Everyone talks about goals at the start of the year and what they are going to do differently to make their year amazing. The best tip I have for goal setting (and how to stick to them) is to have lots of them! Big and small, near and far, personal, professional, financial and physical; goals help keep us move forward in a meaningful way. I find just having one goal for the year can be seriously daunting and too hard to stay motivated towards. A combination of things means that if one goal needs to take a back seat for a short period for whatever reason, you’ve got others you can be working towards and lots of opportunity for success.
I break mine down into those eight areas (big and small, near and far, personal, professional, financial and physical) and then identify what the reward is for each milestone along the way. It could be as small as a night at the movies or as big as a holiday, but ensuring there are incentives along the way keeps me motivated to keep pushing ahead.
All the usual rules of S.M.A.R.T. goals apply of course (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) to ensure I have the best chance of success, but there is always one big, scary one in there that I need to tackle. I created a special calendar in Outlook that is just for tracking my goals so I know what’s coming next and I set reminders to ensure I stay on track along the way.
Finally, be accountable. To yourself and preferably to someone else. Research shows that accountability can be the key differentiator between those that succeed and those that fail. Find someone you can share your goal with, make time to regularly check in with them as to how you are doing, share the good things and the challenges, and ask them to be a great listener. The calendar and milestones help keep you accountable to yourself but there is nothing so powerful as sharing it with someone else. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved, as they say. But even better, success shared makes for a celebration!
By Michelle Cooper – Pushys Sponsored Athlete