At the start of every new year I like to write down my goals for the upcoming year. Even though I pester my husband, he never joins in. He says things like, “Why should I set a goal that I know I’m not going to achieve?”
It isn’t just my husband, it seems that New Year’s resolutions are becoming more of a cliché and many people are lacking confidence in setting and achieving goals.
When setting goals, I choose the S.M.A.R.T. method. It helps refine the goal and sets a clear plan to support and achieve it.
What do you want to achieve in your area of focus?
Maybe you want to improve your relationships or improve your health? Picking a specific goal that is measurable will help you focus on one defined goal instead of a blanketed goal. Ask yourself the five “W” questions:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Why do I want to accomplish this goal?
- Who is involved?
- Where? Identify a location.
- Which? Identify requirements and constraints.
Why is this goal important to you?
Set goals you are passionate about. You are more likely to complete a goal that you care about. Ask yourself if the goal seems worthwhile? If so, you will have more determination and drive to finish what you set out to do.
What steps will you take to achieve it?
Having an overarching goal is good, but now you need to break that goal up into smaller goals that you can plan out and implement into your daily routine.
Packing a healthy lunch the night before or setting up an automated deposit into your savings account are smaller steps that set you up to achieve your goals. Small steps require you to create a plan of action.
Have concrete criteria for measuring your progress towards your goals.
By setting up checkpoints, you’re able to know how close or how far away you are from reaching your goal. Set smaller target dates, that way when you reach them, it adds a sense of achievement that then spurs you to continue on with your goal.
When do you want to achieve this goal?
Grounding your goal within a specific time-frame gives you a target date. This allows you to focus on the goal even when day-to-day chores seem to pile up. This creates a sense of urgency to complete the goal.
Another way to make sure you keep on track with your New Year’s resolution is to write your goal down and put it somewhere you will see it daily.
When you write the goal down it becomes concrete – before it was only an aspiration. Seeing it daily will keep the goal on your mind throughout the day making it more of a priority. It becomes more important on your daily to do list and hopefully turns into a habit.
Do you create New Year’s Resolutions? If not, why? Tell us in the comments!
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