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Tips for Setting Your Goals This New Year
Goal setting is important for all types of needs. You may have a business, or have set New Year’s resolutions for your weight loss or financial situation. Some of the most common resolutions include weight loss and saving money, but people never plan for them. By the end of January, the New Year motivation is gone and people simply don’t know where to start to keep going to reach their goals—they don’t even have an end goal to reach for.
Goal setting keeps you motivated and gives you something to reach for. Here are some tips to help with setting your goals this New Year.
Keep Them Realistic but a Challenge
You don’t want goals that are really easy to achieve. You won’t feel like you have gained anything from them. At the same time, you want them to be realistic. If they are unattainable—even when you know this—you will be disheartened as you realize you are not going to make them. By making them realistic but challenging, you are more likely to work for them and feel proud when (and you will with some planning) you reach them.
Finding a fine line can be difficult and it will depend on the type of resolution you have. I’ll use weight loss as an example.
Don’t set the goal of losing 10 pounds every week. First of all, this isn’t healthy. Second of all, it isn’t realistic. Your body is not going to be able to keep up with such a large weight loss week in week out. You may lose that amount in your first and even second week, but without excessive training and constant medical support (like they have on The Biggest Loser) it’s very hard and unhealthy to keep that weight loss up.
Researchers recommend to lose between one and two pounds per week. One pound a week is realistic, but for some it may be too easy. Why not make a goal of losing two pound per week? That’s an average of eight pound per month, and 104 pounds in a year! It may take time, but it will also be easier to keep off in the long run. If you’re not sure, I’d suggest you check out this post about why you shouldn’t crash diet.
What category do your New Year's resolutions fall under?
Set Mini Goals Along the Way
It is worth having one big goal to reach for. Last year I had the goal of getting to a healthy weight by the end of the year. For me that was 11st. 1lb. (155lb). That was attainable but it was a long way away. If you have that weight loss goal above of losing 104lb by the end of 2014, it may seem impossible and it’s easy to lose heart along the way.
This is where mini goals comes in. Remember above of setting that 2lb a week goal? That’s your mini goal. But there are other goals that you can set, especially when it comes to weight loss. You may want to set goals for reaching each five pounds, or have a goal for reaching a certain dress size.
Again, this depends on the type of New Year’s resolution you made. What about if you’re setting the goal for saving money? You may already have an end amount that you want to reach, but what about small amounts along the way? Divide your full amount by 12, so you have a target for each month.
Breaking your goal down into smaller targets will not only make it seem more achievable, but will help you stay on track too. If you fail to meet it one month, you can assess your goals again the next to make sure you meet your target then.
No Goal Is Set In Stone
When setting your goals for the New Year, don’t set any in stone. While you don’t want to change them too much, there are times that life gets in the way, or you may reach your goal sooner than you expected and need to set a new one.
I reached my weight loss goal of a healthy BMI September, so I had three months that I hadn’t accounted for. I decided to set a new goal—one to get to my final preferred weight. By December, I had other thoughts on the weight I wanted to be after looking at myself in the mirror and realizing that I was happy with the way I looked.
When doing this, though, you need to avoid loosely setting goals that you can change for any reason. If you do it too often, you’ll find that you’ll cheat one week so you don’t lose anything, or even gain weight. If you’re saving money, you may decide to change the amount so you can splurge a little one week. When you’re setting your business goals, you may change them through the year because you want to buy that expensive new device on the market.
There are only a handful of reasons to change your goals.
- You find they were unattainable after all
- Something major happens in life, such as an illness, a funeral, or something that can really hinder the abilities of sticking to your plan
- You find that you are happy, or you meet your goals earlier than expected
Productivity Tips for Setting Your Goals for the New Year
Get Your Own Spiral Diary for Goal Setting
Write Your Goals Down Somewhere
Make sure all your goals are written down. If you don’t, you’ll forget about them! The last thing you want is to have some great big goals, break them down and then forget all about them by the end of the month. You’ll just lose motivation and won’t stick to your New Year’s resolutions. Writing them down also keeps you accountable to them.
It doesn’t matter how you write them down, as long as they are somewhere. I have a diary, which has my income goals for business and the broken down goals for different parts of my business. My weight loss goals are tracked through my blog online and my savings goals are written in my financial section in my diary.
I love having diaries that make me smile when looking at them. Why not consider the Engagement Calendar 2014 from Audubon, available on Amazon? Of course, another option is to choose a simple notebook to keep everything in order.
Last year, I made a mind map of all my goals together. It was great just to glance at for inspiration now and then. They're really easy to create, and you just need some plain paper and pencils. Make them as elaborate or as simple as you want.
Since I now work at different areas around my home it doesn’t really work, but it might for you.
When you run out of motivation during the year, look back over your goals. You will be able to see how far you’ve come and gain inspiration to see you through to the end.
Are you ready for setting your goals for your New Year’s resolutions? They don’t need to be elaborate—just something for you to follow so you keep motivated and stick to your resolutions until the end of 2014. There’s no time like the present!