It’s that time of the year again when everyone starts thinking of all the things they achieved the past year and what they want to achieve in the New Year. So I thought it was timely that I shared some of my tricks and tactics to ensure you don’t just pin down goals on your whiteboard that might never come true 🙂
After all, the feeling of frustration on yet another year passing by without you having your goals ticked off is a bad feeling. And most of us have felt it for every year that has passed by. I am certainly no exception.
So without further ado, let’s begin:
- Create Goals based on WHY or HOW you want to FEEL rather than the WHAT
A great example of this is when we have “Lose x Kgs” on our goals. Here, a person is focused on a goal based on numbers rather than why they want to lose that weight or how they would feel when they have lost that weight. There are many motivations behind wanting to lose weight e.g. I want to lose weight so I can look and feel good naked, I want to lose weight so I can fit into amazing clothes, I want to lose weight so that I can wear a bikini on a beach and not feel insecure, I want to lose weight so that I feel healthy in my body and have the energy to keep up with my family and friends and so on….
As you may have observed, the part after “so” is your reason for wanting to lose the weight. Try creating all your goals based on your WHY (your reason) or better yet HOW (you want to feel by achieving that goal).
2. Create a Vision Board for the Year
Gosh this one would have to be my favourite creative activity of all. I love having some visual reminders of what I’m working towards! A picture that shows you a healthy, happy representation of yourself (maybe one from the past?) would motivate you to lose weight much faster than writing “Lose 10 kgs” on a whiteboard. Humans are emotional beings, some more than others, but this trick will work on everyone.
By the way, I wrote a whole post on this topic so if you haven’t already read it, you can do so here 🙂
3. Limit to 10 High Level Goals
If you’re anything like me, you would want to achieve a 1000 goals in 1 year. I know, its crazy! But I’m ambitious.. and I have overestimated what I could achieve in a year’s time, most years in the past.
Bill Gates once said “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” And how true is that! 🙂
Over the past few years, I have become much more mindful about what goals I actually do put on my list of goals to achieve in that year. Putting a new resolution on your list just because it sounds ‘cool’ is not the way to go. E.g. Putting “Learn to play football” when you have 0 interest in sport would mean that your goals are not aligned with your lifestyle, personality and aptitude and it’s highly possible it won’t get done as you have no emotional attachment to it’s attainment. So limit your goals to things you REALLY want to achieve badly in the next 1 year. Everything else, you should put to rest. RIP.
4. Breakdown Your High Level Goals To Smaller Do-able Chunks
Most people will stop at high level goals. e.g. “Buy a house by June 2017”. and then think, “Oh well, its not really until May 2017 that I really need to get serious about this” Then they get to May and discover the process actually takes up to 6 months from inception to close.
To avoid untimely surprises, break your high level goals down into doable chunks. Taking the example of buying a house, how about you break it down into doable chunks i.e. Search and finalise your desirable house type by Jan 2017, Get your loan and other finances in order by March 2017, finalise the property you want to purchase by May 2017 and begin the buying process, move in by November 2017.
Breaking down your main high level goal into doable chunks makes the goal feel less overwhelming and more achievable. I have taken this page out of my Project Management book/experience at work! and if the technique is good enough for huge IT projects, it’s good enough to apply in most areas of life. Right? 😀
5. A year has 11 months? Wait, what? Yep, Use December as your Prep Month!
I have found it the best way to set and achieve goals is to have a Prep Month before going into the New Year. Would you build a house without a plan? Would you start a new Project at work without a plan? Your goals are big and they need to have a plan of action. This ties in the previous point of breaking them down into doable chunks. But once, that has been done, put a plan of action around these chunks. Use the month of December to really plan out your year and spend some time doing the prep work you need to do in advance to get you off to a good start.
Schedule appointments in your calendar where possible, sign up or register for new classes, events or whatever you want to take up according to your goals, cancel anything existing in your diary that no longer serves you etc. Do as much prep as possible in advance. Fail to plan and you plan to fail, baby. 🙂
6. Schedule Time In Advance To Celebrate Small Victories Throughout The Year
This goes in line with scheduling everything in advance but deserves to be re-iterated on its own.
How will you celebrate the small victories? Maybe a little gift, a holiday, time off work? Schedule the celebrations in advance as they are usually bigger motivators in achieving the goal than anything else.
7. Be Realistic
This goes without saying but when you come up with those goals, ask yourself if these are realistic goals. E.g. Having a goal of “Buy a House” when you haven’t even started saving yet might not be a realistic goal to have (assuming you don’t earn a million dollars every month haha). “Save X amount of deposit money” might be a more realistic goal to have! 😀
8. Keep A Good Balance
This advice could be taken in many ways but it’s good to have goals in every area of your life. Having 10 ‘business’ goals but nothing for your health is off balance. Yes, its understandable if you’re in a growth phase of a certain area in your life but strive to keep a good balance and not become too caught up with one single area of your life.
It also goes without saying, always have some ‘fun’ goals in the mix along with some ‘serious’ ones. You only have one life, so enjoy it before it’s too late. 🙂
9. Create A Unique Road Map Based On Your Lifestyle
Every person is unique when it comes to their lifestyle, personality and aptitude. Ensure your goals are in line with the nuances of your lifestyle. E.g. Having “Workout at 5am every morning” on your goals when you work night shifts may not be a good idea. Of course, this is a silly example, but you get what I mean 🙂
10. Enjoy The Process and Get Excited!
Stop becoming too bogged down with the planning process. If you’re a perfectionist, you know what I’m on about. Enjoy this process and if you deviate from the plan for a genuinely good reason, don’t beat yourself about it.
Last but not the least, get excited about going after your dreams and goals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
So beautiful, these are my tips and tricks on creating goals for yourself that you will actually achieve! 🙂 But remember, without inspired action, goals are worthless. So go after them like your life depends on it, because it really does. 🙂
Until next time,