A goal properly set is halfway reached – Zig Ziglar.
Many of us are already making plans for the year end break. These plans may focus on your health, your career, your family, or even your social life.
Many of us find it helps us feel at ease by planning to better ourselves, and make the most of our time, but how do you actually ensure that the plans you have made are carried through, and how can goal setting create the life you’ve always wanted? Read on to find out…
1. Define your Goals and your Reasoning
It’s all very well setting a goal, but it’s important to outline why it’s something you want to work towards. Without much meaning behind the goal, it is less likely you will reach the end result. Sometimes we think we want something, and then when we take the time to better understand why, it becomes apparent that it’s something we don’t feel so passionate about after all. On the other hand, if you understand the purpose (why) and style (how) in achieving something, as well as how much it really means to you, you will naturally feel more passionate about it. When you outline your goals, don’t just write down why you want to achieve that goal, do state what it would mean to you to do so.
2. Outline Clear Steps
Where many of us go wrong with setting goals for the year ahead is not looking at the path to reach that goal, and not defining an end result. ‘I want to be healthier’ is a prime example. In order to keep yourself motivated and on track, your goal needs to be measurable and feature smaller steps to create the bigger picture. Instead of ‘I want to be healthier’ set a goal such as, ‘I will run at least 3 times every week to prepare for this year’s StanChart marathon in December and ensure I complete it under the timing of 3:20:00’, or ‘I will drink only water and no other beverages with breakfast, lunch and dinner for this entire month’.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler – Albert Einstein
These goals are defined, and once you know what you want the end result to be, you can set out smaller, more manageable and achievable steps to get to the end result. Small achievements along the way will help keep you motivated and keep up the momentum, making it more likely that you will finish the task.
3. Create a Long-Term Plan
Goal setting to implement a lifestyle change isn’t about short term goals, it’s about making changes for good. It actually takes 21 days to form a habit, so if you’re trying to introduce something into your life, or quit something, it will take almost a month for this to become the norm. Once you have reached your original end goal, set more long term goals to keep yourself on track, making lifelong changes for a better lifestyle.
When you’ve achieved a goal, don’t forget to take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of having done so. Absorb the implications of the goal achievement, and observe the progress that you’ve made towards other goals.
If the goal was a significant one, make sure you reward yourself. All of this helps you build the self-confidence and happiness you deserve.