As health coaches, towards the end of each year, we start to hear the same thing over and over again:
“I’ll be ready to get healthy in the new year.”
You might think that sounds pretty logical, but there’s a pretty simple reason why we struggle hearing it! We’ve found, as you probably have as well, that new year’s resolutions aren’t the most effective way to change your lifestyle. Goals aren’t easier to achieve just because you start at the beginning of the year. In fact, they are often harder to stick to because “failing” at new year’s resolutions has actually become something of a joke these days.
So, let’s change that! No matter what your new year’s resolutions are about – eating better, drinking less, getting active, managing your finances more effectively, starting a hobby, meditating more, spending more time with family, or truly investing in your faith – we urge you to consider an alternative approach to new year’s resolutions.
It doesn’t matter what goal you want to pursue or which changes you want to make in your life – it’s going to take work! Consistency is critical, but for most of us to be successful in achieving our goals, we also need a systematic approach.
Let’s talk about some tools to help you stay accountable:
You’ve probably already read about our kids’ chore checklists, so you won’t be surprised to hear that we have clipboards as well! Instead of a few simple chores like the kids, we have an extensive list of habits written down. Each of these habits include frequency to keep us on track with the lifestyle we’ve chosen. Simply put, we don’t give ourselves the option to fail without that failure being glaringly obvious when we review our tracker at the end of the month.
Let’s dive a little deeper. We have a deep commitment to considering our goals ‘a lifestyle’. Instead of saying we want to make sure to intentionally connect with one another at least once a week. Check out our blog on One-on-One Dates with Kids! We put this intention on our habit trackers and we make sure it happens. It’s important to consider it part of our lifestyle rather than a goal that may or may not be met.
But what happens when we don’t check off the boxes? At the beginning of each month we review the past month’s tracker. We first consider our strengths and weaknesses. Our habits are divided into categories which makes it easier to identify when we’re falling short in a specific area of our life. If we have a lot of empty checkboxes in the personal development category, we make it a priority to refocus on that area of our lives in the next month. If we’re over achieving in the physical health category, we might decide to increase the frequency of those habits to stay challenged. Or we might just pat ourselves on the back and leave the tracker as it is.
Download our tracker at the bottom of this blog!
Goal Setting Worksheets
Just because we’re not fans of new year’s resolutions per se, doesn’t mean we don’t set goals! Our goals are purposeful and always follow the SMART goals guidelines to be sure success, and how to achieve it, is clearly defined. In case you aren’t already familiar with the concept, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. These factors are proven to set you up for success by ensuring your goals are attainable and trackable.
An example of a SMART goal could be:
My goal is to decrease my body fat percentage by 3% [quantifiable objective] by March 31st [timeframe/deadline]. I [who is involved] will accomplish this goal by adjusting the habits under the category Health in my habit tracker to support healthy fat loss and consistently completing those habits [what specific steps you’ll take]. Accomplishing this goal will lead to increased comfort in my skin and more energy to enjoy the active lifestyle I’ve chosen [outcome/benefit].
We’ve put together a simple SMART goal worksheet to help you define your goals and how you plan to get there. This worksheet combined with our habit tracker will help you stay accountable to your objectives and achieve the success you’re looking for!
How will you make a change?
We are so excited to hear about how this blog may have changed your approach to your new year’s resolutions. Better yet, how it’s changed your approach to true lifestyle change! Don’t fall victim to the hype of making generic new year’s resolutions that you end up forgetting about by the time February comes around. Instead, try out the tools we’ve provided and watch how systems, consistency, and accountability can change your life!