It’s not long to go now until the start of the New Year, 2015 here we come! To say I’m excited is an understatement. I love having a fresh start, being able to wipe the slate clean, to start anew and to really set myself up for success. I find it such an exciting time!
Having a goal gives you a purpose and something to aim towards; it helps to propel you forward and gives your life structure. Everyone need a reason to get out of bed in the morning, not just to work and earn money to pay the bills! Life’s so much more than that.
Many people spend more time planning their summer holiday than they do planning what they want to do with their life. Don’t let this be you in 2015. Even if you think you’re too old to change and you’ve too many other commitments; it’s never too late to make a decision about the future. Don’t be so busy living; you forget to make a life.
Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? These are fundamental questions you need to answer. If you don’t have a plan, then the control of your life gets taken away from you. Instead of deciding what your future should be, other people will make those decisions for you. If this has been you, then now’s the time to change!
Take the next few days to think carefully about what you really want. Write down all your dreams and goals. Even the ones you think are unobtainable. Write with the belief you can’t fail. If you want something to happen, you’ll make it happen. To quote from ‘The Secret’, “thoughts become things”.
I’m a massive believer in having BIG DREAMS and for going after what you want. But I also believe you need to make a plan to turn those dreams into reality.
To turn your DREAMS into GOALS! You’ll need to be SMART about it!
Specific – Be clear with yourself on what you want to achieve. Target a specific area of your life you want to see improvements in. This could be: -
Health: losing weight, quitting smoking
Fitness: running a 5K, going to the gym
Work: getting promoted, getting a pay rise
Financial stability: getting out of debt, having a saving plan
Relationships: family, friends
Whatever the area you want to improve on, make your goal specific. To do that you need to answer these five questions?
What do you want to achieve?
Why do you want to achieve it?
What will be the benefits of achieving it?
Who else needs to be involved?
What are the conditions and limitations?
The more specific you’re able to be when describing your goal the bigger the chance you’ll get exactly what you want, be as detailed as possible.
Measurable – How will you be able to tell once you’ve achieved your goal? What will be the marker showing you, you’ve achieved it? You need to be able to measure your progress to make sure you’re on target for completing your goal by the deadline you’ve set for yourself. Having a timeframe makes it easier to keep track of progress and it will also tell you when you need to work harder and how close you are to achieving it.
Achievable/Attainable – You’re goals should challenge you and make you super excited when you get out of bed in the morning and I’d encourage each of you to have big dreams and goals, but they also need to be attainable. This is a fine line. The easier the goal, the less satisfaction you’ll get from achieving it as you’ll know it hasn’t properly challenged you. It’s like me giving myself the challenge of running 10K! That’s no challenge for me; however, running six marathons in six days across the Sahara desert is a BIG challenge. It’s achievable, but it’s going to be incredibly tough and will definitely be getting me out of my comfort zone. By picking an ambitious but achievable goal that’s important to you, you’ll start to think of different ways to make it happen; you’ll figure it out and do what needs to be done to achieve it.
Relevant/Realistic – Choose a goal that matters to YOU! Does it get you excited? Are you a little scared by it? Do you think about it all the time? Has it been a dream in the back of your mind? Does it inspire you? Motivate you? If it does, then this sounds like the goal you should be going after. Be realistic with what you can achieve, if you need to lose two stone, don’t set the goal of losing it in four weeks, it’s not going to happen. Set a realistic goal for what you want to achieve and make sure you can achieve it with hard work, dedication and commitment. There’s no point dreaming of the physically impossible, for example wanting to grow four inches in height, if you’re already fully grown, that’s not going to happen! Be realistic and make sure your goal is relevant to you and your life.
Time related/Time bound – Give yourself a deadline of when you want to achieve your goal by. I always think it’s best to work backwards. If it’s a sporting challenge, work backwards on how long it will take you to do it. If you’ve never done any running before, then book in a 5K four weeks away, a 10K three months away , a half marathon six months away and a marathon twelve months away. This will give you a realistic structure. If you’ve never run before don’t book a marathon for two months time, as it’s never going to happen! A goal without a deadline is little more than a wish.
5 Top Tips for Setting and Accomplishing GOALS in 2015
Make them SMART
Write them down
Put them somewhere you can see them everyday
Have a mixture of fun, challenging, personal, professional, sporty, academic goals. Mix it up; make sure you get a good balance. You don’t want to have ten goals all related to work, or equally ten goals all related to your personal life!
Create an ACTION BOARD. This will act as a visual reminder of what you’re going to achieve over the coming twelve months.