Have you ever wondered why New Year's resolutions fall flat year after year, only leaving you frustrated when you’re no further ahead?
You’re not alone. Less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% actually accomplish them.
We all want to achieve new and exciting things. Resolutions and the inspiration that comes alongside our ideas are great, but I believe there is one key component missing - action behind the idea. The solution? Goal setting.
A goal is a destination you want to arrive at, with actions being what fuels you forward. By setting good goals, you’ll have the structure and stepping stones required to effectively measure whether you’re doing what it takes to move you towards the finish line.
Here are 5 essentials to consider when setting your next goal:
1- Set specific goals. Too vague of goals is one of the main culprits for disengagement. If you aren’t ultra-clear about what it is you want to achieve, you won’t be able to measure it or receive feedback on your progress.
(General) “My goal is to be fit.”→ (Specific) “My goal is to go for a moderate-paced walk 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes.”
2- Set goals that are measurable. Determining how you will measure your goal will be important for gaining feedback on how you’re progressing. You’ll want to ensure you have at least a few objective measures so that you have concrete evidence for where you’re at in the process. Ways to measure a goal include amounts, dates, time allotment, or tasks completed.
Question! “How do I measure success and milestones without using a scale? “
Answer: The scale is such an inaccurate form of measuring progress and can be quite triggering for people. If you’re looking to change your shape, instead of using the scale, try measuring progress using measurements, or set aside one specific item of clothing and try it on for fit every month or so.
3- Set attainable but challenging goals. Most people give up on their goals because they are too out of reach. It doesn’t mean they are impossible, but it’s more effective to accomplish a small, realistic goal, and feel great about it than be discouraged by a massive goal that feels impossible to complete.
Question! “I find setting a realistic goal within a time frame to be really challenging. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s unachievable or just basic limitations getting in the way. What can I do?”
Answer: It’s easy to become discouraged when our time-frame and goals get off track. Include buffers and goal re-evaluation. Buffers allow for space in case “life” happens. For example, it might be valuable to say “I want to achieve this goal by X date, +/- 3 months.” This reduces pressure while still encouraging focus. What more, re-evaluate your goal by looking at what you’re doing & where you’re at in the process. Is there an area that could be adjusted? Goals are NEVER set in stone and should be modified often.
4- Make time-based goals. If you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve in both the short and long term, you’ll have a better idea of what you should be focussing on. Short-term goals also become a measure of progress by making your big goal into something less intimidating and more bite-sized. Your long-term goal may be to lose 50 pounds in 1 year, but a short-term goal would be to lose 5 pounds in 1 month. While the big goal is important, it’s the short-term goal that is going to help contribute to your overall success.
5-Make sure your goals are realistic for your life. Goals require action to be achieved which means we need to set goals that FIT within our life and are not just another ADDITION to our life. Setting realistic goals determines how committed we can be to achieving them.
As a busy Mom, it would not make sense to set a goal to start working out 6 days a week for 2 hours at a time. Maybe, instead, 2 days a week for 30 minutes at a time would be a bit more do-able.
So, where are you at with your goals? Which of the 5 essentials need more attention? Whatever your goals, I believe you can get there. Comment below to connect with me. I’d love to hear from you.
Here for your success, Jenn