The New Year has a certain symbolism which makes it a great time to reassess ourselves and make plans to improve our lives. For many people this takes the form of setting New Years ‘resolutions’, or in other words goals. This is a healthy and positive thing to do, unfortunately there is a cliche that many of us live up to where the resolution is set on January 1st, broken by January 2nd and forgotten by January 3rd. It doesn’t have to be that way though, here are 10 tips to help you set goals AND achieve them in 2010.
1. Know the big picture
Do you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve by attaining the goal? For example you may have a goal of being able to do 100 pushups by the end of the year. Why do you want to be able to do that? Is it just a number you want to achieve, or is it because you want to have lean defined chest back and arm muscles, or because you want to be able to punch harder and faster. Keeping the big picture in mind will help to motivate you along the way.
2. Give yourself visual reminders
At the very least write your goal down and put it somewhere you will see it everyday. Many people also find it helpful to find pictures that represent the goal they want to achieve and display them in places that will remind them as well. These constant visual reminders will help you to keep your efforts focused on achieving your goal, both conciously and unconsciously.
3. Be specific
The more specific you are, the easier it will be to plan to achieve your goal and recognise when you have achieved it. Back to our pressup example. You could be very specific and state that your arms need to be placed shoulder width apart and your body lowered to within 3 inches of the ground before pushing up with the body straight for the press up to count. If you are not specific you may end up cheating yourself by counting pressups with poor form when you get tired that will not actually help you achieve your bigger picture objectives.
4. Be realistic
It is important that you set goals that you honestly believe you can achieve, if you don’t believe you can do it you will face internal psychological resistance to even trying. Better to set a less ambitious goal and achieve it, you can always set a more ambitious goal next time as your confidence increases.
5. Break it down
If your goal is a major one, it may be useful to break it down into a series of smaller goals. This will focus you on the steps you need to take to achieve the bigger goal. You can set dates along the way to achieve the series of smaller goals. Your first steps can be small, but they will help you build momentum towards your goal. For example if you have a goal of having a holiday on a tropical island this winter, you might begin by gathering information on airfares and places you might like to stay. Your next step might be to prepare a budget that will allow you to save for the trip, and so on.
6. Prepare ahead of time
If for example you have a goal that includes changing how you eat, you will probably need to prepare by making sure you are stocked up on the types of food you are planning to eat. You may also need to remove other types of food from your cupboards and refrigerators, otherwise when you are tired and hungry it will be all too easy to fall back into your old habits.
7. Start NOW!
If the goal is something you really want to achieve you should start NOW! You don’t have to wait until New Years to make changes in your life. If you’re not willing to start today to work towards your goals, you may need to re-evaluate whether it is something you really want to achieve or not.
8. Tell your friends
Letting your friends know about your goals helps you to commit to them, as your friends are likely to follow up with you and see how you are progressing. It will also help them to understand and be supportive of changes in your behaviour, such as not eating out as often because you are saving for your trip to Fiji.
9. Review regularly
Make a regular standing appointment with yourself to review your goals. It might be once a week, or maybe once a month depending on your goals. This will allow you to note your progress or lack thereof and make changes to your plan of action where necessary.
10. Celebrate success
Reward yourself on your progress towards your goals. Celebrate when you achieve your goals. The positive emotions will make you look forward to setting and achieving more goals. If you fall short of your goals at any stage, don’t beat yourself up about it, re-evaluate the goal and reset it with the benefit of what you have learned from your earlier efforts.
Right now with modern technology around there are a lot of apps for phones that can help you keep track with all the above.
Two of my goals this year are:
1. To not have in my cupboards any foods that contain refined sugars.
2. To spend at least 20 minutes outdoors every day.
The first is a biggey. Use of refined sugars is so pervasive in the food products we have available to us. I want to really improve how I eat though, so I am committed to this one. I have tried to be realistic, in that if I am eating out, or if I am being entertained I may be presented with foods that contain refined sugars. I think it is important to be gracious in such situations so the goal does not involve not consuming such products in these situations. By making the change in my own home I will be making a significant difference to my overall consumption though.
The second may seem on the easy side, but I’m thinking ahead to winter with its rain and cold. I would rather set the goal on the easy side and achieve it than set myself up for defeat.
What are some of your goals for this year? You can leave comments below.
Also as a VERY special New Year special, I will be selling our entire stop-smoking program at a steeply discounted price. The program was developed over 20 years ago by my mother who is a naturopath. It has been EXTREMELY successful in helping people to stop smoking ever since. Stocks will be limited.
The program involves taking four herbal and vitamin products over the course of three weeks.
The complete program requires:
2 bottles of Vitamin C timed release
1 bottle of BPX
1 bottle of HVP
1 bottle of Lobelia essence
The RRP of these products comes to: $138.90. The very special New Year price is $99.75. Stocks limited.
Great way to start the New Year!