Setting goals is really important for self-development, as well as raising our motivation levels and giving us a sense of purpose. The Christmas period gives us all some much-needed time off to relax, spend time with family and indulge in one too many mince pies! But as the new year draws closer, we may be starting to plan towards 2018, and how we want our life to progress. The new year is the perfect time for goal setting, as it is a time to review our past achievements from the previous year and anticipate the future. It’s definitely a time where we are feeling the most motivated, and we should use this to our advantage.
But setting goals can be a challenge. Studies show that a massive 92 percent of us who set New Year’s goals never actually achieve them! But why does this happen? Often, we can’t follow through with our goals because they haven’t been set following the SMART guidelines. This means that if the goal is too vague, doesn’t have a time limit, is unachievable or the results can’t be measured, chances are you’re not going to stick to it! So, how do we set a SMART goal?
When creating your new year’s goals, make sure you ask yourself questions such as who, where, why, what, how and when, so that you know exactly what you’re working towards. A good example is that if you want to lose weight (a common new year’s resolution!) you should set yourself a date and target, such as ‘I would like to lose 1 stone by the end of May’. Being specific also helps with motivation levels, as there is a clear objective to work towards.
Having measurable goals means that you are able to identify exactly what it is you will see, hear and feel when you reach your goal. The best way to do this is to break your goal down, therefore not overwhelming yourself with a huge task, and allowing yourself to anticipate the things you will achieve along the way. This means that you will have plenty of excuses to reward yourself as time progresses!
Before setting your goal, it’s important to weigh the effort, time and costs your goal will take against life’s other obligations. In other words, your goal needs to be realistic! For example, setting a goal of being a millionaire by the end of the year (as great as it would be) may be setting yourself up for disappointment.
In this stage, you need to make sure that your goal is specific to you and your ambitions. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of society and other people’s goals, but make sure you are doing it for you and no one else, otherwise you’ll struggle to stay on track. You might be wondering how you know if your ambitions are truly your own. A way of finding out is to take a minute to imagine your ideal future. Picture what it will be- who’s in your life, where do you work, what does your house look like? Then think about your goal and consider if it matches up to your dream!
Time is an important factor when it comes to goal setting! Setting a specific schedule for when each stage of your goal should be achieved allows your motivation levels to stay high, meaning you’re more likely to stick to your goal. Writing each stage down in a calendar will also help with motivation levels, as you are more likely to be checking your deadlines therefore thinking more frequently about your goals.
To read more about how to set goals (and actually stick to them!) head over to this post here.
If you would like to sign up for our coaching over coffee morning on the 11th January, which will be all about setting those new year goals, click this link!