Every year-end people make various resolutions and goals that they set out to fulfill in the NEW year. The majority of these resolutions don’t make it past the first or second week of January. A rather funny but sad truth, we quickly give up on our goals and resolutions before we put in the work. Shocking right? But not as shocking as this statistic from the University of Scranton in 2016: A staggering 92 percent of people that set New Year’s goals/ resolutions never actually achieve them
Where are we?
We’re three months into the new year! Time is flying by faster than we expect. So much has happened, is happening, and is yet to happen. It seems fit to do a 3-month check-in post for you all. So here goes….
How are you doing?
How are you doing emotionally, mentally, and physically?
Where are you in achieving your goals?
How has 2022 been for you so far?
We know it’s a lot. Basic everyday questions can become so daunting or overwhelming, that what is intended to be a show of concern can be taken the wrong way. Nevertheless, we want to let you know that however you are feeling right now is okay. Whether you are on track or off track with your goals, we’re here to help.
Honestly, if you’re like us then you can ‘definitely’ relate. Having your yearly resolutions slip through the cracks is never intentional. Granted, it is for others but we know that several contributing factors could lead to them falling off track. For example, procrastination, stress, depression or just having too much on our plate. It almost feels like every and any distraction that can arise, comes out to play, and pushes us further away from our goals. We are easily distracted or quickly forget to hold ourselves accountable, which is the actual problem.
Sometimes we get caught in a cycle of overthinking and that interferes with our ability to solve problems or see the big picture. But now that we know the problem, our approach in addressing it, is what matters most. As Sarah Jessica Parker says, “When real people fall in life, they get right back up and keep walking.”
So here are 5 tips to help you get back up and keep walking:
- Be S.M.A.R.T
It’s very easy to set an overall goal. However, being able to make big elaborate resolutions or goals is not what will help you keep them. Oftentimes, having these big goals leaves us feeling overwhelmed or stumped on how and where we should start. This is usually because we’re setting ambiguous goals. Ambiguity kills initiative and creates a compliance culture rather than an aggressive commitment culture. That’s where SMART goals come in. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic/relevant, and time-specific. When you create your goals based on these criteria, it reduces ambiguity and creates commitment.
Focusing on something more concrete and specific is more realistic and helps you start working towards your goals. For example, setting a goal to improve your oral health is ambiguous as there are countless ways of achieving this. This may leave you feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start or how to track your progress. When you narrow it down, it becomes easier to track your progress and make the necessary steps to achieving your goal. Better oral health is the end goal, but step 1 could be brushing your teeth twice a day.
2. Reverse engineer it
Once you have set your SMART goals, the next step is to PLAN. Research suggests that one must brainstorm how one will tackle a major behavior change. Everything from the steps they will take, the reasons they want to do it, and the ways they can keep themselves on track must be included. This allows you to consider what tactics you will use when you’re faced with challenges. Here at Clermont Dental, we set quarterly goals then break them down into monthly & weekly steps. We ask ourselves all of the difficult but necessary questions that we need to help us reverse engineer our goals. Identify, discuss (by yourself or with a partner) and solve the barriers that would otherwise prevent you from achieving your goals. Bringing it back to our analogy, when you look at all the possible issues that could or have been stopping you from brushing your teeth twice a day, it becomes easier to push through and avoid those barriers
Researchers find that it is necessary to have self-control, but also deliberate action, the ability to prioritize, and tolerance for the discomfort that comes from pursuing your goals. Simply put, we have to keep the big picture in mind and use that as a driving force to motivate ourselves daily to do the small incremental steps.
Now being accountable for your goals also means knowing yourself and the different things that can trigger you. Create healthy boundaries and put yourself in environments that support you. If you know that you need a support system, then do not keep your resolutions and goals to yourself. Having a healthy support system will not only hold you accountable but motivate you to keep up the momentum. Here at Clermont Dental, we set our goals monthly and we review them together as a team at our monthly meetings to hold ourselves accountable.
4. Track your progress
Keep track of each small success. You can use any kind of tracking that works for you. SMART goals/resolutions are easier to track and keep, as each small accomplishment helps keep you motivated. Instead of focusing on oral health, focus on setting up your first appointment or the set times you wish to brush your teeth at. When you keep track of these goals, it becomes easier to celebrate yourself as you have tangible evidence of your ongoing success.
If you run out of steam when it comes to keeping your resolution, don’t despair. Start over again! Recommit yourself for 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours and these 24-hour increments will soon build on each other and help you get back on track.
5. Reward yourself
Finally, reward yourself. Psychology states that positive reinforcement can be used to train and maintain a specific behavior. As long as your reward doesn’t undermine your goal, positive reinforcement can be very effective. By celebrating your success and treating yourself to something you enjoy, you continue to motivate yourself to keep going. Once you have met your goal of brushing your teeth twice a day, reward yourself by coming down to Clermont Dental.
Getting back on track is achievable! All you have to do is reset your mind and fine tune your goals. As we get ready to enter the new season of Spring, take time to reassess your goals and track your progress. You can get back on track!
“Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” ~ Oliver Wilkins