My local gym is absolutely rammed this week. Thousands of eager beavers sweating and straining on the treadmills, trying to work off those extra mince pies. But next month, and the month after that, I know what will happen. Attendance will start to drop off. They'll slowly forget about their New Year's resolution to get fit and healthy. By Christmas 2012, it'll just be the regulars in the gym again.
So how do you make sure that you actually get your New Year's resolutions done, and you're still motivated in February, March and April? What is it that makes some people stick to their goals and not others?
Over the next week, there's a series of four articles coming your way on creating 'good goals', and actually getting on and doing them too.
So grab a pen and some paper (or if you received an iPad or iPhone for Christmas, this is a good chance to use your new toy.)
Make five headings.
(NB - these are just suggested headings. You might want to make additional headings too, such as Family, Charity, Leisure etc.)
- Enter your goals for 2012 under each category.
- Write them in the present, as if they're happening right now. (I have a new job. I am going on an amazing holiday. I drive a new Skoda, etc.)
- With each goal ask yourself - is this possible? If not - amend your goal until it is achievable.
- With each goal ask yourself - are there any negative consequences to achieving this? (If so - evaluate whether this goal is still worth pursuing or amending).
- Once you've settled on your goals, date them with the date on which you want to achieve them. For example: I have a new job - 9/9/2012. Or... I always go to the gym twice a week. 12/12/2012.)
- Write them out smartly on a piece of paper (there's a proven visual/kinaesthetic link between writing and achieving)
- If you are happy to share your goals with family and friends, pin them up on the fridge. 'The Law of Commitment' shows that the more we commit to something publicly the more likely we are to actually stick to this commitment. I've written more on sharing here.
Congratulations. By following this process you're already starting to build momentum towards achieving your 2012 goals.
If you want to build even more momentum - or 'Big Mo' as I call it - share your New Year's Resolutions at this special website set up just for 2012. It is simply there so you can tell the world about your goal. Come and see what crazy goals other people have come up with - and enter your own.
The research shows, once you've announced your goal (for instance at bigmo.biz), you're more likely to achieve it. This is just the start of your journey. Enjoy it, and if your goal is health-related, maybe see you in the gym in December!