As another year draws to a close, many of us take the time to reflect on the year gone. It is a great little exercise to sit down and work through the year’s events at this time of year. Think about all those joyous occasions you shared with friends, family or perhaps even just in your own company; work through the lessons you have learnt and how you have grown with the hard times that may have come your way and most importantly re-evaluate if your journey is headed in the direction you had imagined for yourself.
If it is, fantastic, then it’s full steam ahead for you. However for those that find that their course has become slightly deterred or even derailed along the way, then why not use the fresh start of a New Year to re-establish your goals and set about creating that life you imagine.
It’s pretty simple really, if you’re happy and content with your life, then continue on your current path. If you are not happy or there are elements of your life you are not satisfied with, then set about changing it. You can’t expect anybody else to do that for you. You need to step up to the plate and imagine your life the way you want to lead it, then set your goals to allow you to focus on achieving your best life possible.
Goal setting is such a powerful practice. It causes us to evaluate what we want out of life, and then helps focus our attention on achieving that life for ourselves. Without goals we can find ourselves becoming a passenger in our own life journey rather than taking the wheel and driving ourselves to our desired destination. Well thought out goals help us organise our time and our resources so that we can make the very most of our life.
As a Health and Wellness Coach, one of the key practices I spend A LOT of time completing with each and every client is personal goal setting. Why? Because the very practice of goal setting causes us to evaluate what we like about our lives and what we wish to change, and then forces us to focus on how we go about achieving that change for ourselves. It’s a very empowering process.
So for those of you that need a little assistance in setting your own personal goals, here are just a few simple tips that will help you set realistic, achievable and measurable goals for the next 12 months, to ensure you too can achieve your best life possible.
Go on, empower yourself to make positive changes in your life today.
Make your goals SMART – Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-sensitive
Specific – Cut straight to the point. No waffling. Make it clear exactly what you want to achieve.
Measurable – To determine if your goal is measurable, ask yourself how will I know when it’s accomplished?
Attainable / Action focused – What needs to happen to achieve the goal? Is the goal achievable considering your time, resources, life circumstances etc. Think about the actions that are required to achieve the goal and determine if you are able to take the requires action to achieve.
Realistic – A goal has to be something that we can reasonably make “real” or a “reality” in our lives. There are some goals that are simply not realistic. You have to be able to say, even if it is a tremendously stretching goal, that yes, indeed, it is entirely realistic—that you can make it.
Time-orientated – Every goal should have a time frame attached to it. One of the powerful aspects of a great goal is that it has an end—a time in which you are shooting to accomplish it.
For example, instead of having “to sail around the world” as a goal, it’s more powerful to use the SMART goal “To sailed around the world unassisted leaving from Australia and arriving on the East Coast of America by December 31, 2017.” Okay, okay, so this may not be realistic for most of us, but you get my drift.
State each goal as a positive statement
The way you word your goals can have such a profound effect on your motivation towards achieving the goal. I can’t underestimate how important it is to express your goals positively – set yourself up to achieve, rather than to avoid failure. It makes us view the goal remarkably differently, but just changing the wording to a more positive statement.
When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by having too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.
Write goals down
This crystallises them and gives them more force. Some people create a vision board with pictures and statements to remind them of their goals, others list their goals in a journal, others simply write them on a piece of paper and stick them on the fridge. Whatever works for you. Just be sure to write your goals down somewhere where you will view them often, to keep you on track.
Share your goals with a loved one, group of friends, work colleagues, whomever you feel comfortable sharing them with. The act of voicing our goals to others makes us more accountable to the goals as we will receive regular ‘check-ins’ by our loved ones on how we are progressing towards achievement of those goals. Accountability puts some teeth into the process.
So over to you……what do you hope to achieve in your life in the next 12 months?