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Beauty Trends & Tips - New Year's Resolutions

The New Year's Resolution Dilemma
How to create meaningful and realistic resolutions that you'll actually keep.


What's your New Year's resolution? It's a question most of us ask just to make conversation, but this year, why not take the time to create a vision for your future? (Take a deep breathe and exhale.) Yes, you really can make your dreams a reality. Here are just a few steps to help you on your way.

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Prioritize your values and life goals

In order to set goals to accomplish things in your life, you first must figure out what is worth accomplishing. What is goal-worthy to you?

Barry Zweibel, an executive coach, leadership consultant, master certified life coach, and president of GottaGettaCoach!, Inc. (www.ggci.com), breaks up the possible areas for goal-setting into "Life Factors" and then asks you to rate them 1 to 10 in terms of both where you want to be ("B") and where you actually are ("R").

Life Factor

B

R

Health/Fitness

Friends

Family

Romance

Personal Growth

Rest/Relaxation

Physical Environment

Career

Money

Joy/Laughter
















According to Zweibel, any life factor where your rating varies by 2 or more from where you want to be and where you actually are is "ripe for a New Year's Resolution."

You may also consider questions such as:

  1. What do you wish people would say about you when you are not listening?
  2. If you were to write your own obituary what would it say?
  3. If money didn't matter, what would you do with your time?

Prioritizing your life values and beliefs helps to eliminate any superfluous goals that aren't worth stressing over. Compare these "beliefs" with your present reality. Does the amount of time and effort you put into each of these Life Factors correspond with how important it is to you? If not, it's time to set a goal and make a change.


Create goals which are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant & time-bound

Once you've established what is important to you, it's critical that you take the next step of considering how to translate these values and life goals into day-to-day actions that you can start measuring today.

The SMART goal mnemonic can be a powerful tool for formulating the proper goal. Just follow this checklist:

  • S - Specific
  • M - Measurable
  • A - Attainable
  • R - Realistic
  • T - Time-bound

    Specific

    To be specific about a goal you need to be able to answer what and how. What are you specifically going to do? How are you going to do it?

    The goal must be specific. If you wish to be healthier, you need to break this goal down into smaller steps. For example, every meal I eat will include a fruit or vegetable. Obviously, the nature of your life goal will impact the number of specific goals needed to achieve.

    Measurable

    Creating a measurable goal is an easy way for you to measure your own success and to ensure a mechanism of self-analysis and improvement. Checking to see if you've eaten a serving of fruit or vegetables with every meal is a simple, measurable question.

    Attainable

    Although challenging yourself is important, it can be discouraging if you keep setting goals that aren't within your reach. Setting and structuring a goal that is possible to achieve will be a major confidence-booster, as well as a set up for success.

    Niquenya D. Fulbright, an executive life coach and certified mediator from Chicago with over 10 years of experience, has an alternative to 'attainable' goals. "Many people use 'attainable' in SMART, but I like to say 'action-oriented' because in the process of creating the goal, many people forget the actual doing of the goal," Fulbright said.

    Realistic

    Do you really believe you can achieve this goal? You need to both want to work toward the goal and be capable of achieving the goal. If you really want to commit to eating a fruit or vegetable at every meal and also want to meet your friends for drinks and dinner after work, you may have to pack a dinner (or fruit snack) and just have drinks while your friends have dinner at the local pub. If you're not willing to make it happen or if you don't think it's possible, then it's not going to happen.

    Time-bound

    Create a time frame for your goal. Without a concrete time frame to anchor your goal, there's no sense of urgency. Saying you'll eat healthy "by December 31st" as oppose to "someday" or "in the future" will give the push you need to move forward toward achieving that goal.


    Re-evaluate and adjust daily, monthly, quarterly and annually

    After figuring out what's important to you and creating your goal, break that goal down into short-term monthly, weekly and daily goals. Breaking a very intimidating and daunting long-term goal into short-term goals is a good way to boost your confidence - with each milestone marker, you see the progress you're capable of making. Each small victory is a testament to your future success.

    After breaking down your long-term goal into many short-term goals, the next most important thing is to check in on those short-term goals - daily. You may consider re-evaluating your Life Factors from time to time as your needs and desires change over the years.

    Barry Zweibel of GottaGettaCoach!, Inc., said acknowledging the small ways you're accomplishing your goals nourishes your resolutions. "On some days you'll be able to make great strides, while on other days, mere baby steps will be a great achievement," Zweibel said, "A lot of little steps will still get you there, though."

    Even though checking on your goals daily may appear time-consuming, it's one of the most crucial steps in keeping yourself accountable. It's too easy to fall into the habit of pushing your daily goals to the bottom of your to-do list.

    If you no longer feel the relevancy of your goals, don't feel stuck in a rut. Dreams are always changing. Updating and re-evaluating your goals are necessary in keeping your goals SMART.


    Keep yourself motivated and accountable

    Celebrate achievement every day. Forgive yourself when you do not meet a goal, but make sure to reassess and adjust to keep your goals SMART. The steps described above require continuous evaluation and modification to remain relevant. Here are some practical tips to help you successfully achieve your goals:

  • Write your goals down! It's been proven that one of the keys to successfully accomplishing goals is writing them down.

  • Tell a friend. Tell someone you know will be supportive of you or may be trying to accomplish the same things. It helps to have a support system.

  • Learn to say 'no'. "Women have the tendency to take on more than they have time for, and if they don't, they feel guilty. And it's ok to say no, forgive yourself and move on," Fulbright said. "You'll thank yourself later."

  • Keep a day planner. As simple as it may sound, having a day planner can help organize and fit daily goals into the hectic, time-is-not-an-option lifestyle of the everyday woman. Another alternative for the tech-savvy woman: phone planners and PDAs.

  • Use creative reminders. Leaving Post-Its in fun places or writing messages to yourself on your bathroom mirror with dry-erase markers is a different and easy way to remind yourself every day. "The possibilities are truly limitless - all it takes is a little imagination, creativity and intent," Zweibel said.

    If you have a sincere interest in achieving something, commit yourself to doing it. The process of creating goals and reflecting on your success on a day-by-day basis may take several weeks to become a habit. But once it's a habit, you have created the skill set to enable you to control your destiny.

    Fulbright says the whole premise of goals is based on one's own life purpose and dreams - two things every person has in common.

    "Everyone has dreams," Fulbright said. "And as long as you don't vocalize and don't write down a goal, it still remains a dream. Dreams can vanish or they can come true. They are more likely to come true if you put action behind it. Goals help transform possibility into reality."


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