Harvey MacKay — ‘A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.’
One of the best things about starting a new year is getting a fresh start. We all feel highly motivated around this time of year as it’s like a clean slate has presented itself, a way to forget our past failures and move forward to achieve our dreams. The only problem is that for most people, this motivation is fleeting and as the year moves forward, these dreams are left behind. One of the best ways to make sure your dreams become reality is to set goals. Good goal setting is a skill everyone should develop. Here are few tips to help you create great goals and achieve them.
Keep Them Balanced
We have all been there. You are trying to implement a new health plan or regime and say to yourself “I am going to get up at 5.30am every morning and go for a run” or “I’m never eating chocolate again”. But these “all or nothing” goals are set up for failure, because more often then not we slip up (or sleep in and miss that morning run!) and end up feeling like a failure. Setting more balanced and achievable goals (and meeting them!) makes you feel positive and inspired to achieve more! For instance, setting a goal such as “I’m going to exercise three times per week” is a more balanced goal and one you are more likely to stick with.
Small Steps Every Day
This is one of my mantras and something I actually have written up in my office. Creating big goals feels good, but it’s the work you do every single day that actually helps you achieve these objectives. A great way to keep track of these small steps is to write a list of small goals either in the evening or first thing in the morning. Some people prefer handwriting these goals so they can tick them off but online programs such as Trello are also really great for keeping track. Working this way gives you clear objectives and reduces feelings of overwhelm and procrastination.
Speak Your Own Language
I help lots of my clients create goals around their health and wellbeing. It might be a weight loss goal, fitness aspirations, dreams about starting a family, or finally building up the courage to start their own business. Some people are very visual and so creating a vision board, or perhaps putting up a picture of them at their ideal weight works well. Other clients prefer to write down their goals in the form of a story, and set goals that they can actually tick off once completed. Have a think about what you respond best too and keep it in mind when setting goals.
First coined by George T Doran, this acronym refers to setting goals that are:
- Specific – what exactly do you want to achieve?
- Measurable – is it meaningful and can you measure it?
- Attainable – can you actually achieve this goal?
- Relevant – is it realistic and relevant to you?
- Time Bound – deadlines are super important!
It’s a great place to start if you are a little unclear or feeling overwhelmed with goal setting. This type of goal setting also gives your goals structure and you can track them more easily. Next time you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure of how to create your goals, keep this SMART way of goal setting in mind.
Good luck setting your new years goals. Keeping these tips in mind will help you create and achieve your objectives in 2018. I love helping my clients set health and wellness goals that they can actually achieve. Come see me for a consultation. I’d love to meet you.
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