It’s that time of year again, time to start thinking about our goals for the new year. While it may seem a bit early to start thinking of next year, setting a good goal may take some time.
Each year virtually everyone sets a New Year’s resolution. Whether they plan it out in detail or simply make a quick mental note of what they want to accomplish over the next year. Unfortunately, a lot of goals go by the wayside just a month or two into the new year. So how can we make sure we set goals that we’ll achieve?
The first step is to pick a goal that you really want, and that has meaning to you. If you make your goal something that you’re doing for someone else, you’ll never achieve it because it’s not important to you, it’s important to someone else.
Next, make it specific. We cal all set goals to save more money, or lose some weight, but what exactly is “more” money or “some” weight? If you save 1 cent, that is “more” than 0 cents… boom, goal achieved! But likely, that’s not what you really meant. Be specific with your goal so that you’ll know when you’ve achieved it, and can be proud.
Make sure to also make your goal attainable. Sure, we all want to save up a billion dollars, but that’s not really an attainable goal. If we set goals that we know we’ll never achieve, we’ll give up on our goal real quick (i.e. two months into the new year).
Once you have a meaningful goal that’s specific, set a deadline for your goal. Anyone can save up $5,000 given all the time in the world… because they would simply keep putting it off since there’s no deadline. But setting a deadline keeps you focused on working on your goal every day since you have a limited amount of time.
Now that you have a number and a date, you can break your goal down into smaller goals to tackle. Trying to focus on achieving a larger goal can seem overwhelming, but if we break it down into smaller goals, we feel as though it is achievable. As an added bonus, achieving smaller goals more often, helps us build momentum towards that larger goal. It feels good to accomplish what we set out to do, and that positive feeling keeps us moving towards that bigger goal.
Change your goal from an “I want to” statement to an “I will” statement. We all “want” things, but that doesn’t mean we actually get them. Just because I say I want to go to the gym, doesn’t mean that I actually will. The same goes for goals. You need to change your thinking about your goal from something that you simply want, to something that you are actually going to do.
Finally, write down why this goal is important to you. How will reaching this goal change your life? This step is a very important one, because when you reach a period of waning focus, you need to be able to go back and remind yourself why you’re working so hard.
Now that you know the steps for setting your goal, let’s see an example…
- Pick a goal that’s meaningful and relevant.
- Example: I want to lose weight.
- Make it measurable, and attainable.
- Example: I want to lose 30 pounds.
- Set a deadline.
- Example: I want to lose 30 pounds by June 30, 2014.
- Break it down into smaller goals.
- Example: I want to lose 5 pounds per month.
- Change it from an “I want to” statement to an “I will” statement.
- Example: I will lose 30 pounds by June 30th, 2014, and I will lose 5 pounds per month.
- Specify why it’s important to you to reach this goal.
- Example: My clothes are getting tight and I want to fit into them more easily as well as feel more comfortable in my own skin.
That’s it, that’s how to set goals that you can finally achieve. So, go set some goals. And one last thing… there’s a final step… yes, yes, I lied… there are actually 7 steps to setting goals that you’ll actually achieve. This last step is a magic step that will cement your goal into becoming a reality. Share your goal with others. Tell your significant other, your friends, your family, and strangers on the street. Tell everyone your goal! This will help keep you motivated, because no one wants to answer a question about how they’re doing on that goal they set with “I gave up.”
What are your goals for 2014? #BodyRocking2014
Photo By: Bob Jagendorf