I recently read somewhere that New Year’s Resolutions were like prom dates; they are fun to abide by for the night, you might even “get lucky”, but by the time that lunch bell rings on Monday morning, they’re old news.
Great analogy right? Whilst I love this guys sense of humour, I am happy to report that this analogy is the only thing that you will consider old news. This year, I am going to equip you with the tools that will ensure that this year will be your best year yet.
Where do we start? The dreaded task of goal setting. My work and training in health & wellbeing has highlighted a thousand times over, the importance of goal setting. Now before you say “I don’t have time”, “I have a list of goals in my head, that’s enough”, “goal setting just doesn’t work for me”, I encourage you to read on.
Goal Setting is not just for athletes and business executives, it’s for anyone who wants to improve their life. I have witnessed the success of goal setting personally (yep, I used to cringe at the thought of goal setting, but after a kick-arse 2013 – most of which was directly related to my 2013 goal setting session back in Jan – I am hooked), but also with clients, friends and family time and time again.
WHAT DO GOALS DO?
1. GOALS BRING US FOCUS:
Imagine shooting an arrow without a target. Goals are what give us direction. By setting goals we give ourselves a target to shoot for.
2. GOALS ALLOW US TO MEASURE PROGRESS
By setting goals we are able to measure our progress as we always have a definite endpoint in mind.
3. GOALS GIVE US BARRIERS
When we have a certain end point in mind we are aware of certain distractions and diversions and can avoid these in order to stay focused towards achievement.
4. GOALS HELP YOU OVERCOME PROCRASTINATION
When we set goals we are given a certain sense of responsibility. It is this sense of responsibility which helps to overcome procrastination and laziness.
5. GOALS TAKE YOU BEYOND YOUR LIMITS OF WILLPOWER
Will power is what you rely on if you have a wish (i.e. to lose weight) rather than a goal (to drop a dress size) and often only works till 3 pm the next day when you are tired, hungry and confront your first major challenge. Goals take you beyond the limits of your will power.
PROBLEMS WITH GOAL SETTING:
The most common reason people don’t achieve their goals, is the simple fact that they don’t write their goals down. In some cases many have literally only ever thought about them in passing, so their goals are just a loose bunch of dreams or wishes. When you put pen to paper you turn your thoughts into something tangible. You can actually see it, touch it, and even smell it if you want to. Your goal is no longer just a thought… It becomes something.
STEP ONE: BRAINSTORMING
This week I wanted to focus on goal setting for 2014. Studies have revealed dramatic improvements in health & wellbeing simply by setting and achieving personal goals, so let’s build the foundations for an incredible year ahead.
Set aside 30 minutes to sit and WRITE DOWN your goals for 2013. Don’t procrastinate on this one, this is a lot easier than you think. I set myself a task of 50 goals for the year (it seems excessive but you will be surprised how quickly you can fill the list). If you are struggling for ideas, separate your goals into categories for example: Health, Wealth, Love, Work and Play and fill the list that way.
I have included a few examples to start you thinking:
- Drink more water daily
- Learn how to meditate
- Earn that promotion
- Call mum/dad/home more often
- Spend more time at the beach
- Stop texting in the company of other people
- Holiday somewhere you have never been before
- Save more money
- Spring clean your room/house/apartment and de-clutter!
Finished? Great! Jump on over to my second post in this series – Creating a Plan of Attack. Failure is not possible if you promise to see this process through. Happy goal setting!