Be Realistic

As we start the New Year with a "fresh perspective" and have all of our goals and resolutions ahead of us, we often start off with grand ambitions. So now that we're a month into the year, how did you do with keeping your resolutions so far? Are you still successful? Or did you stumble a little? If so, that's OK! The key to a successful resolution is planning, like we discussed previously, but there are some other things to consider as well.

The first is the need to be REALISTIC. Dropping down two pants sizes in 2 months is a goal generally prone to failure. Talk with people who have done what you're striving to do and see how they did it. Understand the timeline they took to achieve it and understand the pitfalls to success. I would love to run a Triathlon this year, but I also know that it takes more time to train than I can honestly give that dream. A more realistic goal might be to be able to run a mini-marathon first and then assess from there.

The second piece to success is tied to the first and that is to FORGIVE yourself for minor transgressions. That's not to say that you should allow every excuse to go "unpunished", but be realistic about minor transgressions. If you're on a diet and you sneak a cookie, don't beat yourself up. If you want to exercise more, don't get down on yourself if you get a cold this winter and don't hit the gym for a few days. Trust me, we all support that decision! :-)

There is a fine line between adjusting a difficult goal to be realistic and making a goal easier. Its good to have goals that stretch us. Dale Carnegie once said "The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare." You're setting the goal to make a change. Consider the change you're attempting and commit to it or not. Set interim goals - don't bite off more than you can chew.

Given that its still early in the month, take a look at your resolutions and decision whether the goal and the timeline is something that is really achievable. Do you need to make adjustments to your schedule or routine in order to succeed? Or would it be more realistic to adjust your goal?