We’re 5 days into the new year. Perhaps you set some goals for the year, or some resolutions. New Years Resolutions get a bad rep, but I think they can be a wonderful thing.
The thing is, resolutions are nothing more than goals. And goals are important for success. For me, they give me guidance and ensure I’m working towards the things I truly want out of life. Without goals, we’re easily caught up in the daily grind, and our goals become our “someday I’ll…..”
New Years resolutions are often set with no real process. Hence them falling by the way side. Here’s a few steps to keep your goals on track, no matter what time of year you’re setting them.
- Set long term goals
- Set short term goals
- Decide on action steps to get you there
- Evaluate progress
- Make changes to action steps as needed
Setting goals is really quite a process when done effectively. You must start with your long term goals. Many of us already know what these goals are. Or at least have a vague idea of what we want out of life. If that’s you and you know, I challenge you to set a time frame. This is so important as it keeps you moving along. When you have a deadline, you are much more likely to put actions into place to meet that goal. Again, we don’t want our goals to become our “somedays” right?
Once you know what you want and when, it’s time to break it down even further. Now is the time when everyone is thinking of what they want to accomplish in the new year. That’s natural, as the turn of the year feels like a new beginning. So go with it! Set goals you would like to achieve for 2016. This year I have broken my goals down into 3 sections; spiritual, financial, and personal.
After you know what it is you want, it’s time to make it specific and tangible. What the heck does that mean? Here’s a for instance. One of my goals is to make sure God is a bigger focus in our home and the center of our lives and decisions. Well that’s pretty vague, so I need some steps to focus on. What exactly will this look like? I decided on two ways to do this. For starters, I want to get back to reading scripture with my family daily. Set a time of day that works for all of us most of the time, and stick with it.
If your goal is to lose weight, you need to know how much you want to lose. Then set realistic but challenging short term goals. How much will you lose each month? What are you going to do to get yourself there? Talking about being healthy and buying a bunch of food from the store that says “diet” on it, is not going to cut it. You need to look at your nutrition! Pick a plan. There are many successful ways to do this. Next, pick how and when you will exercise.
Now that you have your long term goals, your short term goals, and your action steps, you must remember to check back in. I feel this is where most of us start slacking, and things get forgotten. We set the goal, but we never assess how we are doing.
If your goal is weight loss this is a bit easier. You hop on a scale. Even if you don’t, you know if it still feels like closet gremlins shrank your pants while you slept. But with something like my first goal, it’s easy to just forget it. You start off reading scripture everyday. And within a few weeks, or if you’re really good a few months, it has been long forgotten. Why? Because we’re all busy. I avoid this pitfall by setting a date to check in with my goals. Your boss gives you evals at the same time each year right? Give yourself an eval at regular time intervals. Actually schedule it in your calendar! Have an alarm in your phone for crying out loud. Or you will forget!
Last but not least, make adjustments to your actions and possibly your short term goals through out the year. Each time you evaluate your progress, decide what’s working and what is not. Make changes. This is a fluid thing. If you are extremely sedentary and you begin walking each day, you will probably lose some weight and feel really good. After awhile, this activity is not longer enough and you need to step your game up a bit. Does that mean you should have went right from couch to p90x in the first place? Of course not. You take your level of activity, like all goals, in small bite size steps. Just don’t forget to keep challenging yourself and making adjustments along the way!
I wish you all a very happy and productive New Year!!! Whatever you wish to accomplish this year 🙂