Decide on your goals for the year
The start of the year is a great time to reflect on the past year and look to the coming year and what you want to achieve. When deciding on a goals for the year I break it up into categories such as: Health/Fitness, Career, Family/Relationships, Finance and Personal.
Under each heading I list what I want to achieve. Under some headings I might have more than one goal and others just one but it’s a good idea to keep it to no more than 10. Then I apply the SMART principle which you all know I am sure stands for
Specific – be specific in your goal. For example, if your goal is weight loss, don’t just say “I want to lose weight”. State how much weight you want to lose.
Measurable – Establish how to measure your progress with your goal. For example weigh yourself to find your starting point and then again at the end.
Achievable – Ensure your goal is actually achievable for you. If you weigh 68kg a weight loss goal of 20kg is probably not an achievable (or sensible) goal but if you weigh 100kg then 20kg is certainly achievable.
Realistic – Make sure your goal is realistic. For example wanting to become a surgeon when you have a blood phobia probably isn’t a realistic goal.
Timed – Put a timeframe on when you want to achieve your goal. Say, for example, you want to achieve your goal by the end of this year. Set yourself regular check in periods to monitor your progress. It’s a good idea every three months to revisit your goals and look at your progress and see if you are still on track.
So many people set goals or make resolutions but after a few weeks of being super vigilant they kind of forget about them and at the end of the year nothing has been achieved.
Why do you want to achieve those goals?
Once you have worked out what you want to achieve think about your reasons why you to achieve them. The “Why” is the most critical aspect to nail. If you don’t know the “Why”, your motivation will wane and your chances of succeeding fall. The “why” is the motivation behind achieving the goal set.
Motivation can be extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from external factors such as wanting to lose weight because your spouse wants you to, or losing weight to gain fame and recognition for winning a weight loss competition. Extrinsic motivation is not enough to get you to your goal. Intrinsic motivation on the other hand is motivation that comes from within for example the sense of pride and achievement you will feel when you achieve your goal. Intrinsic motivation is much more powerful and will ultimately keep you going until you reach your goal. Write down all the reasons you can think of for wanting to achieve your goal. Go through your list and take out all the reasons that involve other people. Then go through your list and replace all the “I should” and “I must” statements with “I want”.
How to achieve your goal
The “How” is the strategies you will employ to achieve your goal. For example if your goal is “I want to lose 5kg” your strategies should include a healthy eating plan and exercising 4 or 5 times per week. One of the important aspects of the “How” is identifying the barriers to success. Identify the things that might derail you over the time period you have chosen, it could be a holiday coming up or visitors staying with you. It could be something that has happened to you before when you have tried to go on a diet or menu plan. Once you have identified potential pitfalls think of ways to combat them. Remember, the odd slip up does not need to herald the end of all your efforts, just dust those cookie crumbs off and get back on track.
Now is the fun part, making your vision board. A visual reminder of what you want, why you want it and how you are going to get will keep you on track. Have fun with it, pick images, pictures, words etc that really mean something to you. Choose stuff you want to look at every day. Photos, quotes, sayings, images of places you want to go, reminders of events, places, or people, postcards from friends and just about anything that will inspire you.
A vision board shouldn’t be just a shopping list of what you want, it should reflect the emotions behind why you want it. Put it somewhere where you will see it every day. Remember, you get what you focus on!! Good luck!