How to get into goal setting

Written by Lois Hilton

It has come that time of year again where we start thinking of things, we want to change next year and make our ‘resolutions’, with the same hope every year that we will actually achieve them this year. Come the end of January, most of the time, we are left with the disappointment of not achieving them, give up and leave it another year. We’ve all done it, haven’t we? In this blog, instead of offering ‘resolution ideas’ I will be giving you tips on how you can get into the habit of setting goals and achieving them.

  1. 1. Choose what you want to improve

It may sound self-explanatory, but you need to choose an area of your life you want to improve. This could be exercising, reading, or maybe even growing in a skill. Whatever you want to improve, decide to set yourself a goal on it. You can have more than one, but don’t overload yourself! I would recommend having about 3 going at a time, if not less. This could also be carrying over something you have already started improving, or something that you just never have the time to do. Once you have your goal in place, you will fell much more motivated to do it!

  1. 2. SMART it

SMART is an acronym that is super helpful to use when planning your goal. Here are some prompt questions and what the letters stand for, if you don’t already know:

S: Specific: what do you actually want to achieve from this goal? If it’s exercising, what type of exercising? What area of a skill do you want to achieve? Make sure you clearly state what you want to do, like reading 10 pages a day for example.

M: Measurable: how will you track your progress? Will you write down a log? Will you do it by how much you produce? Using the reading example, you could create a log of when you read and how much you read (GoodReads is a good app for this specifically).

A: Achievable: is this goal able to be achieved in the time you have given yourself? Is it out of reach too much? Do you need to have stepping stones towards the ultimate goal? Maybe, if you chose reading, you may try reading 5 pages a day to begin with before going into doing more.

R: Realistic: will it actually be possible for you to actually achieve this at all? Will you be able to do this in your life with your schedule, or even with physical and health issues? You don’t want to push yourself unhealthily and need to make sure that the goal is able to be achieved in a safe way. For example, if you struggle reading or don’t have the time for it, you don’t want to start off reading 2 hours a day.

T: Time: how long will you assign to this goal? How long do you need? A week? A year? You can always push this time, but it is best to have a deadline to work towards. This may be to finish a 300-page book in a month.

  1. 3. Share your goals

Talk about your goals with your friends and family: they can offer great advice and ideas to help you achieve your goal. They can suggest things that maybe you didn’t think of, or even barriers in you plan. They might even do it with you! Throughout the time you are doing your goal, they can be a great support and can help you keep going even when you consider giving up.

  1. 4. Keep track of your progress

Now is time to get started on your goal! Throughout the time you send doing your goal, you may want to keep track of what you have done. This could just be ticking off the days that you have done it, recording how much you have done of the goal, or maybe writing a diray entry of recording a video every day. Whatever you choose, make sure that it is realistic to your lifestyle and your goal. It is a great way to keep yourself motivated and know what you want to achieve and how far you have come.

  1. 5. Review your goal

After you have finished your goal, you need to evaluate. What went well? What could have gone better? How much did you improve? Even if you didn’t achieve your goal, you can look at ways to improve it next time so that you do. Once you have done this, you can decide whether to go further with your skill, and maybe set yourself another goal, either harder or the same.

So, there are my tips to setting goals! I hope they are helpful for you to use, and practical for your life. Remember, you can set goals anytime of the year, not just at the beginning of the year!

Don’t forget to share any new skills or goals you have achieved with us. You could always write a blog on how you started doing it so that we can have a go and send it to us! Here is a link to find out more:

Happy goal setting!

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