As the new year comes, so too does an annual tradition … New Year’s Resolutions!
For this week’s Feel Good Friday, we discuss goals, and how to achieve them!
Although no one can predict exactly what 2021 has planned, you can make the most of this fresh start by setting goals for yourself!
Goals can be defined as dreams with deadlines, but how can you determine which goal is best for you?
Goals fall into 3 main categories: Career, Relationships and Health. When you identify areas of improvement, you can develop a specific plan to track and monitor your goals. A goal plan acts as a road map giving you a sense of direction. Most people may be familiar with the S.M.A.R.T. system for effective goal setting, but there is also the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. method. By learning some organization strategies and evaluating your progress you can accomplish all of your goals within a realistic timeframe.
S.M.A.R.T.E.R. is a series of 7 steps, outlined to achieve your goals: S-Specific, M-Measurable, A-Achievable, R-Relevant/Relatable, T-Time-Bound/Frame, E-Evaluate, R-Readjust/Reward.
This method works great and provides the framework needed to establish and track your goals. When creating your goal plan keep in mind that working on 3 or more goals can be overwhelming for some people, so it’s best to stick with 2 or 3 specific and achievable goals and determine if they’re long or short term. Long term goals can be broken down into manageable short term steps. When you have clear short term goals, identify 3 habits you can implement daily that are in alignment to achieving that goal.
If you have a weight loss goal and would like to lose 20 pounds next year, you can break that up into 5 pounds per quarter. 3 achievable daily habits you can implement are: 1) Go on a 30 minute walk 2) Replace afternoon caffeinated drinks with water and 3) Eat one vegetarian meal a day. For the next 3 months track and monitor your progress. Are you able to complete those habits daily? If not you need to reassess your weakness, if eating a vegetarian meal is difficult for you daily, maybe try a meal replacement smoothie. Once you find the right combination of habits you can do daily, work on creating a plan for the next quarter.
Track your habits daily. Evaluate your progress daily and weekly by using a planner, check off list, writing journal entries, creating an excel spreadsheet or downloading an online template tracker. If your phone is always at hand, consider downloading a habit tracking app to give you daily reminders and prompts.
Make you plan visible. If you spend most of your day in front of a computer make it your computer backdrop. If you drive all day, keep a sticky note reminder of your habits or plan on your dash. Make achieving your goals the first thought of your day by having a copy of your goals on your bedroom/bathroom wall or setting them as your backdrop on your cell phone.
Designate an accountability partner. Knowing that someone is monitoring your success or failures can be a powerful motivator. Select a day of the week or month to have a friend or colleague check in with you to review your goals and progress. Some people may find online social media groups as beneficial support system and others may seek the help of a life coach to keep them on track.
Expect some setbacks. You can plan your life 5 years in advanced and a global pandemic might set you back from being able to achieve those goals within your time-frame. Fortunately, the more time you take to review and evaluate your progress, the easier it will be to implement a new strategy or make readjustments to your goal plan.
Ultimately, take time and celebrate the small dreams that have come true. Reward yourself for your accomplishments and achievements as long as you’re not undermining all your hard work. After losing 20 pounds buy a new outfit, avoid eating those sweets and set a day to plan your next dream come true.