start live a healthier lifestyle”, “I will run a marathon” and my personal favorite, “I will give up red wine” (Who am I kidding!) According to U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February.
Why do we fail? We fail because we identify these big goals, but don’t give any thought to where the goal came from, why it is important to us and how achieving the goal will influence our life. For instance, you say I want to lose 20 pounds – did you ask yourself why? Usually its because you don’t like what you see in the mirror, how your clothes fit or maybe your doctor told you. The point is - we need to identify where it comes from. For example: I asked all my fighters the other day to name one goal for the year. One of them said, to keep his wife happy. Although I suspect there were many reasons behind this, he told us because of Parkinson’s and the progression of the disease, he would need to rely on her more. His why, answered where the goal came from, why it was important to him and knows achieving it will greatly influence his life.
Another tool is baby steps. For example, I want to lose 20lbs in 2019. January, my goal is to give up sugar 90% of the time and walk 5 days a week, February, add one vegetable a day to my daily servings, walk 5 days a week and workout 2, etc.. Another, closer to home: I want to minimize or reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s in 2019. January, go to a Movement Fair to find out about the importance of exercise for PWP and see numerous different forms of exercise for me. I chose to try 1 and see if its for me. February walk 3 times a week and do 2 days of some other form of exercise and so on.
When I do goal setting, I use the S.M.A.R.T. model.
S – Specific – What exactly is the very first step of any action/learning/goal identified?
M – Measurable – Make sure you have qualified and/or quantified the measure of success.
A – Achievable – Is the first step possible to achieve?
R – Reasonable – How reasonable is it that what you’re say you’re gone to do can be done at this time?
T – Time Oriented – By when, exactly will you complete the first step of the goal?
And it really is about baby steps. Little changes compounded make for big change.
If you already have your resolutions, try fitting them into the model above and ask yourself those three questions. If it all works, great you are on the road to success. If, it doesn’t, it is never too late to identify the goals that work. These are the goals that will help you achieve, like Tim Haque says, “Your Best Life”.
Martie Vlcek, CPC, CPT, CPA