Every New Year starts with thinking about what goals you want to set for yourself. It's always important to think about what kind of change you want to enact for yourself that will make you healthier and happier in life. Here are some simple tips for helping you set goals for yourself.
Start Setting Goals
Start off simple and think about the big goals in your life you want to achieve. Think about setting goals in different aspects of your life. What goals do you want for your career? Your Finances? Personal improvement or education? Do you have goals for your family? What are your goals for your health?
Also think about how you'll accomplish your goals. When and where will you begin your journey? What are some things you need to help accomplish them?
Many people use the "SMART" acronym for setting goals:
S – Specific. Know clearly what your goals are in order to achieve them.
M – Measurable. Make sure your goals can be measured so you know when you fall short and when you complete them.
A – Attainable. You want goals that can be completed. Make your goals too extreme or to lofty and you'll be discouraged.
R – Relevant. Make goals that improve the health and wellness of your life.
T – Time bound. Give yourself a deadline.
After you identify some big goals for your life, think about how they break down into smaller goals. Set a 5 year plan for yourself. Then create smaller plans for 1 year, or 6 months. Each of these plans should relate to the previous plan. Then create a daily To Do list to help you stay organized throughout the process. Your smaller short term goals are the stepping stones to your bigger long term goals.
After you've come up with a plan, review them and see if it fits into the way you want to live your life. Your goals don't have to drastically change your life. Settings goals that are too big or too difficult may discourage you from completing them. You might also lose track because you don't feel like you're making any progress.
Here are some tips to keep you motivated through your goals:
Stay positive: Express your goals positively to encourage yourself to stay on track. "Execute this technique well" is a much better goal than "Don't make this stupid mistake."
Be precise: When setting goals, fill out the details so you can measure your achievements. It's important to know exactly when you have achieved your goal because you want to enjoy that satisfying feeling.
Write your goals down: Writing down your goals solidifies them and gives them more weight when you review them.
Invest in the process, not the outcome: You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. It can be quite dispiriting to fail to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control. In business, these reasons could be bad business environments or unexpected effects of government policy. In sport, they could include poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck. Even if you end up missing your goal, feel good about the process instead of the outcome. If you think about your growth and how far you've come, or the fact that you summed up the courage to tackle a goal, you'll be much happier because of your experiences.
Start Working on your Goals
Once you have your plan, make a date to start your goals. Be sure to choose a definite start date for your goals, and don't put that date off. Be sure to account for life circumstances that might hamper your efforts, such as work or school demands, vacations or relationship problems. You may need to resolve some issues before starting. Timing is crucial, often making the difference between success and failure.
Stay Motivated to Complete More Goals
When you achieve a goal, be sure to reward yourself. This helps to build the confidence you deserve to accomplish more.
If your goal was too easy, make your next goal more challenging. If your goal was too difficult, make the next goal a little easier to achieve.
Take the experiences you're learning from these goals to feed into completing other goals.
You always want to set yourself up for success. You also want to feel good about accomplishing your goals. Remember that failing to meet goals does not matter much, just as long as you learn from the experience.
Naturally, your goals will change over time. Adjust your goals regularly to reflect your growth and experiences. And if a goal doesn't interest you anymore, you can let them go. Remember, they're your goals.