There is an art to goal setting and today I want to share the strategies and methods that have been working for me. If you are tired of watching yourself set goals and not honor them, read ahead for some practices that will ensure you actually meet your goals and make yourself proud.
Make Your Goals Specific and Measurable
I used to set the same goal every year to “work out more and eat healthier.” Sound familiar? Embarrassingly enough, it took years of this charade for me to notice that it wasn’t working. So, last year I made an important modification and made sure that my goal was both measurable and specific. I pledged to work out at least three times a week and eat one vegetable a day. While of course I have off weeks, this tiny shift has yielded massive results and finally I can say that I do work out more and eat healthier.
Make Your Goals Realistic
Often, when we are fired up and eager to make big changes, we make our goals unrealistic and set ourselves up for failure. When you are setting goals this year, stretch yourself, but also make sure you consider your current circumstances and constraints so you can ensure your goals are realistic and achievable. Example: I have two young children and run my own business. While I would love to work out every day, I set my work out goal for three times a week instead. Since my goal was realistic, I can now feel successful instead of beating myself up for not achieving perfection.
Define Your Motivation
Once you’ve set yourself up for success by making your goals specific and realistic ask yourself why they are important to you. Everyone knows it is much easier to make a change when you are fired up and passionate about your goals. Ask yourself why you want to make a change right now? How would making this change make you feel? Spell out why your goals are important to you and your chance of success will multiply.
Plan + Schedule Your Goals
This crucial step often gets overlooked and is actually the most important. It is imperative to plan and schedule every step of your goal including the time to do any relevant research. Say you want to work out three times a week. The first step is to decide where and when will you work out. Do you need to join a gym or sign up for classes? Do you need to purchase workout gear or shoes? Plan out every single detail that pertains to achieving your goal and make sure to schedule every action item in your calendar. Schedule time to shop for workout gear. Schedule time to research and sign up for classes or join a gym. Then, schedule your workouts into your calendar and honor your commitment to yourself. Trust me on this. Plan and schedule and it will be done.
Set Up Support
Tell trusted friends, family and colleagues about your goals and let them know how they can help you stay on track and accountable. Hire a success coach or start your own accountability group. Find someone who has similar or overlapping goals and check in with each other once a week. It is a rare bird who can stay motivated and accountable without any support. Ask for help and you shall receive.
What are you cooking up for 2017? If you’re stuck, take some time to reflect on each area in your life and jot down a few changes you would like to make in each area for the new year. Then pick the ones that feel the most resonant and make sure they are specific and measurable. I would love to hear what you’re working on. Please share in the comments below!
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2017!