A new year represents a fresh start. It signals the end of the old and welcomes a chance to make a change for the better.
While the New Year is a great time to begin new goals, it is important to ensure that these goals are both attainable and mapped out properly. It is all well and good to want to lose weight, to find a more fulfilling job, and to be a better friend, however not only are these types of goals too vague, there is no clear path to achievement.
Setting SMART goals is a simple place to start when making New Years’ resolutions. SMART goals are goals that are:
It is important to go even further than this though when mapping out our year ahead.
In order to achieve those lofty goals we set for ourselves, we need to break them down, piece-by-piece, and reassemble them, step-by-step. It is only through doing this that we reveal what action needs to be taken, sometimes on a daily basis, to get us closer to achievement.
Katherine Krug, COO of Everest, gave these simple steps:
- “The first step is to build a bridge between where you are at this very moment and where you want to be in the future.
- Map out all the things that need to successfully happen to get where you want to go. Write it down or truly visualise it.
- Now that you have a mental map, your long-term goal doesn’t live in some distant future space that you cannot imagine. It lives in the present. The things you’ve identified as needing to happen become your milestones.
- Focus shifts to the next steps you need to take to hit that next milestone.”
Hold yourself accountable by making small but consistent changes on a daily basis. Whenever you find yourself drifting away (aimless hours wasting time on Facebook anyone?!) remind yourself of your goals, and get back on track ASAP.
If you need a gentle reminder to continue on your dream path, schedule these daily changes into your diary, just like you would a meeting. If, for example, your resolution is to lose 10 kilos, schedule your weekly workouts into your planner, keep a food journal, and have weekly weigh ins. All of these tasks can track improvement, and keep you motivated to keep going.
Use the next few days to really map out your resolutions for 2014, with measurable action steps to achieving them. Happy goal setting and Happy New Year!