How to Set Objectives for the Year Ahead in a Realistic Way

How to Set Objectives for the Year Ahead in a Realistic Way

We talk to trailblazing ‘anti-guru’ Sarah Knight, author of ‘You Do You’ and ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k’ about setting realistic, achievable goals for the year ahead…

To be honest, I don’t believe in making New Year’s Resolutions. I think setting an arbitrary deadline for diet, fitness, and other self-improvement regimens is a clever ploy by the industries that sell low-calorie snack foods and sports bras to take your money while zapping your will to live. But I recognise that some people want to make a fresh start in the New Year, and I’ve certainly got no problem with you attacking your resolutions while I sit here and sip my second Aperol Spritz of the day. “Dry January” for you means more Prosecco in the world for me, which is totally fine. So while I get tipsy and you muster your resolve, keep these tips in mind:

1. Lower the bar

It’s good to have goals—but let’s not get carried away. Because it’s far better to have more modest goals that you can actually attain, than to come out guns blazing on January 1st with a resolution so out of your league that you’ve doomed yourself to failure before you even start.

2. Slow your roll

Making lasting change takes time. Bad habits aren’t broken in a day, nor is a lifetime of learned behavior un-learned by a one-month detox. If you’re going to set goals, make them realistic, AND give yourself a realistic timeframe in which to achieve them.

3. Team up

Accountability—to someone else—is one of the best ways to ensure you meet your goal. You can join forces with a friend to pursue the same goal (like losing ten pounds or getting new jobs) and force each other to do the work when you can’t quite force yourself. Or, you can just ask someone to act as your Bad Cop, reporting your progress to them once a week. Trust me, you’ll feel worse about slacking off if you have to confess your sins to someone other than yourself or your cat.

4. Do it my way

If you really must make a resolution, perhaps it could be one that celebrates your strengths rather than punishing your weaknesses? In my new book, You Do You, I encourage people to accept themselves for who they are—flaws and all. 2018 could be the year you make peace with your weeknight Deliveroo obsession or learn to revel in your propensity for skipping yoga. Whatever the case, you do you!

Words: Sarah Knight

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