Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Achieve your goals in 2010

December 29, 2009 by Linda  
Filed under Articles

Want to make sure your new year’s resolutions don’t fizzle out with the firecrackers on New Years Eve?

 Have you ever approached the new year with a head full of all the great things you would like to achieve for the coming year, full of unbridled enthusiasm, resolute in your determination to achieve your goals for the coming year… only to find your determination peters out with the hot summer days, and by autumn the seeds of change have fallen like leaves from the trees, blown about by the relentless demands of your daily life?

 It’s easy to start the New Year with a “big bang” armed with a list full of resolutions; however statistics reveal that approximately 97% of New Year’s resolutions will not be kept. 

 While there are lots of reasons why, two of the most common reasons are:

1.  people don’t really expect to keep the resolution, and

2.  an inability to set achievable goals.

 Among the most common goals set as New Year’s resolutions are:

  • to lose weight
  • exercise (more)
  • eat healthier
  • give up smoking
  • effectively manage finances
  • develop great relationships
  • find a better job

 What are your goals for 2010?  Do they include any of the above, or do you have specific aspirations in other areas of your life, such as personal development, education, spirituality, or family?

 Whatever your goals for 2010, it’s time to put some plans into action so you can turn them into your reality.

 Here are my top 6 tips for achieving your goals:

  1. Prioritise

 When you have many goals you would like to achieve, it can be tempting to charge off toward them all at once.  However, your initial burst of energy and enthusiasm can quickly turn into feeling swamped or overwhelmed with the magnitude of your task.

 For the best success, choose one goal to work on initially.  Devote the required time to focus on this goal and develop regular habits that support your success.  If your goal requires a change in your behaviour, this is achieved through persistent action, and new routines can around 21 days to become habitual (I like to allow one month). 

 Once you have achieved your initial goal, introduce another goal to work toward.  By doing this, you keep it manageable and continue to build on your successes.

 Can’t decide which goal to choose first?

 Chose your initial goal on the basis of:

  • Your values
  • Perceived benefit
  • Importance
  • Passion / interest
  • Achievability

2.    Get clear

 Clarify your goal, and give it definition. Be specific about what it is exactly you want to achieve, right down to the finer details.  The clearer you are about what you want to achieve, the better able you are to create it.

 For example, if your goal is to lose weight, decide what your ideal weight is and over what period of time you would like to achieve it.  

 If your goal is to better manage your finances, what does this mean specifically?  Is it having a savings plan, paying more of the mortgage, a zero balance on your credit card by this time next year, or investing?  What specific dollar value is your goal?

 Asking yourself the following questions can help you clarify your goal:

 What will I see, hear and feel when I have achieved it? 

 How will I know when I have achieved it?

 3. Get specific

 Now that you have chosen your goal, and are specific about what you want to achieve, it’s time to develop action steps to create your goal. 

 Apply the SMART criteria to your goal.  Ensure your goal is:

  • Specific – vague goals lead to half hearted attempts to achieve them
  • Measurable – so that you can monitor your progress along the way
  • Attractive – the more you want the goal, the more motivated you will be to achieve it
  • Realistic – to ensure it is achievable
  • Time framed – have an appropriate timeframe for achievement of the goal.

 (adapted from Grant, A., and Greene, J., It’s your life, what are you going to do with it – Coach Yourself, make real change in your life, 2001)

 Break your goal down into action steps, and commit them to writing.  Use my “Actioning Your Goals” action planner as a guide. 

 4. Visualise

 Dr Stephen Covey, management guru and author states in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

“All things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.”

With your specific goal in mind, and documented action steps in place, the next step is to visualise yourself completing the action steps and achieving the goal. 

 Close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. 

 In your mind, picture yourself doing the activities required to achieve the goal.  See yourself taking action toward your goal, completing all the activities and tasks easily and effortlessly.  Once you have mentally worked your way through the steps, picture yourself having achieved the goal.  Take some more deep, belly breaths.  Live in the moment – feel the success, the feeling of being right there, in the moment.  Hear the sounds of success, and looking through your own eyes, see the evidence of achieving your goal. 

 Take another deep breath and open your eyes, ready to start your journey!

 5. Take action

Now you have created your goal in your mind, it’s time to make it real and physically take action toward it. 

Work your way through the activities and tasks outlined in your action plan.  Develop daily habits which will support the achievement of the goal.  Most goals are achieved by small actions over time, with persistence and determination.

It may be helpful to find a buddy that will help you along the way, and keep you accountable for your actions.  This could be your partner, friend, work colleague or a mentor or coach.  Find and surround yourself with like minded people who will help you achieve your goals.

6. Celebrate

Celebrate and reward yourself each and every step along the way as you progress toward your goal.  Ensure you choose a reward which is congruent with your goal (for example, if your goal is to lose weight, rewarding yourself with a chocolate bar may not be congruent with the achievement of your goal).

Use the action plan review template as a guide. 

Remember to review your progress at regular intervals, as this will help to build on your successes and keep you motivated toward the next steps.

Enjoy the journey, as that can be just as rewarding as the goal itself.

Congratulate yourself (and your buddy) and celebrate the achievement of your goals.

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