How to set (and achieve!) your goals for the New Year

- "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" -

Benjamin Franklin

The end of the year is near, and millions of people are now starting to think about those New Year's resolutions again.
But many of those resolutions fail; a study in 2007 found that a staggering 88% of those goals never get completed.
Another study showed that about 75% doesn't even make it through the first week.

So how do you make sure your resolution will not fail?

As an example, let's use the #1 resolution of all time: Losing weight

1) Set a realistic goal 
Often we want too much, too fast. Setting a goal that is actually realistic, will make all the difference.
For example, wanting to lose 25 kg in 2 months, isn't.
But setting that goal for the entire year, is absolutely possible and also a lot safer.
A good way to do this, is using a goal sheet, that you will hang somewhere where you will see it daily.

So set your goal and connect a time-frame to it.

2) Make yourself aware & committed
This may sound strange, since you are the one setting the goal, but often people forget the level of impact certain lifestyle changes can have. Sit yourself down and actually think about the journey you're about to embark on. It's not simply going from A to B, there will be challenges along the way.
What are the possible set-backs? How will you deal with them?

Preparing yourself mentally will create more confidence and set-backs will not derail your train to success.

3) Make a plan and add check-ins
Decide how you are going to achieve your goal, and cut the plan up into smaller pieces.
Let's take the 25kg weight loss goal. What needs to be done to achieve this? For example:

- Calorie intake of 2100 calories a day
- Tracking via MyFitnessPal
- 3 days a week of exercise

Then, since you've given yourself 12 months to do this, plan a check-in every month to see if you're on the right track. To lose 25 kg in 12 months, you need to lose 2,1 kg a month.
Then each month, you check your progress:

- Have you maintained the caloric intake?
- Have you tracked it in MyFitnessPal?
- Have you exercised at east 12 times this month?
- How much weight have you lost?

Cutting your goal up into smaller chunks, makes it easier to manage and correct if needed.

4) Keep track of progress
You can use your goal sheet to keep track of all these things, or use mobile apps.
Take before pictures and measure yourself. 
You can then decide how often you want to take pictures again and measurements and log them.

A helpful app for this is Fit-Stitch Progress Tracker. It allows you to take your before, progress and
after photos, but also can set reminders to repeat daily, weekly or monthly.

Another app is called, where you can also add your measurements and track your progress in graphs. It also allows you to take before and after photos.

The 2 most helpful and also motivational tools are simply: pictures & measurements.

Final thought
In order to achieve change, you need to change. This sounds logical, but often people are simply not prepared to make a change.
The situation you got yourself into, is a result of a certain type of behaviour.
In order to change the situation, you need to change your behaviour. This is usually not easy and also not something to look forward to. It's called "Getting out of your comfort zone"

It will be difficult, it will have ups and downs. But in the end, you decide if it's worth it or not.
And most often, it is.

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