Every year, we feel pressure to set New Year’s Resolutions. And mostly, we fail to achieve them. By now, you may already have given up on your New Year’s Resolutions and be feeling thoroughly depressed about it. It is this pressure, I feel, which actually causes us to fail much of the time, rather than succeed. This year, get further than you have ever got before by adding a new element to your goal setting – fun!
You know, by this time, that your goals need to be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, time-bound and realistic. You will have written them down and ensured that they mean something to you. You may even have taken positive action. However, sometimes this very process can weigh us down and the feeling of another monkey on our back crushes our motivation.
By ensuring that our goals are fun, we can maintain our morale and sense of achievement. Instead of doing things that we feel we must, we can do things that we want to. The level of achievement will be significantly greater as a result and we will be happier, all round.
Here are 2 examples. A SMART resolution would be to go to the gym for 45 minutes, 4 times a week. Realistic and measurable? Yes. But fun? Not really. Swap one of those sessions for running outdoors with a friend and enter a 10k race this Easter. That sounds more like it. A super sensible goal would be to try and become a manager of your department this year. Something which would be a bit more fun would be to create a completely free, team building exercise with your manager’s approval. Everyone would enjoy themselves and you will demonstrate your leadership skills without even noticing.
Jo Pavey won the European 10,000m title in 2014, at the age of 40 and after having had 2 children. She is described as a modern day super woman for achieving so much whilst also juggling her babies and home life. She sees things differently, however, and cites the fact that she has so little time to train that she has to focus keenly and enjoy what she does. If she doesn’t have fun with her training, it doesn’t work for her, or her family.
So take a leaf out of Jo Pavey’s book in 2015. Set goals which suit you, goals which you enjoy and are fun. Then, reap the rewards that you deserve.