Every year as the year ends and the new one approaches people to sit down and start a list
of resolutions (goals)they want to set themselves to achieve in the following 12 months and commit to changing the things in their life’s that they are no longer happy with or challenging themselves to start moving towards achieving their goals.
Unfortunately, many people start with great motivation but by the second or third week of January, they are already starting to flounder. Old habits set in, and lack of motivation takes over.
The reason for this is that the goals aren’t always thought through and quite often are a reaction to something that’s happened in your life or a desire for change. Not understanding, why you actually want to achieve something or what it adds to your life, or what you lose from it are some of the reasons that we lose our way and don’t follow through on our goals.
Having clear plans that you follow means you know how to achieve your aims and helps keep you on track as you know what each step on your route is, combine this with having plans to deal with obstacles on route means you stay on track and find ways to keep moving forward even when challenges arise.
Sharing your plans can also help keep you on track as once you have said it out loud and shared it with other people it adds to your commitment to achieving the desired results.
I want to share with you some tips to help you set goals and achieve them without losing your motivation and commitment to them. These tips are relevant at any time you are setting yourself targets not just at the start of the year.
1. Write down the things you want to change in your life or new challenges you want to set.
This may seem obvious but it’s surprising that most targets are set with little thought being given to what the actual desired outcome is.
2. Ask Yourself what does your goal means to you? Look at each item on your list individually and ask yourself the following question making a note of your answers.
a. What would achieving our goal mean for you?
b. What would it add to your life?
c. Why is this important to you?
d. What would achieving your goal mean for you?
e. What are the downsides of achieving your goal?
f. Are you happy to accept the negatives?
Are you doing this for you or is it just something you think you should do?
3. Do you really want to achieve the goal you have set? Based on your answers to point two evaluate whether the goal is something you really want to achieve and if the answer is no remove from your list.
4. Review your list again and assign the priority you want to give each item and the timeframe you want to achieve them by.
5. Take each item in priority order and ask yourself the following questions.
a. How will I know I have achieved my goal?
• What will I see?
• What will I hear?
• What will I feel?
• What will I know?
b. What would be the final step I would take to arrive at my goal?
c. What would be the step before that?
d. Repeat point C until you get to what would be the first thing you need to do to start on your journey to achieving your goal.
N.B. If at any point you have multiple options for your next step then make a note of the options and repeat points C and D on them until you reach your final goal. This will give you options in your action plan in case you hit any blockers on your journey.
6. Many journeys fail because we hit obstacles in our path and lose our commitment to carry on. Having options makes it easy to transfer paths.
7. Now you have your action plan review your timeline and check it still fits with the actions you need to
take, amend where necessary.
8. Tell someone you trust about your goals as they will help hold you accountable.
9. Take your first step and begin.
10. Have the list of goals somewhere visible that you will see every day.
Review your action plan weeklyand adjust for any challenges or obstacles.
Don’t be afraid you alter your timeline, remember for most goals we set ourselves it’s achieving the outcome that’s important not the date we hit the last step.
Be kind to yourself – i.e., if your goal was to form a new habit don’t let missing a day or week stop you. Recognise the times you did achieve it and remind yourself you did it so you can do it again. Remind yourself of all your responses to the questions in tip 2 and refocus and start again.