Have you set your goals for the year yet?
This is the time of year when many people decide they are going to lose weight, stop smoking, stop drinking, reduce debt and spend more time with family and friends. They start out with the best intentions but it all tends to quickly fall apart as they fall back into their old ways.
When you look back over the last year, what did you hope to achieve? What went well?
What stopped you achieving some of your goals?
Here are 5 tips on how to stay on track with your goals;
1) What is the ideal picture for you? What do you want your life to look like in 12 months time? Until you have a clear vision of what you want it is going to prove difficult to find goals you really want to focus on and achieve.
Find a pen and paper and write out (or draw) what would be the ideal situation for you in 12 months time. Don’t worry at this stage about reality or the obstacles that might get in the way, just focus on the possibilities. Let yourself dream for a while and then you can start looking at what you really desire and what is feasible. You can then start on some goal setting to help take the first steps to achieving what you really want in life.
2) Make your goals SMART ones, for example:
S = Specific – I want to lose weight is a general goal, whereas I want to lose enough weight to be able to wear a particular dress is specific.
M= Measurable – to wear the dress I will need to lose 7lbs
A = Achievable – Losing the required amount of weight is feasible given the timeframe mentioned below.
R = Resonant – too often we can choose goals which are achievable and measurable, but don’t actually mean anything to us. Therefore our desire to achieve them can be low and is usually the reason why we don’t achieve them. It is important that the goals we choose are important to us.
T = Time driven – I want to wear the dress on February 14th, so I need to lose 7lbs in the next 6 weeks.
3) Why is this goal really important to you? What will it give you that you don’t already have ? Are you doing it for you, or is it something you feel you should aim for or is it something others want? If you are not doing it for yourself, your chances of success are much lower. You need to set goals where you will feel a sense of personal fulfilment by achieving them.
4) Write down your goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them. What are the first steps in the process? How will you monitor your progress? Do you have a plan B? Research has shown that writing down your goals and the plan you have to achieve them increases the chances of success, but it is equally important to keep reviewing your progress and having alternative strategies in place should you stray off the plan or fall behind.
5) What is going to be your reward for achieving your goal? In the plan to achieve your goals you need to have milestones to help you gauge your progress, and you need to take time out to celebrate reaching each milestone. Doing this helps maintain your enthusiasm and focus, with some sort of celebration planned for when you reach the end goal.
“I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.” Michael Phelps
“People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.” Tony Robbins
What do you want to achieve this year?
What will be different?
As you look back in December, what will you be congratulating yourself on?