Do you often set yourself goals or targets and then 6 months later wonder why you are no closer to achieving them? Do you get fed up with New Year Resolutions that have fizzled out by mid-January?
Now it may not be setting the goals that are to blame. Here are my tips for ensuring that the goals you set for 2016 get you results!
- Make sure it’s something you really want
I’ve lost count of the number of times someone has told me their resolutions for me to say, “Wow, great goal – why have you chosen that?” for them to say something along the lines of, “Hmmm, not sure really – just thought it would be nice to do.” When that happens, I am 99% certain that their goal will be dust within a month.
If you have a goal it should mean something to you. Ask yourself how you would feel if you achieved it. What benefits would it bring you? What would you get by achieving that? For those people who are really clear about the reason why it is so important, success usually follows. Find your reason why!
- Make yourself accountable
Keeping your goal to yourself to prevent you feeling stupid in case it fails, is again a good indicator that it might fail. It shows you doubt yourself and shows that you are not fully signed up to achieving that goal. Instead make yourself accountable by telling people your intentions. Tell friends, tell family, post it on Facebook – do whatever it takes to feel that there is no way out of it! That way, you are much more likely to see it through.
- Bite-sized chunks
Sometimes those goals just feel soooo big! It’s easy then to feel overwhelmed and to feel that you just don’t know where to start – and guess what, often people then never do start. Break each of your goals down into small bite-sized chunks or sub-goals. I always try to keep my chunks to tasks which can be completed in less than half an hour – that way, not only does the task never feel too big, but I also can’t put it off due to lack of time!
- Set a date
A goal without a deadline is just a dream. If you set a date the goal needs to be achieved by, it will give you a clear target to work to. You can also work backwards from this date so you are also clear about when your sub-goals need to be delivered by in order to each your overall goal. Diarise these dates and get your goal done!
For me, one of my own goals is to complete a triathlon in 2016 (17th September 2016 to be exact). I know that in order to achieve this I need to start my fitness from January, concentrating first on running and cycling to get good aerobic fitness. From April I need to introduce swimming and train 4 days per week and introduce specific targets to achieve each component: to be able to run 3Km in 25 minutes; to cycle 15km in 50 minutes and swim 200m in 8 minutes. I then have reducing targets to achieve over the course of the remaining months and have a plan of putting the whole race together. The plan is detailed, the plan is specific – with clear dates and actions. Now you do the same.
- Be realistic
There’s no point in setting goals that you just can’t achieve. It won’t motivate you and you will just set yourself up for failure.
My triathlon dream is just to complete the triathlon – if I set myself the challenge to win it, that would be completely beyond my capability and be pointless. For me, to complete it is very realistic and achievable and so that it my goal.