Now that the holiday season is over, it’s time to get back to our regularly scheduled lives. For many of us, the New Year brings with it expectations and hopes for the improvement of ourselves and our lives. Whether or not you make New Year’s resolutions, you’ve likely set goals at some point in your life. One thing I help many of my clients with is setting achievable goals and making those goals become a reality. Here are 6 tips to help you achieve your goals this year.
Determine What You Really Want
The very first step in achieving your goals is to set one that you actually want to accomplish. I know this sounds obvious, but I’ve consulted many people who have set goals and once we start discussing further, they realize they don’t really care if they their goal is achieved or not. Make sure your goal aligns with your values and it’s something worth working for. For example, you may think that you want to earn a promotion at work, however, you know deep down the promotion will mean working longer hours with more travel causing you to spend less time with your loved ones. If your goal doesn’t align with your core values, achieving your goal may not bring any satisfaction when completed. Goal setting can be easy, however, you need to really think through what you want and make sure it’s worth striving for.
Make It Specific
Now that you’ve determined a goal that you actually want to accomplish, be sure the goal is specific. Goal setting to “lose weight” is quite vague, but stating that you want to “lose 10 pounds before your high school reunion” is very specific and something you will know if you accomplish or not. Adding a deadline to your goal, especially one that naturally motivates you (like in the reunion example), is hugely helpful too. If you know exactly what you are aiming for you are more likely to achieve it.
Break It Down
Goal setting can be intimidating and can derail you before you start striving if you don’t break them down into smaller tasks. If your goal is to organize every room in your home before the summer you might feel overwhelmed at such a lofty goal. Create a list of all the small tasks you will need to accomplish that will cause you to meet your big goal. Be sure to set deadlines for each of these tasks so you can stay motivated. Stating that “by January 31st I will go through and organize all of the clothes in my closet and dresser” is a much smaller attainable task that will help you to achieve the big goal of organizing the house by the summer. Just be sure to move on to the next task after one is complete to keep your momentum going.
With all goals, you will need to continuously work toward achieving them day-by-day and week-by-week. Make sure to schedule time in your calendar to work toward your goals as it takes time. If your goal is to lose 10 pounds before your high school reunion, you will likely need to fit exercise into your schedule. Will you go for a run first thing in the morning, take a kickboxing class each Saturday, or jump on your elliptical? Whatever it is you need to do to accomplish your goals be sure to plan and schedule it.
In addition, you need to treat this appointment as seriously as you would any other appointment on your calendar. I read a quote by Anthony Robbins a while back that said “If you talk about your goal it’s a dream if you envision it’s possible, but if you schedule it’s real.” and I believe that to be the truth.
Track Your Progress
An important piece to achieving your goals is tracking your progress. Oftentimes little steps made consistently will get you far, even if those little steps feel insignificant in the moment. I had a client who wanted to write a book but was making very little progress towards her goal because she never found time to write. After discussing a game plan, we determined that she could get up a half-hour early each weekday to write. We posted a blank calendar near her computer and each day she worked on the book for at least 30 minutes she wrote a big red X on that date of the calendar. My client was so motivated by not wanting to “break the chain” that she started waking up early on weekends too to achieve her goal.
If this tactic doesn’t work for your goal, another thing you could do is to post the list of mini-tasks associated with achieving your big goal and as you accomplish them cross them off, but leave those completed tasks visible to remind you of what you have already accomplished.
Celebrate Your Successes
As you work towards your goals be sure to celebrate your progress and successes as you go. Remember that there will be obstacles and setbacks, but working through those is part of the process. As you hit key milestones towards your goals be sure to celebrate your successes, without undermining your efforts. For example, if losing 10 pounds is your goal, reward yourself with a new outfit or running shoes over a decadent dessert. Use the reward to re-ignite your passion for achieving it.
After reading these tips, I hope your goals seem more attainable and leave you feeling motivated to achieve them. I’m very interested in hearing more about what you hope to accomplish this year. Comment below to let me know what you aim to achieve. If you need any extra help, accountability or motivation don’t hesitate to contact me at (267) 970-0769 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to hear about what you’ve accomplished! Good luck!
For more information on services that may help goal setting, visit my other blogs here.