The new year is finally here and once again it is that time when we all start afresh, reflect, reprioritise, and make changes with the goal of becoming better versions of ourselves. Unfortunately, as we know, most New Year's resolutions are broken within weeks, or even days, into January.
Whether your resolution focuses on learning a new skill, improving finances, or making more conscious lifestyle choices, you’ll need to implement concrete methods to help you stick to your goals. Here are five helpful tips to help you stay on track and reach your goals, not just for the new year, but for always.
For goals to be more attainable, they need to pass the S.M.A.R.T. framework, as follows:
Specific - Are your goals clear, specific, and narrow?
Measurable - Do you have your own measurement system to measure your degree of success?
Attainable - Are your goals realistic and within reach?
Relevant - Do your goals align with your values and are they relevant to your long-term objectives?
Time-based - Do your goals have a deadline in order to have a sense of urgency?
Here is an example of a S.M.A.R.T goal: “I will save $1000 by setting aside $100 from my monthly pay-check for a career certification over the next ten months.” Here’s how this goal fits the S.M.A.R.T. criteria:
Specific: The objective is to set aside $1000 for a career certification.
Measurable: Success can be measured if $100 is saved every month.
Achievable: The goal is complete once there is $1000 worth of savings.
Relevant: The goal is pertinent to one's career.
Time-based: The goal is set to be achieved within the next ten months.
Achieving goals can be challenging, but by using the S.M.A.R.T. framework, you can organize the process and provide structure to your goal setting.
Write Down Goals
Physically writing down the goals you want to achieve makes them more real and tangible. It also helps to remind you of what you are trying to achieve. Try writing your goals somewhere you see often: your journal, sticky notes, or a whiteboard near your desk.
Use a Mood Board
We all need a little inspiration and motivation when setting goals. Whether you want to create your mood board online (hello, Pinterest!) or offline (unleash your creative side by making collage), try bringing your vision to life by creating a visual reminder of what you want your future to look like.
Develop a Routine
Setting healthy routines can help you establish priorities and maintain a little structure in your life. If there are interruptions to your routine, be adaptable and receptive to change while staying committed to the successful completion of your goals.
Find an Accountability Partner
Find someone who can both encourage you to carry out your goals, and call you out if you’re missing the milestones you set for yourself. Sometimes just knowing you’ll have to tell someone you didn’t do something you committed to is enough to keep you on track. Having a proper level of support from a friend raises your chances of succeeding.
And One More Thing...
Just remember that if you falter on your way to reaching your goals, you do not have to wait a whole year to get going again. As long as you set your mind to it, every day is a new opportunity to commit yourself to achieving your goals. You can do this.
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