2012 is fast approaching. Historically, New Year’s Day is when people make resolutions and set goals for themselves for the coming year. It’s also a time when we reflect on our accomplishments from the previous year. It can be rewarding if we’ve achieved our goals, but disappointing if we didn’t complete what we said we were going to. Many of us make the mistake of setting goals that are too difficult to reach, and so we feel discouraged (and sometimes even bad) about ourselves at the end of the year.
I think it’s important to create realistic goals and expectations—not just on New Year’s Day—but in general. Dreaming doesn’t cost anything and it’s okay to reach for the stars, but in order to reach your biggest goal you’ll likely need to take many small steps to get there. It’s easy to lose focus or feel overwhelmed and disappointed once you begin to realize that accomplishing a lofty goal you originally set for yourself is nearly impossible to complete. Setting a few small goals that add up to a larger goal can keep you focused.
To do this, think of the steps you have to take to accomplish your ultimate goal and break them down into smaller individual goals. For example: Lots of people make general resolutions about losing weight and exercising more. These can be overall goals, but setting more realistic goals such as “I’m going to drink water instead of soda” or “I’m going to increase how much I walk until I’m exercising 60 minutes every day”, is more manageable. This way you’ll see results sooner and you’ll feel motivated to keep going. When the expectations you set for yourself are realistic, you’re much more likely to make things happen and feel good about yourself. This year why not make a resolution to set realistic goals that you can achieve!