It’s a new year. We’re looking forward; full of optimism, enthusiasm and great ideas for this bright shiny 2014. Resolutions are thrown around like confetti; some manage to stick, others end up trodden underfoot. Avoid grinding your dreams into the dust with strategic goal setting – here’s how.
Resolutions should be about setting realistic and achievable goals. It might be nice to daydream about winning the lotto and retiring on your newly acquired $30 million but what are the chances of it actually happening? The words slim and none come to mind. So when hatching your resolutions, keep reality in check and set goals you’ve got more than a 1 in 100,000 chance of achieving.
One of the keys to achieving your resolutions is to be clear with yourself about what you actually want. Don’t make vague and undefined goals – be specific! It’s not enough to say: I want to lose weight/make more money/grow my business. How much weight do you want to lose, how much money do you want to make, how much do you want to grow your business? Setting a defined goal allows you to create an action plan that’ll help you move towards actually achieving your goals.
Once you’ve got a clearly defined goal in mind, think about HOW you’re going to achieve it. You want to lose 20 kilos? Right, think about what exercises you’re going to do, how often you’re going to do it, how you’re going to change your eating habits and how you’re going to keep yourself motivated when success feels like it’s light years away. Institute a plan that covers all your bases and get started!
4.Avoid the overwhelm
There’s probably a lot on your plate, many hats on your head etc. You’re busy. Sometimes you’re stressed and completely overwhelmed. These are the times you want to wave the white flag in surrender. Don’t. Remember that the only way to get success (for anything) is continuing to put one foot in front of the other and, more often than not, doing one thing at a time (rather than five). Everything will get done, and if some things don’t; it’s not the end of the world.
One of the reasons our resolutions never come to life is because we’re not accountable for them. If you’re serious about reaching your goals for 2014, tell someone about them. Preferably someone who’s going to pull you up when it looks like you’ve dropped the ball and support you along the way; reminding you why the hard work is worth it. It’ll keep you motivated and on track when you need it most.
If you can, break your goal down into smaller, easily measurable goals. For example; you want to grow your client base this year. Great! So break it down into quarterly goals – I will have grown my client base by 20% by the end of April (and so on until the end of the year). This cuts down on the overwhelm factor of a long-term goal and gives you an opportunity to assess your overall progress.
Along with setting (and hopefully reaching) your deadlines, it helps to institute a reward system. There will undoubtedly be times when your motivation is lacking and energy is in short supply. This is when you need a carrot on a stick. Promise yourself a new pair of shoes, long weekend away, massage or facial when you reach specific milestones. It’ll make achieving those deadlines that much more appealing!
No one’s perfect. There are always times when despite all your best intentions, you just don’t get things done the way you should. And that’s totally ok. Admit that you’re not perfect (or a robot). The important thing is to pick yourself back up and continue putting one foot in front of the other. Good things don’t come to those who wait; they come to those who work hard (and those who know they’re bound to make mistakes from time to time).
9. Ask for help
As the saying goes; ‘No man is an island’. Nor is any woman. You don’t float through life in your own private bubble, doing everything for and by yourself. As capable as you are, there are times you need help (and it’s not a crime to admit it). So think about how the people you know can help you reach your goals. You want to grow your business? Who can you ask for help with marketing, paperwork, networking etc? You probably have a great network (you’re in one of them right now!) with a huge amount of corporate knowledge and advice – tap into it!
What are your goals for 2014? More importantly, what’s your plan for making them happen?
Shauna Maguire is the owner of ‘Take my word for it’, a freelance web content and copywriting business. Her 2014 will be focused and goal driven, she’s going to make things happen! A part time Pilates and Xtend Barre instructor in Brisbane, she’s also focused on helping others achieve their fitness and body love goals and loves seeing people fall in love with exercise.