5 Questions To Help You Set Meaningful Goals for 2013

12/29/2012

New years resolutions photo

The season of overindulgence is almost over--cocktails parties, work happy hours, all day family affairs -- and the festive fun becomes replaced with overwhelming guilt.

But the weight that gathers in those problem areas isn’t permanent because come the New Year, it’s go time. With resolutions in place you’ll be back on track in no time. If only that were true.

For so many of us, resolve hardly lasts through Martin Luther King Day before we give up and move on.

Guilt Doesn’t Build Confidence

New Year's resolutions are associated with guilt and it’s that guilt that makes you less likely to succeed. Guilt makes us feel inadequate and actual success comes from having the confidence that you’ll succeed in whatever you put your mind to. Confidence has nothing to do with your weight or success in life. It’s the way you view yourself.

Who Is it for?

If your New Year’s resolutions are built around pleasing others, you’re less likely to be successful. Be confident enough to succeed in your goals for you, and not just to look hot for that new guy you just started dating. 

Think Meaningful

The external nature of our resolutions also binds us. Instead of deciding that you need to drop a size, why not resolve to think of others before you think of yourself or to not lose your temper when someone cuts you off while driving? Set meaningful goals this year.

In order to choose meaningful goals, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Where do you see yourself in 1 year, 2 years, and 5 years?

2. When have you been the happiest this year?

3. What aspects of your life do not serve you?

4. What do you want more of in your life?

5. Are any of your habits unhealthy in the long term?

After asking yourself these questions, resolve to take meaningful steps toward your goals. Be specific in your goals. Instead of saying that you want a career change, lay out how to get there and what exactly you need to be doing to get there. Choose one goal specifically and then write out a ten point plan for how to get there. 

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man." - Benjamin Franklin

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Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on SereneKitchen.com. She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.


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