Now that we are well into 2020, our New Year resolutions might have to be turned into smarter objectives.  And I can just feel you sighing and saying to yourself, oh no, I had purposefully forgotten those until next year. 

Well, don’t beat yourself up, we all slip up, and it’s just about learning a different way of doing things.  Do you think that Thomas Edison perfected the light bulb in one go, definitely not, when I googled this, the answer was 1000 times, described as 1000 steps of invention. So, however many steps it takes to make our objectives smarter, the better we will know how to do it in the future.

Here is a list of important lifestyle changes that are really important to you for the rest of the year – and beyond:

Move more
  • Become more active: Even if you do exercise and don’t carry excess weight, but sit around the most of the time at home and at work, it can have a negative effect on posture and health. So, find ways of moving  around more throughout the day instead of being stuck in front of the computer.  For example: exercise while watching TV, pace while being on the phone, park further away from your destination, take the stairs, or go for walks.

  • Take responsibility for your life:  How, you might ask.  Would you rather live a life with rules, or lead a life that is governed by you?  It’s really easy to put blame on things that are external to you, as it avoids personal responsibility and allows you to ignore what could be beneficial if you, if you changed. So what can you change?

  • Eating healthier food, and less food overall: Following on from taking responsibility for yourself, try switching to a healthier diet and reducing junk food. Cooking from scratch is a good way to start, it allows you to save money, eat the food you love, cooked just the way you like it

  • Watch less TV: Most of us spend too much time in front of the TV. Why not try cutting down to the programmes you really want to watch, so you don’t just mindlessly end up watching anything and everything. Once we manage to do this, we realise just how long and productive a day can really be.

  • Become more organised: It doesn’t matter how much time you have on your hands if you don’t manage it properly – I find it so easy to be a bit aimless when I don’t have some sort of a plan, and a tidy place to work, and that includes having the files on my laptop organised too.  When you get organised there will suddenly be more time to spare and things will start falling into place. Try making to-do lists, and making time in your diary for everything that needs doing – in order of priority. And don’t forget to set aside time for yourself.  You can’t do everything you want to do, if you don’t look after yourself first.

  • Reduce stress: research says that stress is one of the biggest killers out there, and it can have a negative effect on relationships and  health. It may be an unavoidable side effect of our hectic modern lifestyles, but it can be effectively managed by taking responsibility of your life, moving more, eating healthily, cutting down on TV and social media time – to name a few.

  • Spend less time on social media:  Social media has become a serious addiction. It’s fine to stay in touch with friends and family, but if you consistently spend more and more time each day on social media, it could impact your mood, and wellbeing in general.  Social media is also used to numb ourselves to our own feelings, as some of us overreact to our social media ‘friends’ posts.  We also experience the fear of missing out, because everyone posts ‘such a wonderful life’ on social media, meanwhile, in reality we are all in the same boat facing similar challenges.

Use less social media
  • So how to change how you use social media?

    Have an accountability buddy, set a time each day when you will engage with social media, go for a walk with a friend instead of looking at their face on social media. Try doing a 7 day social media detox, it is amazing how liberating it is.  Doing a detox allows you to be in the moment, without thinking of what pictures you can post, really enjoy where you are, what you are doing and who you are with – especially if it is yourself.

How do you make your smarter objectives achievable?

  • Pick just one smart objective, and when you feel that you are on track with that one, you can start adding more.

    You could start by writing down your smarter objective, making a note of how you might achieve it, and any obstacles that might stand in your way. By knowing exactly what you want to accomplish and the difficulties you might face, you’ll be better prepared to stick to your resolution and overcome potential struggles.

  • Start With Small Steps

    If you have want to run a marathon, start by going for a jog two or three times a week….

    If you are trying to eat healthier, start by replacing some of your favourite junk foods with more nutritious foods

    Start slow with small changes, this will make it easier to stick to your new habits and increase the likelihood of long-term success.

  • Change Is a Process

    Unhealthy habits developed over years can take some time to change, remember that this is not a race to the finish. Once you have made the commitment and have success along the way, it lays down the base layer for future potential changes.

Are your Smarter Objectives in line with Your Values?

If you don’t know why your smarter objective is important to you, then it might be a bit random. Understanding the why will give a stronger sense of purpose, and this sense of purpose will keep motivation up during difficult times. When you lack a sense of purpose ask yourself if your Smarter Objective is in line with your values.

What are values?

Values are principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgement of what is important to you in life.  Here are a few examples:

  • Reliability

  • Integrity

  • Loyalty

  • Commitment

  • Open mindedness

  • Consistency

  • Honesty

  • Compassion

  • Spirit of adventure

  • Motivation

  • Positivity

  • Optimism

  • Passion

  • Respect

  • Courage

  • Education

  • Perseverance

  • Service to others

If You Stumble, don’t let it Bring You Down

Setbacks are one of the most common reasons why we give up on our Smarter objectives/New Year’s Resolutions/goals. If you suddenly relapse into a bad habit, don’t view it as a failure – use it as a learning experiment.

The path toward your goal is not a straight one, and there are always going to be challenges. Instead, view relapses as learning opportunities – just like Thomas Edison perfecting his light bulb after 1000 attempts.  Think rather about aiming high, but starting low,  celebrating along the way, and keep on going with smaller steps that contribute to your bigger smarter objectives.