Set goals, not resolutions! Follow these tips to get the most out of your goals, and set goals that you’ll actually stick to. Read more here!
There’s something about resolutions which don’t stick. Or maybe that’s just me – haha!
But on a serious note, how many times have you made new year’s resolutions and not stuck to them? I know there have been a lot of them. Things like ‘lose some weight’ or ‘get more exercise’ – it never works.
So today we’re going to look at setting realistic goals, and not new year’s resolutions. By the end of it, you’ll be able to set yourself some achievable goals and hopefully much more motivated afterwards!
Why set goals?
Goals help you clarify your thoughts and ideas, and make it much more likely to achieve your dreams/aspirations. As humans, we naturally strive for more from our lives and are always on the lookout for bigger and better things.
Goals cater to this in many ways. Having a clear plan is exciting, and knowing that you can reach your goals is satisfying. When you reach your goal you’ll also have a feeling of accomplishment. There’s nothing better than that!
How to set effective goals
So now you know why goals help, let’s look at how to set effective goals. As mentioned above, there’s no use setting goals that don’t have any substance to them. Without some thought and a plan, you’ll probably never stick to them.
The SMART method
Some of you may have never heard about the SMART goals setting method, but if not, don’t worry. I’ll be explaining all below!
Smart goals are set using a specific set of measures. The more detailed and descriptive your goals are, the more likely you are to achieve it. Using the smart method is helpful as it keeps you on track in terms of setting your goals, as well as helping you produce detailed goals.
Each of the letters in ‘SMART’ stand for:
S – Specific
Goals that are specific will help you achieve your goals. Being specific with your goals means adding as much detail as possible to them.
So let’s say that you want to do more exercise. That goal in itself is too vague. How are you going to do that? When are you going to do it? Where are you going to get more exercise? Why exactly do you want to achieve this goal?
These are all good questions to be asking yourself in making your goal specific. So, rather than just getting more exercise, something like, “I am going to exercise three times per week at the gym for an hour each time” is much better. Your ‘why’ might be to lead a healthy lifestyle or tone up.
M – Measurable
Measurable goals mean that you can truly see the results of your efforts. This doesn’t have to just relate to numbers, either. Your goal might relate to a certain feeling.
For example, if you did want to tone up, measure how you feel within yourself instead of measuring the amount of weight lost. It doesn’t have to be regimented – some of us just want to feel well and avoid getting ill so much. This is absolutely fine, too.
A – Attainable
Setting goals also mean that they should be attainable. This means making sure your goals are reachable and realistic. There’s no use setting goals that you just won’t reach. This is important as if not, you may end up giving up, and this feels much worse.
But this doesn’t mean your goals shouldn’t be too easy, either. Setting a goal that is realistic is important for both being too easy or too hard to reach.
To put this into perspective, an example of this could be that you want to become a millionaire by the time you’re 40.
Breaking this down into an amount to earn per day makes it more attainable, but make sure you take into consideration any costs involved, too. Being a millionaire by 40 means you need to take into consideration what your actual profit is, and that makes your goal unreachable.
R – Relevant
The other aspect to take into consideration is whether you actually want to reach your goal or not. There’s no use striving for something that isn’t relevant to you and you’re just not that bothered about it.
Ask yourself questions like whether you truly want to reach this goal. If you’re not bothered, you probably won’t reach it. Will your goal truly make you happy?
T – Timely
The final but not least section of setting a goal is to ensure that you set yourself a time to reach it by. There’s no use having a goal that has no end date as you’ll not feel the push to get there.
So let’s say that you want to tone up and your goal is to go to the gym three times a week. How quickly do you want to feel the changes in yourself? 6 months? 3 months?
Make sure that you set a timeframe that is reachable, but not too extreme either. It’s important to make sure your goal time frame is not too easy, but not too hard.
In the end
As you can see, setting goals is actually quite an in-depth process. Don’t be put off by this though! Having clear goals is exciting and gives you something to look forward to. It gives you a reason to get up in the morning.
But on the flip-side, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, keep your goals simple. Use the SMART method bit don’t overload yourself with pressure. Goals are there to keep you motivated but not to make you feel overwhelmed.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!