The new year is right around the corner and with it comes a fresh batch of motivation. It seems everyone is touting their new resolutions they've got planned for the upcoming year! But how many of them actively work towards completing these each year? How many follow through? Do YOU fall into this trap?
According to Forbes.com, 75% of people stop acting on their goals after 30 days and only 8% of people actually accomplish their new years' goals. Those are some astounding numbers!
So why is it so many people fail to even continue working towards their goals?
Part of it lies in the fact that people set resolutions for themselves, not goals. There is a difference. A resolution may sound something like "I am going to stop smoking this year". Okay sure, but by when? How are you going to do it?
Let's take this same example and turn it into an actionable goal: "I am going to cut down my smoking from 2 packs a day to 2 cigarettes a day in the next 3 months by finding healthier alternatives to relieve my anxiety". What is the difference between these two statements?
The resolution is too big and broad. There is nothing wrong with having a vision of yourself, but without a plan it is just that...a vision. Goals are how you make that vision into a reality.
A goal on the other hand is precise, it has a timeline, it is small enough to be achieved, and it describes the method by which it will be achieved. George Doran, Arthur Miller and James Cunningham created a helpful little acronym back in the 1980's to create powerful goals that many influential people still use today:
S: Specific. Describe exactly what you are going to accomplish.
M: Measurable. Give a value to the goal. For example, "...2 packs a day to 2 cigarettes a day..." in the example above.
A: Attainable. Are you able to reach the intended goal with the resources you have now? What resources do you need to attain in order to achieve the goal?
R: Realistic. Don't say something like "I will be the first person to turn myself into a spider!" (unless you truly believe you can do that). Dream big, but make sure it is something that can be achieved.
T: Timely. How long will it take you to complete this goal? 1 week? 3 months? 1 year?
Once you have created your SMART goals, the next step is to break each one down into smaller sub-goals that you can achieve in smaller amounts of time. These sub-goals are moving you towards the completion of your over-arching goal but allow you to celebrate successes more frequently (and who doesn't love celebrations).
If we look back to the smoking example, a sub-goal for that may look like "I will practice a 5 minute meditation twice a week". The meditation is a healthier way of handling anxiety than smoking, and succeeding in practicing meditation twice a week will lead to a hit of dopamine and make that person want to keep doing it.
There are plenty of resources on the internet to help you prepare for your 2022 goal setting, but a couple to mention are:
Jordan Peterson's Self-Authoring Program.
This program is incredibly in depth and gives you guidance along the way. The future authoring section of this program will aid you in creating some powerful goals for your future. I personally use this program and frequently recommend it to friends and family. Click here to sign up.
Rabit is a goal-tracking app available on Android and Apple app stores. There is a large number of pre-made goals to pick from or you can create a new one. The app is designed to help you build daily habits that keep you on track for completing your goals. You plant a plant of your choice (I chose the carrot) and watch it grow each day as you complete the daily habits.
So in 2022, we at Biscuit Nutrition challenge you to create powerful GOALS for the new year, not RESOLUTIONS.
An easy first step is to write them down! Studies have shown writing down your goals and putting them somewhere you will see every day leads to increased goal completion. Write out your SMART goals along with your sub-goals and mark them off as you complete them in 2022.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Here's to 2022🥂
Braeden Yacobucci, RDN/RD, LD, CF-OL1
Cara Barton, OTR-L, PN1, CF-L1