This time of year, I always get a lot of clients coming in working on ways to make their new year a better year for themselves. One of the biggest mistakes people make is when they are so excited to get a good start on the year, they set goals to high for themselves. You want your goals (whether for the new year or any time) to be moderately difficult, not too hard and not too easy.
Research has demonstrated that people that set moderate goals for themselves have better self-esteem. They are not making tasks that they are sure to fail nor are they making tasks they know they will accomplish without much work. Realistic goals give you a better sense of what you can achieve.
Having achievable goals also means you want some flexibility. Making it so that you can never miss a day at the gym is going to fail pretty soon after the first major storm we have. Once you’ve missed this one day you may think you’ve ruined your “perfect” streak. A more reliable goal is “I want to commit to making it to the gym three days a week.” If you’re making resolutions to lose weight, build in days where you don’t stick to a diet. These “free days” (I dislike the term “cheat days”) are ways in which to keep you feeling like you’re making progress and that you still can enjoy a favorite food or treat.