So did you set some new year resolutions on January 1st? How are those going? What steps have you taken to achieve your goals this year?
I used to set a lot of resolutions and then by about this time in the month, would have made absolutely no progress and completely given up. That was until I discovered that resolutions don’t work.
Making a resolution is almost the same as making a wish or dreaming a dream. It’s a nice idea but nothing more than that. In recent years I have done things much differently. I no longer make resolutions. I set goals instead.
This is how to achieve your goals this year .
Step 1: Decide upon your big goal.
The starting point for this can be your old resolution. Think about what it is you want to achieve. Try to be as specific as you can and put a timeframe on it. I like to choose a deadline of about 12 weeks. This is long enough to make an impact but not too long that I will get bored and stop putting in the effort.
Step 2: Decide why you want to do it.
A large goal will necessarily take time and effort in order to achieve. For this reason, it is imperative that the goal is important to you. You are the one who needs to spend time working towards it. You are the one who needs to make sacrifices in order to get it achieved. Therefore, if it is not important to you, it will not be achieved no matter how much you say you want to do it.
Step 3: Make some decisions.
a) What am I willing to give up to achieve this?
As a rule, everything worth achieving requires some sacrifices. I might need to give up watching television or Netflix to free up some to work on a new business, I might need to give up dessert to reduce my waistline, I might need to stop buying new clothes in order to save the money needed for a vacation. If you are not willing to make any of these changes, perhaps your goal is not important enough to you.
b) What am I willing to do/start doing to achieve this?
If we only think about the things that we need to give up, we will often talk ourselves out of our goal. Let’s think about what we need to start doing instead. Maybe I need to spend 1 hour each night working on my business, I might need to learn how to make a healthy, home cooked meal, I might need to open a savings account to deposit my holiday savings into. Think more about the things you can do than the things you can’t.
c) What will I do in the next 24 hours?
It is extremely important to strike while the iron is hot. Once you have set a goal and decided what steps you are going to take to achieve it, take the very first step straight away. Use this to build momentum and enable you to feel success straight away.
Step 4: Schedule time on your calendar or in your diary.
Make an appointment with yourself to take the actions steps required to get this goal achieved. You might schedule an alert on your phone each evening to begin your paperwork, make time on the weekend to cook and freeze a couple of healthy meals for later in the week, sit down each payday and move money into your savings account before setting your spend budget for the next two weeks. Remember that it is very rare that we are able to find the time to work on our goals. We need to make the time to work on our goals.
Don’t wait to find the time, make the time and schedule it.
Step 5: Celebrate your successes.
Each step towards your goal is a positive one no matter how small. Focus on what you have already achieved and use that as motivation to continue on until the outcome is reached.
Step 6: Use failures to push you further ahead.
It is inevitable that there will be struggles and setbacks along the way. If achieving our goals was easy, everyone would have everything they desire. It takes time and hard work and sometimes we feel as if nothing is going right. Use these setbacks to your advantage. Analyse them to see what went wrong and use them to make a plan to prevent this happening again.
Step 7: Write your goals down on paper.
One of the most important factors in achieving a goal lies in writing it down. Evidence shows that goals that are written down are far more likely to be achieved than goals which are kept in our heads.