Don’t get me wrong, I think making goals and setting benchmarks for yourself is very important. I just don’t buy into the fact that these have to be made at the beginning of the New Year. I find people often feel forced to set a goal for themselves that they are only doing because it’s a new year and they feel pressured. They aren’t truly ready to commit to it and will only end up disappointed and down on themselves. I think goals should be set on your own timeline when you feel they are needed. Goals should also be re-evaluated constantly and the amount of re-evaluation really depends on what the goal is and the term of the goal. If it’s a short-term goal of a month you may need to review and evaluate several times a week. On the other hand, a one year goal may only need review every month or semi-annually.
Each year I try to make myself a new fitness goal. This year it’s a half-marathon, last year it was the Whistler GranFondo, and the year before it was the Valley Medio Fondo. I don’t make these goals at the beginning of the year, but usually during my training for a different race or at the end of one of my accomplishments. I then need to re-evaluate as I am training to determine what will work best for me to reach my final goal.
If setting goals at the beginning of the year works for you then great! But sometimes it takes a few weeks just to settle back into work after the Holidays and the last thing you need is the added stress of some unaccomplishable goal. Give yourself a break, don’t set goals you can’t accomplish, and if you set a goal, make sure it is for you and not because you feel pressure from your pears.