Lots of us make new goals for the new year, but how often and how long do you stick with it? Goals should be achievable, something you have control over. Any goal that relies on others or external factors is not a good goal. Your goals are set by you and you should be in control. Set realistic goals and don’t spread yourself too thin. What happens when you don’t achieve your goals? You might feel like a failure or have negative emotional effects. It can also set up an expectation that you will never meet your goals and then you won’t believe in setting goals at all. Some examples of unrealistic/realistic goals are:
Write a book in a week
Lose 30 lbs in 2 months
Get a promotion
Write 500 words a day
Start exercising 3 days a week
Master a new skill at work and negotiate a raise
There is an acronym that you may have heard before for setting goals…
S.M.A.R.T. goals work because they are quantifiable, which means you can measure your success. First step – write it down. Dump your brain and write whatever comes to your mind without judgement. Sort them into 5 main categories:
- Professional Development
- Personal Development
- Health & Fitness
Now, take a long hard look at what’s laid out in front of you. Pick your top goal in each category and maybe a runner-up. Then set mini goals (actionable steps) for those goals and figure out how to achieve each goal step by step. Some questions to ask for each of your top goals are:
- Why do I want to achieve this goal? How will it better my life?
- What’s my timeline?
- What tools do I need to be able to achieve this goal?
- What actionable steps will I take to achieve this goal?
- How will I reward myself after my goal is achieved?
Once you have everything, put it all together… Make a plan, keep track of your progress, be flexible and forgive yourself. Every goal you set isn’t going to be the right one for you. Circumstances may change or you may decide that a career in writing isn’t what you thought it was going to be. Sometimes you will face failure, and that’s okay… The most important thing is that you learn from your failure and keep moving forward.