Getting after Goals in 2020: 5 Tips for Success
With 2020 just around the corner, there’s a good chance that you are thinking about setting goals for the new year. Rather than be like so many people who set –and quickly quit — the goals they hoped to achieve, why not employ ideas and strategies that really work? Regardless of who you are, what you do in life, and even your level of previous success with goals, by using the right approach you can dramatically improve the quality of your life in little to no time.
The top 5 tips for successful goal setting
Try to think of a goal as a dream with a finish line — start by getting a clear vision of what you want to change, and why it is important to do so. If you’re unhappy at the moment, what would it take to be happy again? If you’re not enjoying your current occupation, what changes need to be made? And if you feel as though you have let yourself go physically, how much weight do you feel you need to lose? With each of these questions try and gauge just how excited you are to see future improvement? If you feel fired up, you are probably right on your way to success….but if you’re hardly excited at all, you may want to spend more time at this phase thinking about the things that do excite you for the future? Goal attainment is largely dependent on your excitement and enthusiasm at the beginning of the goal setting process, making this an important first step.
- Lose the casual attitude. You can’t “kinda” want to quit smoking, lose weight, or pursue a new career. Instead, think of things that have to change, as this internal fire and energy will be desperately needed on tough days when you feel stressed and overwhelmed. If, however, you start the goal setting process as though you are ready to run through a brick wall in order for future positive changes to occur, you are more than on your way toward a very bright and exciting future!
- Get specific. Stay away from terms like “get healthy” or “feel better,” and replace them with specific targets (i.e. lose 20 lbs or walk on a daily basis for 30 minutes). One of the biggest reasons why people fail to reach their goals is, ironically, because they never truly knew what their goals were from the beginning. For example, getting in “better shape” can mean 10 different things to 10 different people, so be sure to define your terms.
- Measure your progress. When you set goals that can be objectively measured (i.e. weekly weight loss, or a specific number of resumes to be sent out daily), it makes it a lot easier to determine whether you are making any progress. Conversely, vague terms like “make more money” or “drink less” really don’t provide much in terms of feedback as to whether you are actually changing bad habits.
- Focus on what YOU control. Rather than getting hung up on things beyond your control, try to instead focus on things you do control. For example, you can wake up each day with a positive attitude, specific goals you want to achieve, and the commitment to rebound from any adversity you might experience. While you can’t make your coach play you more, or your boss to give you an unexpected raise, you can continue to improve your abilities so that the likelihood for these things increase.
- Be realistic. Breaking bad habits can be challenging, so be realistic with the goals you have set. Start by setting simple daily goals, then work to develop short-, mid-, and long-term goals. Keep track of your progress, reward yourself for success, and work to manage the stress you experience along the way.
2020 is just around the corner, why not take a few minutes to write down some of the goals you would like to achieve for the new year? Rather than thinking about the stress associated with setting goals, try to instead think of how much better the quality of your life will be once you achieve the goals you have set for yourself. Write down your goals, keep a daily journal of your experience, and learn how to cope with the stress that you will experience along the way and before you know it you will be on your way.