Have you ever set a new years resolution and by March already failed at it? I have, numerous times. Some years I have already failed by January 2. The biggest reason, I see, we sometimes fail at our new years resolution is we are setting these goals in error. We aren’t doing it right! In 2018 I have been reading up on setting achievable goals and developing strategies to be successful. I would like to share them with you to help you in your goal setting in 2019.
First your goals should be specific. Don’t make you new years resolution to “loose weight.” You need to include how much and by when and your goals should be measurable as well. A good goal should be, loose 20 pounds by April 1. If you want to pick up a new language, set a goal to complete 50% of a Spanish course by June. Be sure to pick a time frame that is possible to complete your goals but not so far out in the future that it doesn’t place any pressure on you to complete. Don’t set a goal to get 10% stronger by December 1. By not placing any pressure on yourself to complete a goal you are just as likely to fail as if setting a goal with too short of a time frame to complete it in. Goals shouldn’t be stressful but placing a deadline on your goals helps to motivate us to complete them.
Another big component is that goals should be realistically achievable. Don’t set a goal too big to complete in too short of a time frame. Going back to a common new years goal of loosing weight, people who successfully loose weight and keep it off do so at about 1 to 2 pounds a week. If you are planning on loosing weight by about spring break time it is only realistic to set about a 12-24 pound goal in that time frame.
Don’t set a goal regarding a topic you have no real interest or excitement about. If you dislike Brussels sprouts, even though they are healthy to eat, don’t set a goal to eat Brussels sprouts one meal a week all year. There are lots of healthy greens to try, so if your goal is to eat healthy, perhaps a better goal would be to try different healthy greens at one meal a week all year. It might be exciting to look up different greens and vegetables, and the recipes to try with them, as a way to introduce new greens to your healthy meal planning.
Limit yourself in the number of goals you set each year, write them down, and come back to that list often. Perhaps limit yourself to 5 goals but for sure no more than ten. When you write them down, be sure to write down what you are going to do to accomplish those goals. Refer back to that list often, journal your progress, and reward yourself when you reach your goal. This reward shouldn’t undue whatever work you did to reach your goal but it should help motivate you towards completing your goal. Writing it down is very important and so is reviewing it periodically. You might find yourself having to write down quarterly or weekly goals that help you achieve your overall yearly goals.
I am, by no means, an expert on goal setting but I have read from a few experts. Most of what I do, today, to help me in setting and working towards my goals I read from an author Michael Hyatt. If you are looking for a great resource on goal setting I would suggest reading his book Your Best Year Ever. He also produces a planner that is geared toward goal setting called the Full Focus Planner. If you do pick up his material you will see that just about everything I wrote about in this blog is from his work. I have found the way he describes successful goal setting and achieving makes great sense. He sells some online coursework and in person seminars, I am not commenting on any of that as I have not done them nor plan to do so. I am not trying to sell his stuff either. I just find his way to organize fits my personality and life.
I hope you found this post helpful. I talk to so many people who have the desire to improve their life, see things happen in their health who end up missing the mark. Many times it’s because they set out without a clear plan just a new years wish. I think that the best way to grow in 2019 is to do so by writing down your specific goals and the framework of a plan to achieve them.