Every year on New Years Eve we pop open the champagne and make some pretty strong resolutions. “I’m going to lose weight”, “I’m going to travel more”, “I’m going to change jobs” and the list goes on and on. In that happy moment, with the champagne buzzing through your system, you feel determined and positive that you will stick with your resolutions.
Unfortunately within the next month reality sets in. Life goes back to normal and the resolutions are forgotten. Think about it, how many New Years resolutions have you actually kept?
The only resolution I have ever managed to keep is to not make New Years resolutions. Resolutions just don’t work as we don’t take them seriously and we certainly don’t put plans together to make them come true.
This year is different though, I am determined to make some positive life changes ‘cos I am going to set me some goals.
Change your life through goal setting
Yeah I know you have probably heard it all before, “set goals and you can achieve your dreams”. Sounds silly and impossible right? I mean how many times have you set goals and they just never materialised? Well actually goal setting does work and here’s why:
When you set goals you are giving yourself something to focus on. Something to work towards.Even if you want something big like travelling around the world, being currently cash-strapped shouldn’t stop you from setting that goal. If goals were easy to achieve then there wouldn’t be much point in setting them. I mean I want a cup of coffee but I don’t need to set a goal to achieve that. I just need to get off my backside and make a cup of coffee.
So when you set goals, make sure that they aren’t within easy reach, they should be a bit challenging and they should be something that you really, really want. They should be about life changes.
The secret to goal setting
Here’s the big secret to goal setting – there is no secret. Your goals can be as big or small as you like. For instance moving to Italy for a year, or learning to cook Italian food. Both these goals represent change, learning something new and pushing yourself a little bit.
Most people like to use either the GROW or SMART method to set goals, I tend to mix ‘n match depending on the type of goal I am setting (life versus work goals). Both methods work as they adhere to the basic foundations of good goal setting.
Goals should be very specific, they should be something that you can actually visualise. By setting specific goals you can actually measure your progress towards achieving them and confirm when you have achieved your goal.
They should be realistic but not dependent on your current situation. By that I mean don’t set a goal to marry an alien from out of space, as that just won’t happen, however do set a goal to travel around the world even if you don’t have the money right now. After all that is a goal that you can work towards.
Goals should also be time-bound so that you have a deadline to work towards. Lets face it, what are the chances of actually achieving something if there is no deadline?
So that’s it. That’s all it takes to set a goal. Now all you have to do is make a clear action plan and actually take the steps defined in your action plan and you will be well on your way to achieving your goals.
Resolution or Goals?
I know I am going to say “Screw New Years Resolutions” and actually make positive changes in my life through goal setting, but what are you going to do?
Are you going to make New Years Resolutions, or are you going to set goals that will actually change your life and help you achieve your dreams?