Happy New Year to you all!
Now is the time for goal setting and figuring out what the best way is to finally achieve what you’ve had on your goal list.
This could be related to health, relationships, finances etc. Whatever your desired goal I’m going to give you realistic and obtainable ways in which to reach them.
Before we begin let’s clarify a few things:
- Dreaming is good, but a dream will remain just a dream if you don’t set a realistic deadline to achieve it. Whereas a dream with a deadline, now becomes a Goal, remember that.
- Objectives are part of a larger goal. Mini-steps I like to call them.
- And finally, Tasks are the little actions you take to achieve your objectives.
- Goals are written: Any goal not written down is hope and hope is not a strategy.
- Goals are concrete and very specific. Example being, “I will get home at an earlier time, so I can have dinner with my family and play with my children before they need to go to bed.”
- Goals are yours and no one else’s: For example, you can’t have a goal that forces someone to do something, like having your husband be more romantic. You can, however, have a goal for yourself to look more appealing, find ways that compliment him, have dinner waiting etc. These are YOUR goals that achieve something YOU want. Another and a simpler example would be, “I want to lose 10 lbs in three weeks.” This is specific and has to do with YOU and YOUR goal.
- Goals are realistic: More often than not we set out to achieve goals with unrealistic expectations. If you set out to lose 80 pounds in 15 days, it’s not only improbable but also dangerous.
Goals have a deadline: “I will stop drinking pop,” is a great idea but without the specifics of a day or date, it’s not really considered a goal.
The Process of Achieving Your Goals:
- Don’t write down 50 things. Write down three to five in each functional area of your life.
- Establish a tracking or planning system. You can use a planner or a regular notebook. If you are an App person then I would suggest, My Habits. This App will break down your goals into manageable units.
Here is an example of the process:
I will stop drinking pop by March 1st of 2019 (a concrete and realistic goal):
Objective 1: I will research why pop is bad for me from two reliable resources.
Task 1: I will visit the library, download books or visit a site online by January 7th.
Task 2: Using this information I will look for an alternative drink.
Objective 2: I will look for deals or coupons and the easiest location to start buying the new drink. (If you want to replace pop with water, then you can research osmosis systems or filters.)
Task 1. Purchase the new drink. (osmosis or filter.)
Task 2: Take the remaining pop out of the house.
Objective 3: I choose a start date and make it a priority.
Task 1: Look for a block of time where I can have the best start. A time when I am home and won’t be tempted to buy a pop.
Task 2: I recruit an accountability partner.
Objective 4: Get going. Take the first drink and continue.
During your planning process, you carefully study a task, whether it be changing what you drink or losing weight, and break it down into pieces. Then research different ways of getting things done faster and more efficiently, seeking the best results possible. This is done through two different techniques.
(1) Deliberate practice: This is focusing on improving every step of a process rather than the result.
(2) Modeling: Look for successful people of your chosen goal and model their behavior and techniques.
Remember: tasks are what objectives are made of and objectives are what goals are made of.
- Keep an Eye on your Goals: Carry them with you, have a copy by your bed. Make a point to read them first thing in the morning. Sometime mid-day (perhaps at your lunchtime) and before you go to bed. Do this every day.
- Visualize your Goals: Imagine yourself achieving your goals, feel that feeling of accomplishment that comes with it. Allow yourself to take an advance payment of that victory feeling. I highly recommend creating a photo book or vision board. Then put it near your bed or in a location where you can see your goals every morning and evening. This constant reminder will train your subconscious mind to tune in for achieving your goals.
- Either hold yourself accountable or find somebody else who will do it for you: Use reminders to keep track of your goals. This can be done using the App suggested above or set out things that will remind you. Example, if you want to drink more water then place a filled water bottle on your kitchen counter. Each time you pass it you will be reminded and take a drink. Or for an accountability partner, simply give them a call informing them of your goals and set up times where they will check in to see how your progress is going.
- Break the major goal into a series of mini-goals and reward yourself when you achieve them: If your goal was to lose an extra 10 pounds by March 1st and you reach that goal then choose a reward you will earn. This could be a new dress, work-out gear, ten dollars of iTunes songs. Whatever it is, reward yourself and celebrate. This is psychological and important as you will associate something positive coming out of hard work. This process will consciously and subconsciously tell your body to repeat the pleasant experience and rewire your brain to get rewards for goal achieving progress.