Sunday 14 January 2007

Resolutions - a review

The New Year is two weeks old, but how are your newly made, bright & shiny resolutions surviving? Are they looking a bit tarnished, battered & bruised, or have they been consigned to the bin until next Year . . .and another attempt.

If you are struggling, or want to get started again here's another approach that might be useful - the SMART approach.
The SMART acronym is widely used in Project Management, and stands for :

Specific:- make your goal specific. Rather than saying that "I want to lose weight", try restating this aim to 'I want to lose 1lb each week'

Measurable:- put an amount, or even a limit on your objective e.g. if you are cutting down on cigarettes rather than stopping, set yourself a goal of reducing by one/two/ten per day /week or month, as you decide. This will assist you benchmark your actual progress against your plans

Achievable:- set goals that are realistic, and within your capacity to attain. Be careful not to be too ambitious, or take too optimistic an approach. If for example you are planning to increase your activity levels, don't try and run 10 miles on the first day, or push yourself to 100% capacity.

Realistic:- Further to above, start small and achieve within your capacity. Its better to start with small successes, which build confidence. Give yourself some space and capacity to improve. Start by pushing yourself only to 60% - 70% of your limit, and know that you can - and will - do better tomorrow.

Time bound:- Put your goals and objectives into a defined timescale, e.g. losing 1lb per week, 4lbs by end of month etc but keep the time line fairly short. Aiming to lose x amount of weight before the summer holidays for example, may give you mental permission to lapse, as the goal (and ultimate reward) is too far into the future.

Before I finish, if you have managed to maintain your resolution and are sticking with it . . . WELL DONE!!! Take a little time out to pat yourself on the back, reflect on the changes you have made and use these improvements, and your positive feelings about your success to date, as a springboard to continued success.

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