The winds are changing as we get ready to begin a new year. It’s exciting! There’s something about January that offers such hope and opportunity. I think that’s where resolutions came into play – but the truth is, most people forget about their goals with in the month of January and live 335 more days of the year without any change. Here’s a quick guide for making your goals become real life in 2015.
First and foremost, take the lesson from the lion king…the past is the past – you can either learn from it, or run from it. There is nothing set in stone, you can make anything happen that you decide will happen. Will it be easy? NO. Will there be set backs? YES. Will it be worth it? ASOLUTELY!
Next, brainstorm your goals – nothing too specific…just take 15-30 minutes in a quite place and think about all the goals that you have. Maybe it’s a health result. Maybe it’s finances. Maybe it’s finally taking a family vacation you have wanted to take for years. Maybe its earning more money. There is no wrong answer and no one even knows what you are thinking…so go head, put this on sleep mode right now…and go do that…I’ll be here when you’re done….
Glad that you made it back! How was it? Kind of exciting when you start the goal machine, huh?!? Ok, so here’s what you are going to do next…pick ONE – yup, just one; preferably the one that gets you the most excited out of all of them. Since, I know that everyone reading my blog is highly intelligent, so we expect that our goals are SMART too! Every goal should follow this handy acronym:
S : Specific – a general goal such as “I want to be healthy” is like hopping in your car and saying “I am going east” – a goal that happens in real life. Where are we driving east to? New York? Florida? Paris? Instead of saying healthy – figure what that actually means to you. Maybe it’s “I want to be healthier by cooking at home, packing my lunches, and only eating out once per week” or “I want to be healthier by committing to being active 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes” – Again there are no wrong answers here.
M : Measureable – When we got specific with our goals, you’ll notice that we were able to put a way to measure our success into our goals. Using the example of “I want to be healthier by cooking at home, packing my lunches, and only eating out once per week” we can track our progress by logging what we eat. It can be done with a planner, a notebook, or an app, but if we log that we are eating out only 1 time per week, we know we are on track.
A : Attainable – Naturally, our goal for the next year, would be to go from unemployed to president of the united states in 1 year…but committing to the first few steps of action to eventually get us to that big dream. If president is your ultimate goal, in the next year, you might want to 1) Get a job 2) Help a political campaign 3) Volunteer for the community 4) Design a plan to a state official and then continuing each baby step on your way to becoming president. topachievement.com said it very well:
You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.
R : Realistic – If your goal is to run a half-marathon in the next year, get realistic with it. You won’t wake up one morning, find a half marathon, and run it if you haven’t been practicing, or even know when the event is happening. Research your goal. Find a race, register, search for training programs, ask for help, find accountability buddies. The question isn’t if you can run a half marathon, the question is are you willing to work for it, no matter what? Again, quoting top achievement:
To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress.
T : Timely – without a deadline, you have no sense of urgency which leads to no sense of importance. I hear so many people every year that say that they want to lose weight. If asked, they could tell me that they want to lose 10, 20, 75, 100 pounds but when I ask by when – I lose them and I think deep down they know they are lost themselves. If you have a goal to lose 100 pounds (first you are incredible and you are so worthy your goal!) but give yourself baby step guidelines along the way so when December 1st 2015 rolls around, you aren’t trying to lose 100 lbs in 30 days – I promise that won’t happen in a healthy way! In order to lose 100 pounds in a year, you’ll want to focus on 8-9 pounds lost per month. So maybe you set up an appointment with a coach, friend, or significant other that you will hop on the scale every 2 weeks to check your progress, and that by February 1st, 2015 you will have lost 9 pounds, 9 more by March 1st, 8 more by April 1st, etc and soon enough you will have hit your goal of losing 100lbs by January 1st, 2016.
Feeling confident about your goals yet? Grab your goals and go through each of them using the SMART system. We’re going to go back to your quiet space, and now you are going to shift your mindset. Pretend for just a moment that it’s December 31, 2015 and you look at your list and you made every single one of those damn goals become real life – how would you feel? How would you look? How would it affect your life? Think about those emotions and say out loud: “I am so happy and grateful that _______”
For example I would say out loud “I am so happy and grateful than on May 2nd, 2015 I completed my first half marathon” “I am so happy and grateful that I built new friendships with healthy people in Columbus through meetup” “I am so happy and grateful that I paid off my Honda” “I am so happy and grateful that I turned blogging into a profitable business and published my first e-book in November 2015”
It feels pretty great, doesn’t it?!? There’s something about saying it out loud as if it’s already happened that makes you emotionally attached to it. And you should be attached to your goals, because they represent YOU! I also recommend keeping your goals where you can see them on a daily basis. And if there is an image that you can link to your goal, clip it and paste it on there right with your goal. When you know what you want, have vision of what you will achieve, it makes fighting thru obstacles easier.
And with that – party like it 1999 as we welcome in 2015 – stay safe, and have a very healthy, happy and blessed new year! XOXOX