By Reem Abdulrahman Jassim al-Muftah
Happy 2020! Speaking of the New Year and the popular idea of New Year’s resolutions, have you been telling yourself how this year will be different? Have you made new resolutions? Did you promise yourself you will be healthier and follow a certain diet starting January 1st? Well, if you have, that’s good news since you are trying to push yourself and you have the initial self-motivation to make a change. Now think about it, why did you have to wait until the New Year? A lot of us set goals for the New Year, especially when it comes to our overall health and wellness, but why does it have to be aligned to the New Year? Why can’t we start the changes on the same day we think of making them? Dig deep into your mind and try to understand what is keeping you from starting on the spot. In any case, regardless of when you decide you want to make a change, look at the goals you have in mind and ask yourself two things…are your goals realistic and are they measurable?
When it comes to goal-setting, we have to be real with ourselves and not set ourselves up for inevitable failure. It is crucial to be realistic and understand the extent to which we can achieve these goals. You know yourself the best, therefore, you are the best judge of your goals and you can at least identify if they are realisable or not.
Now let’s take a step back, on what basis did you set these goals? Are they really important to you? Here is where I worry about some people: some think they are putting goals for themselves when they are just adding a trendy goal to their own list. When setting a goal, you have to make sure that it is specifically aligned to your wants and needs, not to those of others. In addition to the goals needing to be related directly to you and your personal well-being, be it mental, physical, both or neither, take note of the reasons why you chose this as your goal and what benefits it will bring. Use these notes to consistently remind yourself why you wanted to achieve these goals and use them to constantly to reinforce your self-motivation as you reach your goals, especially if you are ever in doubt.
Similar to the above, are your goals measurable? Ask yourself one question, how will you be able to monitor and track the developments? How will you decide if you have or have not reached your goals? Depending on the goal you have set, there might be an easy answer, but if not, you are going to have to sit down with yourself, be real and find what works for you. Choose the deciding factors that will help you understand when you have met your goals. Time is also critical, do you have a deadline? When will you stop, assess and analyse your progress towards your end-goals? You might have to track your progress on a daily basis, or maybe just a weekly or monthly basis, either way, keep yourself accountable.
Back to my starting point, the New Year is not the only time to make changes, you never have to wait and you should not fool yourself. Anytime is the right time for positive change. Why wait a few days or week until you start your journey towards attaining what you want. Is it because you want a few more days of freedom? Some people will start with the New Year and others with ‘next week’ or ‘next month,’ and if you are one of those people, really ask yourself why you need to wait and why you cannot start on the spot? Taking action is empowering, you might actually feel more motivated once you take the first step to change, right at that moment you agree to making the change. Self-motivation is critical and when you take action on the spot, there is nothing more motivating than the confidence you feel then.
In conclusion, remember that you are your both your greatest friend and greatest enemy when it comes to your goals and personal journey. You have to be real with yourself, honest and transparent. Do not let anything else influence your decisions, especially when it comes to your well-being. You know yourself best and always keep that in mind.
* The author is a wellness advocate and influencer @keys2balance.
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