I have to admit, I do set New Year’s Resolutions- at the end of every year (I also try to do this every month), I ask myself, “What do I want more of in my life?” My answer, for 2017, is to spend more time outdoors, hiking and exploring in nature.
I find, and research supports, that it is easier to add a behavior into your life (e.g., more physical activity, healthy eating, traveling), than to take away or restrict something (e.g., losing weight, unplugging from social media, cutting out dairy, gluten, etc.). Once that “something” is not an option, it often becomes more tempting and when you remove something, you are often left without a replacement activity or behavior, which makes it more likely that you will turn to whatever it is you are trying to avoid. Instead of “minus-ing” something, think about adding a behavior (e.g., instead of wanting more money- consider, asking for a raise, changing jobs, starting a side hustle) and breaking it down into specific steps. It will be easier to adhere to your resolution if it is a behavior you incorporate into your life, instead of something you restrict or take away.
Specific (think who, what, where, why, when)- Spend more time in nature (i.e., parks, the beach, forest), alone and with others, both locally, nationally, and internationally, either walking, hiking, jogging, etc. in order to be more connected to nature & the environment and to find stillness, quiet, and peace outside of the city life.
Measurable (how much)– Spend at least 2 hours a week on a walk or hike in a park. Log time spent in my planner. Go on a local 1/2 day hike at least once every 2 months.
Agreed Upon (use if other people are in on your goal like a significant other, friend, etc.)
Realistic (is your goal achievable?)- I know, for me personally, it would be too much of a stretch to say “I want to spend time in nature everyday or I want to go on a full-day hike ever weekend.” That is not realistic for me, right now. Know thyself. Be honest with yourself.
Time-Bound– I mapped out my goal in terms of weekly and bi-monthly commitments. Feel free to use any time frame that makes sense for you and your goals- be it hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, in 3 months, in 6 months. However, don’t give yourself too much time, hold yourself accountable by setting short-term expectations.
Need help coming up with a New Year’s Resolution or goal? Here are some tips from Tony Robbins.
Organize your goals into different categories. For example, personal growth and development (e.g., “What would you like to learn? What would you like to improve upon? What are some skills you want to develop and master? What are some character traits you’d like to develop? Who do you want to be?”), career/educational/economic goals (e.g., “What do you want to earn? Do you want to retire, when? How much do you want to save? What do you want to spend money on? What breakthrough would you like to create? What kind of job title do you want? What kind of promotion are you looking for? How do you want to grow in your career?” What kind of impact do you want to have?”), toy/adventure goals– ask yourself, “If there were no limits economically, what are some of the things you would like to have? What are some of the things you would like to do? If the genie were before you and any wish you made would immediately be fulfilled, what would you want most in the world?”, and contribution goals (e.g., “How can you contribute to others? To the communities you are a part of? How do you want to leave your mark on this world? What would your ideal legacy be? What could you create or do to make a true difference in people’s lives?)
To take goal setting one step further, write your why. Free write why your goal is so important to you. You need strong enough reasons to pursue your goals, when things get tough. “If you know the why, you can live any how.” -Friedrich Nietzsche Hold yourself accountable by telling other people about your goal by creating a commitment contract and if you don’t accomplish it by the agreed upon date, implement a consequence (e.g., Try Stickk).