Whatever your goal or resolution, January 1st or year-round, sheer determination is not generally enough to ensure your success. What keeps most people from realizing their dreams is not determination or willpower. It is lack of definition and planning. The secret to reaching your goals is in the numbers. You need to do the math. Even if you’re too pretty to do math you can manage this strategy.
Here’s How to Make Your Resolutions Work:
* Clearly define your goal and divide it into measurable, achievable increments. Write it down. Keep it simple. Every goal has metrics that can be measured. Let’s say you want to look better in your jeans. Well, this could mean you need to lose weight, gain weight, buy new jeans, firm up your fanny – whatever. Let’s take the weight loss route for this example. First, decide exactly how much weight you need to lose. Let’s say 15 lbs.
* Set deadlines. A critical part of success is setting a reasonable deadline. In this case, figure it will take you 15 to 30 weeks to lose 15 lbs. at a healthy 1 to 2 lbs a week. Mark the calendar. Record your current weight. Check out one of the free web applications to get started plotting your strategy. I use http://www.fitday.com.
* Research. Set out your plan in detail. Research the best way to reach your goal. Make notes. Get into it. For weight loss, use the web, your doctor or your local bookstore to help find a sensible plan that will allow you to lose 1 to 2 lbs a week. I suggest Weight Watchers because they are all about the numbers and support. Please avoid fads or schemes, no matter what your goal.
* Don’t Delay. Excuses will sabotage you. Don’t wait to start your plan. If you must delay, plot your course accordingly and follow it to the letter.
* Stay on Track. Monitor. Record. Monitor. Record. Adjust if necessary, but don’t give up. For weight loss, keep a food log (again, I use fitday.com). There are lots of ways to monitor weight loss, calories, inches, fat ratios. Suggestions: Bodyfat Analyzer, Pedometer, Flexible Tape Measure, Scale, Digital Scale, Talking Scale and Dial Scale.
* Stay Motivated. Make your goals and progress visible to help you remain committed and motivated. Mark your calendar and put it on the fridge with your ‘before’ picture. Remind yourself of the goal and say it out loud frequently. Let your family and friends in on your plight so they can help keep you honest.
* Reward yourself. Along the way, and at the end, be sure to reward yourself for success. How about a new pair of jeans at your goal weight, plus little rewards along the way. No hot fudge sundaes! . . .
This goal keeping technique can be used for anything you want to conquer, learn or accomplish. From learning to paint to getting a job to saving money. You just have to plot your strategy and monitor your progress through numbers, dates, deadlines.
Helpful health monitors and aids:
Success is yours if you just do the math and stick to the plan.