Did you go through the exciting and dreaded practice of setting goals this year? We all know the drill; as December winds to an end we start making up our list of things we want to achieve this year. Then January 15th comes around and we’ve lost interest in our aspirations. This year, we want to see you keep those goals! Whether it was quitting a habit, getting in better shape, learning something new or improving your relationships, we have some tips on how to achieve those goals you’ve set out for yourself.
Maintaining Your Goals 101
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Don’t aim for the impossible. Big dreams are wonderful, but when it comes down to achieving them it can take a lot. Set yourself goals that you know you can achieve within your timeframe and abilities. If you set your sights on something too large you will end with disappointment and give up on your goals.
Give yourself a strategy
It is easy to say I want to be better; not so easy to follow through when you have a lot to accomplish. It can be overwhelming when you think about the big picture, so don’t. Setting goals is like going into battle. Do you think that Alexander the Great went into battle without taking some time to plan out his attack? Plans and strategies are the key to success when you are maintaining goals. One of the greatest ways to ensure failure is to come in unprepared.
When building your goals and tactics of achieving the big dream, make sure you make them S.M.A.R.T – specific, measurable, attainable, resources and timely.
Be specific with your tactics and goals that you set. If your overall goal is to lose 20 pounds, then make specific tactics that will help you achieve this. A specific tactic would be to go to the gym and work on your desired areas. Be specific with yourself about how you want to achieve your bigger goal.
There are many ways of measuring success. You can measure by cost, by time, or by numbers. Measurable goals and tactics are quantifiable ones, which mean they are measured by number. A measurable tactic for getting fit would be to go to the gym for 30 minutes 3 times a week. Making your tactics measurable will help you see success over time and you’ll stay motivated to continue.
If your goals are unattainable you set yourself up to fail. Set goals that are easy to reach by working within your limits and by giving yourself baby steps that you can celebrate and keep you going. If you are aiming to lose 10 pounds in one week you won’t see success. Give yourself smaller steps like 1 pound a week and celebrate when you do. Make sure you give yourself a tactic that you know you can reach.
When you are planning your strategy, take into consideration all the resources you have. These are elements that are critical to your success but are not controlled by you. For instance, if your goal is to learn a new language you will either need to take a class or get the tools to practice. When planning your strategy, take into consideration the resources you have and need.
It takes time to see results. You can’t expect things to just happen overnight, many goals will take time. When you plan out your tactics take this into consideration, and plan according to the time you have.
Persistence is the key. We have heard this to the point of tuning it out, however, it is true; the longer you keep at it, the easier it will get. There will be days that you just don’t want to, and that is ok. Just don’t let the “I don’t want to” days be every day. Make yourself go, push through what you don’t want to do, and soon you will find that you want to do it and it is part of your routine.
Goal setting is easy. Goal maintaining is a little harder, but if you keep at it and you will see results. Help others maintain their goals too. Help someone you people know with their goals today, and get them something to keep them on course and stay positive about their goals.