We’re in the throes of January, when everyone has their resolutions plastered all over social media, and everyone seems consumed with the new and better version of themselves they want to be. That’s great, but how about we focus in on goals instead of resolutions. Resolutions are a dream, something you resolve to do, but more than likely (according to all kinds of studies) will not achieve. So let’s set some clear goals, develop a plan, and then follow these steps to actually get it done.
Pick a goal YOU want to achieve
That may seem obvious, but so many people choose goals based on some external pressure.Lose weight, quit smoking, make more money, etc. But to set a goal you can really follow through with, it needs to be something you want with everything you’ve got. You’re more likely to push harder, to keep going when it’s tough, and to fight for your win when it’s something that your heart is fully centered on, not something that someone else thinks you should do.Find your ‘why’ behind the goal and keep that the focus.
Once you’ve picked your goal, dig a little deeper. So, for example, if you want to lose weight,you might say you want to lose 40lbs. Or, if you’re looking to improve your performance, you might say you want to improve your running time by a specific number of seconds per distance. Or if you want to build up your savings, have set amounts that need to be achieved at certain times. The more specific you get when it comes to your goals, the easier it is to track and the more likely you are to stick the behaviors that will get you there.
Give yourself a time frame
Look realistically at your goal and give yourself a date to achieve it by. Along the time frame you give yourself, make smaller goals with rewards when you reach them. Maybe you want to lose 10lbs by the end of March. This goal gives you something to push forward to; a sense of accomplishment when you make it to your first “mini goal”, and a reward to keep you going. Your journey to your goal will be up and down, there’s no doubt about it. Accomplishing these mini goals reminds you that while the road has been tough, you’re still pushing forward to your goal.
While you may already have mini goals in place that help you to see your progress, setting up a tracking schedule can mean the difference between your success and your failure. Researchers at the University of Sheffield found that people who tracked their progress were more successful than those who didn’t. Pick a day, preferably not during the work week, to check in with yourself, your progress, and even an accountability partner if you have one. This helps you to see where you’re at, and evaluate the steps you’ve been taking towards your goal. You may find there are times you haven’t been as focused and you need to pick it up, or you may see you’re attacking your goal ferociously and may want to adjust your end goal to do even more.
Goals make us better and can improve our way of life tremendously.They’re not always easy to achieve, but using these tips can help you finally reach those goals you set. The most important thing to remember is that it’s not going to happen overnight. If you fall on the journey to your goal, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep moving