Time To Take On 2018 With A Clear Strategy For Goals
Generally, we are all excited to start a new year afresh and achieve new goals, and 2018 is no different. As a result of different habits and failures, by June the majority of us have let go of our New Year’s resolutions, and by December we have forgotten we even made them, and it’s easy to become despondent and insecure as a result.
“The cause of our inability to stick to well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions can be attributed to a lack of understanding as to how people change, but particularly the role of habits,” Tony de Gouveia, a clinical psychologist at Akeso Clinic Albrton, points out.
He goes on to explain that 90% of our normal behaviour is based on our habits. “We are creatures of habit, both good and successful ones, but also bad an unsuccessful ones. However, we can change our habits. The average response time is 21 days or approximately 3-4 weeks, but the problem is that most people give up before then.”
Use the SMART system to set up goals
Sometimes you need more than just pure will to realize a change or a new habit. “The best way to face changes and challenges that may come our way in 2018 is to confront them head on. Avoidance just won’t do. So we need to position ourselves in terms of the direction which we wish to take over the next 12 months, and set ‘SMART’ goals around this direction. These are goals that are Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-frame specific. This acronym ensures that these goals (actually) happen, unlike many New Year’s resolutions.”
Goals are like magnets that pull us toward our target by creating drive and purpose, which help us to focus our attention and increase motivation.
A goal without a number is just a slogan.
Keep yourself accountable by writing your goals down on paper. This makes them far more motivational. Then add a deadline, which gives it urgency and keeps you from postponing it. Finally, finish it off with the enabler that allows us to carry out any goal, namely confidence.
“A resilient, adaptable mind-set with realistic and flexible expectations as well as the ability to self-correct in the face of the strongest of winds (resistance) are powerful coping mechanisms,” he says. “The Chinese have a saying, “If you fall seven times, you must get up eight times.”
The repetition of positive habits through time eventually become hard-wired and automatic, requiring little conscious effort.
To achieve success with your goals, avoid complacency, arrogance and avoidance. “Each of these poses its own dangers which include, primarily, being out of sync with the reality/environment and more importantly the people, family and friends around you,” he advises.
Help & assistance
Major Depressive Disorder or MDD results from feeling that you are unable to cope, which can slide in gradually and leave you experiencing helplessness.
“Up to 20% of the world population experiences some form of non-coping and depression. Firstly, you should not personalise depression or not coping. Secondly, help is at hand; there are many healthcare professionals in both state and private healthcare facilities who are ready and waiting to assist. Akeso clinics are based across South Africa and NGO’s such as the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) assist persons who have fallen victim to anxiety and depression,” de Gouveia says.
5 Tips to get the most out of 2018
- Smile and feel better instantly. A positive attitude is one that you have to choose.
- Develop your emotional intelligence skills – they are a great help when you are under stress. Click here to find out how emotional intelligence can help you with better decision making.
- Do a personal strategy analysis and strategic plan.
- Be more mindful.
- Lastly, remember that threats and crises are opportunities and “strangers are friends you don’t know”.
Learn how to make your health goals happen by clicking here.