By Scott Colby

We’ve just turned the calendar to a new year and while I’m not a big believer in setting New Year’s resolutions, I am a big believer in setting goals that will challenge you and help you create new, positive healthy habits. When picking these goals, there are a few things to keep in mind and three questions to ask yourself:

1. Why do you want to start this new habit?

It’s great that you might want to send someone a handwritten thank you card each day, but why is it important to you? If it’s not truly important to you; if it doesn’t stir up emotions, there is a good chance you won’t stick to it. So, take a few minutes to clarify your purpose for starting the new habit or setting the goal; it’s one of the simplest ways to stay motivated and on task.

2. How will you overcome obstacles?

No matter what goal you set, you’re always going to come up against obstacles that will make reaching your goal more difficult. Let’s say you’ve decided to eat healthier in 2017, but a friend has invited you out for pizza. It’s tempting to just give in and eat that pizza, right? Plan ahead for these obstacles. Will you give in and eat the pizza? Maybe you will still go out to the pizza joint with your friend, but order a healthier option. Perhaps you’ll stay in, but invite your friend over after they get back and spend some quality time together. Whatever you choose when obstacles arise, it’s always best to fall back on your “why” that we talked about in #1 to help you overcome those obstacles.

3. Who will you be accountable to?

Looking back on the goals I’ve accomplished; I can’t think of one goal I reached all by myself. Think of Michael Jordan and his quest to be the best basketball player in the world. He had a coach, teammates, a personal trainer, the team doctor, and a dietitian all surrounding him to help reach his goals. Who will you surround yourself with and invite to be on your “team” to help reach your goals this year? Choose your teammates wisely. They should be people that will be supportive of you, but also challenge you to do your best.

Just remember to ask yourself these questions when setting new goals and starting new habits whether it’s at the beginning of a new year, or anytime.

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