Take a moment to check your new year's resolutions

DID you make any resolutions for 2016? It's a common belief that it takes 21 days to change a habit (I disagree), so it may be too early to know how you're going, but take a moment to check and be truthful!

If you're still on track, that's wonderful. If you're starting to wobble or have derailed entirely, that's actually okay, too, provided you're open to learning from what's happened.

If you're not succeeding, I have three questions. How many resolutions did you make? How did you choose them? How did you define them?

I believe part of the problem is calling something a resolution rather than a goal. There are various definitions, but let's consider a resolution to be a decision or intention to do or not to do something versus a goal being an aim or desired result.

To me, the two are similar, yet there is a significant difference.

Here is an example. You may resolve/decide/intend to lose weight or improve your health by doing more exercise or not eating things you know are unhealthy, but that can be a bit of a moving target. How much is more? What is unhealthy? Will your intention become action?

The same intent expressed as a goal might be "I will reduce my weight to 70kg" or "I will have one small treat per day". Do you see the difference? You are giving yourself something specific to achieve.

When it comes to goal-setting, there are some important considerations. Is the motivation internal (ie driven by you) or external (driven by others)? Is the goal small (an achievable challenge) and measured (a way to compare your finish to your start point)? Can you give it the attention it needs?

Are you willing and able to put it into practice regularly?

Is it positive and moving you towards something you want?

At the same time, avoid being too specific and making it too challenging. Give yourself a bit of "wiggle" room and enough time to achieve it, but not too much. And remember to celebrate small wins without sabotaging what's been achieved.

Maybe it's worth reviewing your resolutions and turning them into specific goals, remembering less is more - i.e., work on one or two things at a time.

Abandon any shoulds, woulds or coulds that may be getting in the way, and check back to the previous paragraphs to ensure that your goal aligns with what is suggested.

Today, tomorrow or next week - whenever you decide you're ready is the right time.

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