With the new year just around the corner, how many of you are thinking, oh I will start ____ (fill in the blank) next year?
How many of you are disappointed having not achieved your 2016 goals?
How many of you set new years resolutions only to see them fall by the waste side?
How many of you are sick and tired of not hitting your goals?
Maybe you are a little bit stuck with where to start? How to set goals?
In our final module of my 8 week eCourse ‘Love over Fear: Enhancing your relationship with you, food and exercise’ (enrollments for 2017 opening soon)… we covered setting goals that stick! Because I feel this is the defining factor to change, I just had to share with you some strategies, to help you finish out the final days and weeks of 2016 with a bang! And change your mindset from… ‘I will do it next year’, ‘2017 is my year’ to ‘ IT’S DONE’, “I am taking action NOW’.
So whether it is feeling great in your body, changing your relationship with food, or exercise, having more energy, landing that dream job (or soul mate haha), or managing that ‘brain bully’, here is my blueprint, to help you achieve ANY goal:
- THINK ‘I AM SMARTE’:
You may have heard of SMART goals, however the real key is to make your goals:
Inspiring and motivating: Our goals should make us stretch, grow & define odds. What is the point in setting goals that don’t force us to grow, they probably wont inspire and motivate us if they are not challenging in some way.
Specific: The more detailed the better. Who, when, where, why
Measurable: Establish criteria to measure progress.
Achievable: Can and when will you achieve it?
Risky: How willing are you to get outside your comfort zone? You must be willing and able to work toward your goal. This increases motivation and inspiration, the more risky a goal.
Tangible: Can you actually measure your goals?
So often we do not achieve our goals, not because they are not important to us, but because we have either forgotten what they are, they are not in the front of our mind daily, or we have stepped back into our old habits.
A great place to start is to thing long term and work backwards. A 7 year plan is an ideal amount of time, as people often overestimate what they can do in 5 years, and underestimate what they can do in 10 years.
I like to create a goal for each area of my life:
Financial/career, Relationships, Spirituality, Health. For you it may be different. Do whatever works for you.
Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, created 4 quadrants of time management he speaks about the non urgent but important activities, we often fail to complete and get busy being busy. Planning is one of these essential tasks. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. While goal setting may seem like a large task. Break it down. Schedule time in your calendar to do it. Set alarms so you keep on track.
Once you have done this it is time to review your goals. Now I am not talking about pulling them out 12 months later and looking back and thinking, oh yeah that’s right, that’s what I wanted to do this year. Oh well, next.
It is about continually guiding yourself closer to your goals, just like a plane we are actually off course more than we are on course, and we need a GPS – our goals to guide us.
I find the following works in reviewing and keeping on track with my goals:
- Yearly review: At the end of each year, usually around Nov, I review the year past, and work out what goals I need to continue to work towards for that year. Then in the New Year, often in January when I am still on a break, I set my new goals for the coming 12 months. I allocate a few hours for this.
- 6 Monthly review: I review my goals in the middle of the year, to see if I am on track, or where I need to course correct. Sometimes the goals need to be changed totally, as they are no longer important, or they are totally unrealistic, or I have smashed them out of the part. I allocate 30-60 minutes for this.
- Monthly review: At the start of a new month, I review the month past and reset for the new month. I allocate 20-30 minutes for this.
- Weekly review: On the 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th of the month I spend 15 minutes reviewing the week past, particularly as my business runs on a month start to month end schedule. . I allocate 15 minutes for this.
- Daily review: I read my goals each morning and night. I recall the victories in particular and then review the most important action steps for the day ahead, based on my evening review. This takes 5-10 minutes. It is vital to review your next day the night before as you will start the day running and your subconscious will go out and find the evidence to make it happen.
Small daily tasks when compounded have huge impacts. Getting started is often the hardest part and we think that we have to complete it all in one siting. So start with 5… 5 phone calls, 5 minutes of cardio, $5 savings a week, 5 top TO Dos for the next day. The small daily wins, compounded over time can lead you going up or down the success spiral of life. Which will you choose?
For someone who may want to begin exercising when they are not doing anything right now. Lets look at a 12 month goal:
On or before December 1st 2017 (achievable) I will be exercising 5 times a week for 30 minutes (specific/measurable/tangible), so that (why) I can live a healthy, long, happy and healthy life, fit into my wedding dress, play with my kids/grandkids etc (inspiring/motivating/risky) . Blocks that may prevent me from achieving my goal are: peer pressure, holidays, being busy, watching TV.
My steps to work towards this goal are:
- Research local gyms
- Research local walking tracks
- Search you tube for yoga videos
- Set alarm 15 minutes early (even if I don’t actually exercise)
- Set alarm and put gym clothes on (even if I don’t actually exercise)
- Exercise for 15 minutes once a week
- Exercise for 15 minutes twice… three etc
- Exercise for 30 minutes… etc etc
- EMOTION DRIVES ACTION:
While all the planning and doing is great, you will find it difficult to work towards your goals if you don’t discover the REASON behind WHY you want to achieve your goal. A great way to kick start that emotion is by visualisation. Research has shown that the same neurons fire in the brain, when we are visualising a task, as to actually doing the task. This is why I spend time every morning and evening visualising what I want. I have a 6 and 12 month ideal day descriptively written, that I read, and I also look at my vision board daily. There are plenty of online resources showing you how to create a vision board, but the real key is to feel the emotions behind what you see.
So, from here, go forth and create your goals, don’t wait until the new year to set ‘new years resolutions’ that just fall by the waste side. TAKE. ACTION. NOW. Your future self will thank you (and me!)
And my gift to you – my goal setting template. Find it here.
Need more help with goal setting? Contact me for a free 30 minute goal planning session.