Do You Make These Mistakes When Setting Goals?

| 3 min read

Man writing in food journal
An approaching new year is the perfect time to take a look at your daily habits and make true, long-lasting changes.
Studies have shown that fewer than 10% of Americans successfully achieve the resolutions they set in January. So if last year’s resolutions didn’t turn out so well, you might want to adjust the way you set goals. Here are some common mistakes people make and how to avoid them to ensure your goals become reality:
  • Not being patient. Successfully working toward a goal requires a lot of focus, which is why you shouldn’t set goals in a lot of different areas (money, fitness, diet, relationships, etc.) all at once. If you limit yourself to one goal at a time, you’ll be able to devote all of your energy and motivation to that one change, boosting your odds of success.
  • Not being realistic. Let’s say your goal is to go from couch potato to marathon runner in two months. While that would be amazing, it’s probably an unrealistic amount of time to get there. It’s okay to dream big, but being unrealistic can make you feel discouraged if your goals fail, causing you to give up on them completely. Make sure you set smaller goals that lead to your bigger objective. Use the SMART goal-setting technique to ensure your resolution is realistic to your own ability.
  • Not getting specific. When it comes to goals, the vaguer they are, the harder they will be to reach. You need to be able to visualize your exact goal and come up with ways to measure your progress and a timeline. A goal to get fit is too broad. Instead, be very specific. Know what your effort each day is leading toward.
  • Not tracking your progress. Consistently seeing how much you’re accomplishing will give you more motivation for reaching your goals. You need to notice little successes throughout the process and celebrate them. Adding five more minutes to your run, hitting your goal of eating a serving of vegetables with dinner – they all add up to your larger goal.
  • Not enlisting a friend to help. Research says people who shared their goals with a friend were 33% more likely to be successful than those who went about it solo. It’s a mistake not letting your buddies in on your goals—they keep you accountable and make you more likely to stick to them.
For more blogs on ways to get healthy in the new year, check out these other posts:
Photo credit: KucherAV

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