It’s that time already, a year has flown by and yet again the New Year has snuck up and surprised us. Although a regular occurrence, it always leaves you wondering where the past 12 months have gone, making you reflect on the year ahead and your goals for the future in comparison to those from the past.
Looking back you may feel a bit disheartened at all the marvellous things you had planned to do, but, do you know what? It’s OK. Your year has been just as valid whether you accomplished your goals or not. You’ll still have learnt new things, taken up hobbies, ditched them for something else, enjoyed yourself in new and unexpected ways. You’ll have laughed, and cried, felt every emotion under the sun. All of these things are signs of a year well spent.
If you do decide to have a new goal this year, it might be an idea to keep in mind the common acronym for goal setting, SMART:
After deciding on a goal, try making an action plan of all of the details on how you’re going to go about achieving it. Plan it out step by step, writing it down in elaborate detail as then you’re enabling yourself to succeed by helping to work through any doubts or complications. Try having an individual objective and a time limit for each step in place to help stay focussed on the task at hand.
We need to be able to quantify any improvement, this could be by being able to lift a certain weight or finishing off an article that you always wanted to write. Having a fixed amount in mind, be it pages written, to distance covered will help keep us motivated, especially when we see ourselves creeping towards the target.
Attainable and Realistic
First of all, let’s make these goals realistic. It’s all too easy to aim big, and then fall at the first hurdle. So, let’s start with something attainable and specific but that you truly believe in.
If your goal is something that really resonates in you, you’ll be more willing to put in the effort of achieving it and that motivation and inspiration.
It’s one thing to have a goal floating around in existence, however, it’s a different thing to have a goal, and a time frame in which to fulfil it. Without a deadline the goal can become an interminable albatross around your neck, the more guilty you feel about doing it, the less motivated you are to even start. A specific deadline will really give you that boost, knowing that you have the end in sight.
External Support and Accountability
Our friends and family can help inspire us and keep us on track. They are our cheerleaders and coaches all rolled into one. These are the people who see the best in us, but who are also willing to push us when necessary.
Although our friends and family can give us the boost that we may need to stay on track, there is only one person fundamentally responsible, and that person is the one looking back at you in the mirror. Once you realise that you are the only person who can make it happen, this will motivate you further into doing whatever is necessary to achieve your goal.
The mere activity of setting a goal means that you are more likely to achieve it as you’re making a promise to the hardest task-master of all, yourself. Once already thought about, your goal is rendered more attainable, and therefore you are more likely to be successful in fulfilling it. Goals help to teach you, stretch you and push you to fulfil your true potential.