Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Resolutions vs. Goals: Setting Yourself Up for Success

Goal reminder: me at my ideal weight. 

I love to eat! I live to eat.

When I was younger, my love of eating wasn’t as much of an issue because my metabolism could keep up…well, most years…that being said, my weight has always been an issue.

Back in the day, when I used to make New Year’s resolutions, my go-to was something along the lines of “eat less” or “lose weight.” I never achieved my resolutions. So, I stopped making resolutions, but I never stopped trying to control my eating and my weight.

It’s been more years than I can count since I gave New Year’s resolutions a second thought, but this year, I’m surrounded by people talking about New Year’s goals...Amazing how one little word can make all the difference in the world.

“Goals” I get!

I set and achieve goals for every aspect of my life, except my weight. Why is it common sense for me to set financial goals galore, but rocket science that I should set goals for my weight?

Of course, I’ve set short-term goals for my weight in the past, such as “I need to lose 20 pounds before bikini season/my wedding/vacation/family reunion…” Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes I’m not. But these don’t help me with my long-term goals.

New Year’s resolutions are supposed to be long-term goals that create a new healthy habit for an entire year, which turns that healthy habit into second nature for the rest of our lives.

If I were to make a resolution today, it would be “lose 25 pounds and learn portion control.” I can already tell you that that resolution is doomed to fail.

So, instead I’ve set measurable goals with action plans, including milestones, rewards, support and accountability:

  • Lose 25lbs by June 1, 2014. 
  • Then maintain a healthy weight of 135lbs till December 31, 2014.
Action Plan: 
  • I will track my daily calorie intake on a mobile app for the entire year. 
  • I will consume the recommended 1,200 calories per day to lose 5lbs every month for 5 months. 
  • On June 1, I will increase my daily intake to 1,600 calories per a day to maintain my weight. 
  • I will continue to eat healthy and exercise regularly. 
  • I have set monthly milestone reminders in my calendar. 
  • At the end of each month, I will reward myself with a $25 non-food related splurge if I reach my monthly goal. 
  • If I reach my overall goals on June 1 and Dec 31, I will reward myself with a $100 non-food related splurge for each.
  • My husband is my accountability partner. 
  • At the end of every month, I will tell him whether or not I met my goal. If I don’t achieve my monthly goal, I have to tell him why I didn’t.

I’ve been creating this plan for a couple of weeks, but it’s the first time I’ve written it down – this is totally doable! :) 

What goals are you going to set for 2014?

If you’re ready to turn your “spend less and save more” resolution into an achievable goal – We can help!  

-Leah Schonlank

Finance Gym offers personal finance coaching in professionally facilitated peer-advisory groups. 
We motivate. We inspire. We support. We help people change their lives by improving their finances.

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