Coming closer to the end of the year is the perfect time to go over your goals from the previous year, and to consider your goals for next year. Even if you didn’t achieve all of your goals, or some new unexpected goals cropped up, now is the time to do a mental system reset and start the year with a fresh new outlook and new enthusiasm. Whether you reach the mark every year, or you haven’t had much luck sticking to your new year’s resolutions in past years, these tips will teach you a few simple techniques to increase your chances of success and also make the whole process a lot more fun.
1) Make only one resolution, your chances of success are much higher when you focus on changing just one thing. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t have more goals for the year, just one main resolution. Your other goals should support this main resolution.
2) Start thinking now, don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution. Take some real time out and reflect upon what you really want to achieve.
3) Don’t just choose something for the sake if it, or because everyone else is doing it. Instead think about what you really want out of life.
4) Deciding to re-visit a past resolution and going about it the same way you did the first time sets you up for frustration and disappointment. However choosing something you do really want to achieve and have failed at before means re-thinking the method of achieving your goal.
5) Break your goal into a series of steps. The smaller the steps the easier they are to achieve. When creating these steps, try to focus on making them concrete, measurable, time-based, and achievable for your lifestyle.
6) Don’t be scared to change your steps towards your resolution if they become too difficult or unrealistic. Life happens and unexpected things occur, if you are faced with changes to your daily routine, you sometimes need to shift your goals to fit with these new changes.
7) Tie your habit to a certain time of day or another action, this will make is part of your routine which makes it easier to keep up.
8) Tell your friends and family about your goals, start a blog or facebook page, this will increase the fear of failure (making you do it) and you’ll get a lot of support.
9) Remind yourself as often as possible of the benefits you will see once your goal is achieved. Make a checklist of how you will start to feel as you take a step closer to your goal. Its important not to wait until the entire goal is achieved or you will lose interest.
10) Reward your efforts! Celebrate your milestones and give yourself a reward whenever you achieve a step towards your goal. This will also help maintain motivation and a sense of progress when the end result can seem very far away.
11) Track your plans and progress by keeping a handwritten journal, completing a computer spreadsheet or covering a notice board with graphs or pictures. Yet another way to keep that motivation up and seeing your goal become a reality.
12) Plan ahead. You can definitely expect to revert to your old habits from time to time, especially in the early days. Have a step by step plan set up to help kick start your motivation again and get yourself back on track. You might want to think about 3 objections or excuses you would have when facing your resolution, think up 3 different options to overcome each of your objections. Excuses, and objections, falling off the wagon, are only temporary set-backs, NOT a reason to give up altogether.
I came across a quote that feels very relevant to goal setting and achieving.
“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” ~Jack Dixon
So true! So many of us focus on the end result believing we wont be happy until we get there, we don’t see the change as it happens because we’re waiting to reach the end result.
Good luck with your goal planning for 2014!