We love New Year’s resolutions. When done well, they can truly help stimulate positive and sustainable change in a person’s life.
Want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your resolutions in 2018? Be sure to follow the steps below.
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The 5 Essentials of Quality Goal Setting
1) Make sure your goals inspire you.
People often set goals out of a sense of obligation, FOMO, the need to impress someone else, or simply because they think it sounds cool (e.g., fantasizing about it). But if a goal isn’t truly important to you, then how do you expect yourself to actually achieve it (without it feeling like drudgery) and sustaining it (without it feeling like a fight against will power every day)?
Before going ahead with any goal, be sure to ask yourself first: Does this goal matter to me? If yes, full steam ahead. If not, head back to the drawing board until you find something you really would love to work your butt off for!
2) Write down your goals in the present tense.
It’s a psychological win if you a) physically write down your goals on a piece of paper, b) re-read your goals daily, and c) write these goals in present “I action” form. Example: “I lose 15 pounds of body fat by June 30th, 2018 or sooner.”
3) Determine how you’ll measure your progress.
If, for some weird hypothetical reason, a court of law wanted to scrutinize whether you achieved your goal, what parameters could you use that would help support your case?
In other words, having clear parameters to measure your progress is essential.
Think about it: “I workout more” is a lot less clear and achievable than “I workout 4 days per week for at least 30 minutes.” So whether it’s miles, minutes, meters, pounds, dollars, or any other specific measurement, figure out what your parameters will be beforehand.
4) Actually measure your progress!
If the proof is in the pudding, you need to remember to make the pudding! Avoid lollygagging along on your goals by scheduling weekly, monthly, or quarterly re-tests and re-assessments of your specified parameters. Remember, use whatever metric and frequency that makes sense to you, and consider documenting or sharing these updates with trusted loved ones (accountability hack!).
5) Set new goals when you achieve old ones.
The joy and confidence you feel after achieving a goal is the perfect catalyst to help you start working toward a new one. This relentless forward motion (with the understanding that setbacks can and do occur) is essential to personal growth and a lifetime of physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
As Lou Holtz once said: “In this world, you’re either growing or dying, so get in motion and grow.”
Be sure to share this list with your fellow goal-setting loved ones, and let’s all give thanks to a happy and healthy New Year!