There’s no better time to make some changes in your life and set a few goals that will help you along your path than the start of the new year.
Setting goals is a fundamental part of working towards your ideal day, the better future version of yourself.
Your goals should cover 4 areas of your life – health, wealth, self, and social.
Here are 8 tips for setting and achieving your goals:
1. Set short, medium- and long-term goals
Start by setting yourself short term goals, areas of improvement in your life that you want to take immediate action on. Write them down and challenge yourself to complete these within a very specific period, say 3 months. The feeling of victory in accomplishing your first round of short-term goals will build your confidence and help to drive you forward towards more aggressive goals in the second round. Also, set Medium-term and Long-term goals. Ask yourself ‘what does my ideal life look like 2 years from now? Where will I live, what car will I drive, what school will my kids go to, what work will I be doing? How many hours per day will I be working?’
2. Align your goals with your values
Your goals should relate to you as a person, your desires, and your aspirations. Ask yourself the question – ‘what are the qualities that define me as a person and what is important to me?’ By aligning your goals with your values, they will have meaning and purpose.
3. Set specific, measurable goals
In order to track the progress against your goals, they need to be super-specific. You need to be crystal clear on exactly what it is you want to achieve with your goals. What are the expected outcomes? For example – Instead of simply saying ‘I want to lose weight’, say ‘I want to lose 5kg within 3 months so that I can have more energy in the day’ Answer the questions – what? when? why?
4. Set goals that motivate and excite you
Use your goals to bring back some adventure to your life. Your goals should push you to be outside your comfort zone. They need to stretch you!
5. Hold yourself accountable
Accountability is key if you are going to succeed in achieving your goals. Most people fail at their new year’s resolutions because they start actioning them with a bang but very quickly the novelty starts to wear off and they find themselves slipping back into the old routine. The main reason for this is a lack of accountability.
The best way to ensure accountability is to share your goals with others. Write them down and share your list with a friend or family member. Ask them to check in on your progress at least once per week.
6. Set realistic goals
There is no point in setting goals that are simply unachievable. This is the surest way to set you up for failure. To say: ‘I want to build muscle and look like the incredible hulk within 4 weeks’… is never going to work for someone who has never spent a single day of their lives in the gym. To say ‘I want to lose 5 kg of fat and gain 2 kg of muscle within the next 2 months’ may be more achievable but again this will depend on whether or not you have a plan on how you will achieve the results you are looking for. Your plan will need to consider a combination of regular exercise, nutrition, rest, etc. Achieving some degree of success towards a realistic goal is going to drive you more than complete failure in achieving any of your unrealistic goals. That said, It’s good to stretch yourself when setting your goals to an area slightly outside of your comfort zone, but within the limits of what you know, you can do. Ask yourself – ‘what could I do, in an ideal world – if all my external challenges and self-limiting beliefs were removed?’ Then set your goal based on that scenario.
7. Have a plan and stay on track
You need a clear strategy that lays out your path to future success. Ask yourself – how will I achieve my goals? By having a clear plan and understanding of the expected outcomes, it is possible to track and measure the progress on your goals. Track your progress and measure your performance against each of your goals every week.
8. Don’t kill yourself, don’t blame yourself and have fun!
Don’t burn yourself out in week 1 and then have nothing left to give after that. Remember it’s a marathon and not a sprint. The idea is for your start developing good habits and daily routines that will ultimately reshape the course of your life. You want your goals to drive you forward towards becoming a better version of yourself in the future.
Don’t blame yourself if you didn’t manage to achieve every one of your goals for a particular week but try to improve in the next week. The key is to keep moving forward and not to give up. Every little bit of work you do towards improving yourself is going to help you in the long run so don’t worry about the fact that some weeks will go better than others.
Finally, but most important, have fun with your goals!