The art to setting simple realistic goals, which lead to long-term success…
Many of us see the start of a brand new year as a time for reinvention. It’s a chance to start afresh, discard the old, chase big goals and maybe even change our lives.
But studies have shown most New Year’s resolutions rarely make it past January. One study found only eight percent of people succeed in achieving their new year’s goals.
The most common new year’s resolutions include lose weight, spend less and save more, quit smoking and get organised. But the reason they may not succeed is that they are too big and broad.
Setting short and realistic goals can make them more attainable. Your weight loss goal could be simply to walk 30 minutes a day for two months instead of a whole year. Or to walk after dinner. Aiming for five days a week instead of seven gives you some leeway so you are not setting yourself up for failure.
Science has found it takes 21 to 66 days to re-wire our brain and change a habit. So by the time you have reached that short-term goal, chances are your resolution will have become a habit.
Eating healthier could translate to a specific aim of eating five serves of vegetables a day for one month. You could commit to spending Sunday afternoons planning your weekly meals so you’re less likely to grab the midweek takeaway.
Make it easier for yourself and add a daily dose of CLEANSE Inner Beauty Powder into your diet. Full of alkalising super greens this supplement that includes 45 certified organic and bio-fermented fruits, vegetables, seeds, roots, algae, grasses, plant fibre, purifying herbs and digestive enzymes. The formula is designed to help detox and purify your body on the inside to promote smoother, clearer skin on the outside. So your resolution delivers visible rewards.
Your resolution to drink more water will be easier if you treat yourself to a nice new water bottle. And add a daily shot of HYDRATION Inner Beauty Boost. Apart from tasting like you’re on holiday, it is a bio-fermented and coconut-infused probiotic, designed to support gut health and enhance skin radiance from the inside out.
A lofty goal such as getting organised could begin by spending a month of Sundays decluttering. Just take it one cupboard, corner or room at a time.
Cutting back on screen time could mean going offline for one day a week (Sundays are bliss without screens) or practising an electronic sundown and switching off all screens after 8 pm. Commit to making a small change for a month and you may find it sticks.
Short term goals make you more accountable. You can check in more often to track your progress. You can also reward yourself more often and enjoy a lovely shot of dopamine, a feel-good hormone released by the brain’s reward centre.
So turn your long term visions into smaller, attainable goals. Imagine if you introduce just one new habit a month for a whole year – by the end of the year, you will have acquired 12 new healthy habits.
Setting meaningful goals is also important. Motivation only works in the short term. So you need to spend some time working out what is really important to you, not just things you think you should change.
After years of studying what makes us happy, the father of positive psychology, Dr Martin Seligman discovered there are five essential elements of lasting wellbeing, known as the PERMA model.
To flourish in life we need to cultivate positive emotion (such as happiness), engagement (that feeling of flow when you do something with your full attention), relationships, meaning and purpose and accomplishment.
The Japanese describe meaning and purpose as your ikigai or “reason for being”.
Think about the past year and what went well or felt good. How can you build more of those experiences into your life? Journaling or keeping a daily gratitude journal can remind yourself of the things you really enjoy.
Reflecting on the things that didn’t go so well or felt bad may tell you what you really want to change. Or, say no to.
You may wish to avoid that awful feeling you get from being late. So you could resolve to go to bed on time and get up half an hour earlier on weekdays. Then reward yourself at the end of each week with a sleep in on Saturday. Or breakfast at your favourite café.
So in summary, make simple, short-term plans. Write them down. Celebrate small milestones. Little steps and big rewards may just lead to long-term success.
Happy New Year!