It is that time of the year again when so many people are going to be setting their New Year Resolutions. This process is always fascinating to watch because while it is a powerful practice for those who follow through on their goals, for most it is yet another year of setting meaningless goals that will never be realized. The average person falls off their goal by the end of February and are back to old habits and lifestyles.
But why? And how do you make sure you are not one of those people who creates a habit out of never reaching your goals?
Over the years we have seen a number of things that people do wrong in their goal setting practices. Here are our five tips for achieving the goals that you set this year. Enjoy!
1. WHAT – Get clear on what you want.
What do you want? Honestly, most people don’t have a clear answer for this in life. Some say success, others a healthy family, but have you ever thought about this in-depth?
This one is simple and to the point. Get crystal clear on what it is you want out of your life. From there, set goals that help you get there. If your goal doesn’t help you on your way to your life’s goal, don’t set it.
2. WHY – Find a strong why.
It is vitally important to act with purpose in life. Aimless action often turns out to be fruitless and discouraging. Inaction only guarantees that tomorrow you will be exactly where you are today… or maybe a step backwards. Having a clear understanding as to why you do anything will help you achieve those goals with passion and fervor.
Once you have finished finding your why, go back and ask these two questions about each of your answers:
Was it chosen from a place of love & abundance or fear & lack?
Example – I saw myself with a fit body and lots of friends – If I really think about it I don’t feel like I can be successful in others eyes unless I have those things.
Is this REALLY my dream and vision for my life? Or is this someone else’s that I have adopted?
Example – I saw myself as a successful businessperson because my family expects this of me.
Find your motivations for your why, strip it down to its root and shine the light of your awareness on it. If at that point you are still congruent with it, then you know you have a winner.
3. HOW – Macro to Micro.
When you set a goal, make sure that you are aware of the long term as well as the short term. At this point you should be clear on your LIFE’s goal, if not, go back to step one and get that clarity.
If your goal revolves around health, visualize where you want to be in 5 years and see what your health looks like at that point. Once you have a clear vision, break down the steps to get there.
Example – I saw myself as vibrant, fit, and full of natural energy.
But, how do you get there?
If you know how to get there, map out a step-by-step process. This might be calculating how much weight you need to lose over the next five years, what nutritional and fitness changes need to happen, how much time you spend outdoors and in the sun, what type of meditation you should implement, and how you might get better sleep.
If you don’t know how to get there, reach out to someone who may be able to help in that arena of your life and seek their guidance. There is no shame in asking for help, in fact it is often the wise thing to do.
4. WHO – Accountability.
This goes hand in hand with reaching out for help. If your goal is reachable on your own, you probably would have already achieved it. If you really can do it on your own, find someone to hold you accountable to that goal. It is important that this friend, colleague, coach, etc. is someone who has your best interests in mind and wants to see you succeed.
Once you have the right person, set up some sort of communication with them on a consistent basis so that you can be in constant contact about your goal. We all go through naturally enthusiastic times when following goals as well as naturally unenthusiastic times. Stay strong. Don’t give up. Reach out to your support system. Reconnect with your why.
5. WHEN – The only time is now.
One incredibly simply but strong reason most people don’t reach their goals is because they put off starting til tomorrow. Some people can do that and actually pick it up tomorrow and make change. Most people simply keep putting it off and that tomorrow never comes.
Don’t be someone who waits and waits and waits until you find that your life is passing you by. Your life is now. Everything happens now. Stop putting off being the person you want to be. Live the life you have always wanted to… now.
Let’s recap. First get clear on WHAT you want. Next, find out WHY you want that. From there visualize the end result and then break down each step and HOW to create that result. After that, find someone WHO can hold you accountable. Lastly, WHEN you have done the rest, start immediately. If you follow each of these and pour your heart into the process, you will succeed.
The last and most important thing that most people misunderstand about goal setting is this:
It is a learning process. If you don’t reach a goal, that doesn’t mean you failed. Take inventory at the end of your goal. Did you succeed? If so, why? If not, why? Did you truly find a strong why? Were you just setting goals to set goals? Were you just following the crowd and really didn’t care about it in the end? Did you simply set too wide of a goal and next time it needs to be more specific? Did you let your ego get in the way instead of asking for help? Was it something that you could track on a daily basis? Did you do everything you could to make it happen?
Ask all of these questions and more. Learn from the process. Evolve as a human being and as a goal setter. Learn so that the next goal you set can be done in a way that supports you creating a lifestyle that you love!