Here’s A Way To Set Goals That You'll Actually Stick To
Everyone can set New Year’s resolutions, but that’s only half the battle.
Goals will only help you achieve success in the long run if they’re realistic. Unattainable goals can be just as problematic as not having goals at all.
So let’s discuss the importance of setting goals, how to make them realistic, and some simple exercises you can do to clarify yours.
Why set goals?
It creates a plan of action.
Having defined goals gives you a path to follow, even during rough times when you may lose your motivation.
It makes large tasks more manageable.
Breaking up long-term goals into short-term ones helps you see that you are capable of achieving them if you take it one step at a time.
It helps you live your life to the fullest potential.
Time passes whether you take advantage of it or not! So why not use that time to work toward something that will make your life better — something that will help you feel accomplished, powerful, and ready to tackle whatever is thrown at you?
Write your goals down.
It’s been scientifically proven that writing down your goals increases your chances of accomplishing them. Why? Putting your goals on paper forces you to clarify what you want and motivates you to take action.
It also enables you to see, and therefore be able to celebrate, progress. Try to write your goals somewhere you’ll see them regularly. This way, you’ll constantly be reminded of them, which will help you keep yourself accountable.
Start by identifying your long-term goals, and then use those to inform your short-term goals.
It’s important to have an understanding of what you want to achieve long term. This helps you determine what your focus should be when it comes to your short-term goals. You can plan out what you want to accomplish in three months, six months, one year, five years, and even 10 years. These goals may change or shift as your life changes and you progress, but that’s okay. You have to start somewhere and once you create a skeleton, it’s easy to update.
Use the S.M.A.R.T method to set realistic goals.
By breaking your goals down into these specific areas, you’re better able to align them with your life. It’s not bad to set big goals for yourself, but you need to consider how realistic your goals are.
For example, having a goal to lose 30 pounds in a month isn’t realistic. When you break it down, you’ll realize that would mean losing 7.5 pounds a week which not only would be difficult, but extremely unhealthy. Check in with yourself when writing your goals — consider your schedule, your lifestyle, your health and self-care, and what you’re willing and unwilling to compromise in order to reach them.
How to put the S.M.A.R.T method into action:
Step 1: Write down ALL of your goals.
Step 2: Take one long-term goal and break it down into 3-5 short-term goals that will help you get there.
Step 3: Identify your momentum goal (the goal that if you accomplish, you will get momentum to start accomplishing other goals on your list) first. Now make it S.M.A.R.T by breaking it down by each category.
Here’s an example:
Long-term goal: I want to have more energy so I can accomplish more at work and get the promotion I’ve been after this year.
Momentum goal: Get more sleep so I have more energy.
Broken down into S.M.A.R.T:
Specific: Get 7.5 hours of sleep every night.
Measurable: Each week, my average hours of sleep per night should be 7.5 hours minimum.
Attainable: If I go to bed 8-8.5 hours before I know my alarm will go off then I will get at least 7.5 hours of sleep. I can ensure I do this by making it a priority to turn off the TV, get to bed, and leave my phone in another room so I’m not mindlessly scrolling.
Relevant: Being more rested and having a better sleep schedule will improve how I feel at work. I will be more alert, productive, and have a more positive mood. This will allow me to accomplish my career goals by taking on more responsibility and asking for a promotion and raise at work.
Time-Bound: I want to get a promotion within 6 months, so each night I will try to be in bed 8-8.5 hours prior to my alarm the next morning.