As the calendar gets thin, many of us find ourselves reflecting on our past accomplishments and setting new goals for the year ahead. Whether or not you believe in the practice of adopting a New Year’s resolution, it is always important to have something to work toward.
Here are a few tactics to help you reach your goals in the coming year.
- Before you set a goal, ask yourself three questions – Is it realistic? Is it specific? Does it have a timeframe? At the start of a new year there is always the temptation to gather your biggest ambitions and set out to accomplish them with fervor. Being realistic about your goals is the first step to success. Don’t set lofty goals that completely overhaul your life all at once. Instead, break your goals into smaller achievable milestones.
- Set yourself up for success by breaking your goal into daily, weekly or monthly mini-goals. Then, give yourself a pat on the back every time you achieve one.
- Be specific. If your goals aren’t specific enough, it is too easy to bend them. Work on one or two specific aspects of the larger goal and then add more specifics as you master those. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and give you small wins to feel good about.
- Set a timeframe. Goals, by nature, have a timeframe. Whether the timeframe is a year or five, there should be an end point to your goal. This shouldn’t be hard if your goal is specific. Work backwards from your end date, break your goal into steps and see how realistic it is to achieve the goal in your proposed timeframe. If something gets you off track along the way, it is OK to adjust the timeframe, but don’t do it more than once. Giving yourself the leeway to move your deadline over and over will work against you.
- Finally, don’t focus on past failures. Just because you set a goal for yourself last year that you didn’t achieve doesn’t mean you should stop setting goals altogether. Focus on the bigger picture. Did you make any small steps toward that goal? Did something take you off track? Maybe you didn’t give yourself a realistic amount of time to accomplish it, or something unexpected happened. Make a plan for how you will handle these challenges in the coming year so you are ready to power through them. Whatever the barrier, don’t lose hope. Sometimes a simple self-evaluation will allow you to recharge your batteries to tackle that goal in the coming months.
What goals are you looking to accomplish in 2017?
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