It’s that time of year where you look forward and think about what you want to achieve in the coming year. This year I have taken the approach of using January as a transitional month and ease myself into the year and goals. Changing your habits takes time and its only right that the goals you set yourself support this.
Before we get stuck in to setting goals I do want to say that goals should be designed to help you track what you’re doing and implement change. Goals are not supposed to make you feel bad or that you are not doing enough and if they do then the goals are not aligned to you. Also recognise that if you are setting goals then you are wanting to change something, this can take time and for some people a little scary.
Whats your why
Your ‘why’ will be what keeps you motivated when you are feeling tired or had a bad day. Think of all the reasons why you want to achieve these goals, be specific and go into as much detail as you can. It’s important to connect with the real reason why you want to set the goal or what the change is. Some questions to ask yourself: Why is this goal important to me? Why do I want to implement the change?
Time to get SMART
Using the SMART acronym is something I have used many times and has never let me down yet! It’s an easy way to break down your goals so you know how you are going to achieve them.
Specific – This is all about being as specific as you can be, who is going to be involved with the goal, what is the goal, where if a location is involved, what obstacles might you face and how can you overcome them. Your goal might start being I want to run a 5K race however once you have turned it SMART it would look something like – By next July I want to finish a 5K race by training every day, recording my progress, setting myself mini goals and building on them each week.
Measurable – Its important when working towards a goal that you can measure it so that you can make sure you are going in the right direction but also celebrate your improvements and successes no matter how small. This is not about measuring the end result it’s about tracking what you are doing towards your end goal.
Achievable – This is about how important is the goal to you, what are you going to do to keep it attainable. If you need to learn a new skill or develop yourself then how are you going to do this.
Relevant – Keep it realistic. Does the goal align into you so that it motivates and encourages. To look back at the goal we set earlier, why do you want to run a 5k race. It could be that you have decided you want to be fitter, healthier, set yourself a personal challenge. Make sure that the goals serve a purpose for you.
Time Bound – When do you want to achieve this by, how much time do you need to invest into achieving the goal, what time limits do you have. Make sure that you look at any other commitments that you have so your plan is realisitc.
Write it Down
Writing down your goals make them seem more real and help to keep you focused. Some people like to do an action plan, or a vision board or write them out in a note pad. It definitely helps as you can keep checking back in, making any tweaks if you need to and reminding yourself of the overall goal to hep you stay motivated.
A few tips when setting your goals:
Book yourself plenty of time so that you can brainstorm and focus on you.
Have a cuppa, light a candle, treat yourself to some new stationary, be comfortable so that its a moment of self-care and invest that energy into yourself.
Its good if it takes you a couple of attempts so that it feels how you want it to.
Have some nice snacks on hand to keep you focused and energy levels up.
Having a scrapbook or a vision board can be a good way to brainstorm out your goals and help you get started.
Take a break if you need to, this is about you and don’t force it if you’re not feeling it that day.
Turn off your phone or put it on silent. For all the wonderful things mobile phones and social media provide, they can also be a real distraction.
Break down your goals by having a to do list of smaller day-to-day actions which help to keep you on track.
Keep your goals somewhere that you can see them daily for inspiration and motivation.
Book in regular catch ups with yourself to review your progress.
Remember to celebrate your successes no matter how small, any progresses deserves to be recognised and acknowledged.
Go easy on yourself if things don’t go quite to plan. Sometimes things can go off plan and that is completely fine, you will get back on track when your ready and its right for you to do so!
So there you go, hopefully this will help you set and achieve whatever goals you want. I would love to hear if you are setting any goals and how you are progressing. Or if anyone else has any ideas or tips on setting and achieving goals.