Setting Goals Effectively
January is the month of resolutions. And, why not? December is filled with holiday parties and over indulgence. We all try to stay healthy and fit when December rolls around, but it is just “too cold” to go outside and exercise.
Whatever the excuse, January guilts us into making resolutions. But, how do we keep those goals past February? Here’s what I do:
Focus on “Why,” not “What”
Our New Year’s Resolutions are so often focused on “what” we will do, but they never seem focus on the “why” we want to achieve them. I’ve found that when I focus on why I want to be successful, it is easier to stick to that goal through the year’s ebbs.
For example, why do you want to lose 10 pounds? Is it to run that marathon? Do you have a vacation coming up? You see, the reason “why” is so much stronger and more important that the “what”. Focus on “why”!
Make a Timeline and a Plan
Goals need timelines; plan them out. Setting a specific time to have a goal accomplished helps you stay motivated. Otherwise, your goal will sit on the shelf of life saying, “I’m still here. When do you want to get started?”
With that timeline in mind, how are you going to accomplish your goal? Be specific. How do you plan to get it done? Break your resolution down into small, bite-sized portions that help you achieve it piece by piece. It doesn’t matter how many steps you take; just remember your deadline.
It’s easy to get distracted; there will be days you’ll forget about your goals. Find ways to stay focused. Do you use a day planner? Would sticky notes on the bathroom mirror be more effective?
It doesn’t matter how silly your methods are as long as they help you stay focused on the goal ahead. Find what works for you — and do that. Personalize your method.
Re-evaluate and Respond
Periodically, re-evaluate your goals. Are you moving in the direction you want to with your goal? Is there something else you could be doing that will be more effective in helping you obtain your goal? Is there a higher goal you could reach for now, that you may have not been able to when you first started?
Remember: resolutions are adjustable. I mean, the whole point of setting goals is to get yourself moving in the right direction. I mentioned earlier focusing on the “why” not the “what,” and this is why I mentioned it. Goals often need to be modified in order for you to obtain the “why.”
When you focus on these four key points of goal setting, you set yourself up for success. True, you may forget your resolutions from time to time, or you may miss a couple objectives, but the point is that you are making progress and moving forward. That is what setting a goal is all about.