How To Set Goals For Your Best Year Ever
A new year is almost upon us…and with it the chance of a clean slate, a new start – is it any wonder that we love to make plans for the best year ever?! Although we may set out with the very best intentions, resolutions tend to only last until around March, if not before! But all is not lost, because there are ways in which we can make sure we give our goals the best possible chance at succeeding that we can!
Think About Your Dream Life
There is no point in making up goals that aren’t going to help you get to where you want to be in any way – and I am a huge advocate for setting goals in the first place, because it’s all too easy to drift through day-to-day life and turn around to see that another year has somehow passed, and you’re nowhere closer to reaching your goals. Don’t worry, we are all guilty of it! This is where planning and setting good goals comes into play.
When I say to think about your dream life, I don’t mean where you are an instant billionaire and married to Henry Cavill (just me…?), but an achievable one – where you believe you will truly be happy and content. This looks different for all of us, and will be very personal to each of us, but it is important – so take the time to sit back and think about what you can work towards.
Just doing this when thinking about your goals will show you if they are important enough to keep focusing your energy on – after all, how many times have we made a resolution because it’s something we think we should be doing…but we aren’t really that bothered about? This is when it can all go wrong! When you are working towards something substantial and meaningful, you will be much more likely to keep focused.
Set The Bar High
In line with the point above, why not set the bar really high? You obviously need to make sure that your goals are actually achievable, but they still need to push you out of your comfort zone, as that’s when you will start to get into the areas that are really important to you, instead of just doing what is easy.
Make sure that the align with the direction that you want your life to follow – if you don’t take the time to plan and dream about your own life, then you could get swept along in a completely different direction.
So set the bar high – don’t be afraid to dream some big dreams and set those plans in motion – after all, we only have this one shot at life, so it’s always worth going for the things we truly want, with no hesitation.
Set Small, Chunks of Goals
This may sound as though it is completely different to the step mentioned above (set the bar high) – but what I mean by this is to make sure that your goals are manageable.
If you want to run a marathon, that’s an amazing goal and you can definitely achieve that in a year – but if you’ve never done any kind of running before and are unsure how it’s going to be, there’s nothing wrong with setting a goal of running a 5k race instead, and building up to a marathon.
We need the goals to not be so big that seem impossible to conquer – they need to push us, but we need to know that we can achieve them.
Look Back To Look Forward
Reflecting on the year that has just passed is an excellent way of working out what is important to you for the year ahead of you. Look back on the last 12 months and think of the things that stand out to you as having gone really well and made a positive impact on your life – and now think of things that you feel didn’t go as well, that you would like to change.
If you work towards keeping the positive aspects positive, and changing those negatives into positives, this will help to clear your head in terms of setting good goals.
Add To Your Life – Not Take Things Away
This is a common mistake when making resolutions – thinking of all of the things that we are doing that we need to stop immediately – going cold turkey is a difficult thing for many people to do at the best of times! It’s better to think of your resolutions in terms of adding things to your life rather than taking away, so for example:
- Instead of “I won’t buy any fast food for lunch for the whole year” – try something like “I will take a packed lunch of food everyday so I can save money and eat healthier”
- Instead of “I won’t eat any sugar for 6 months” – try something like “I will bake healthy snacks every Sunday to take to work each day”
When you make positive goals, these will be much more likely to go well, rather than punishing yourself or feeling guilty.
This is something reallllyyyyyy important, because it works! Top performers (e.g. athletes, CEO’s etc) all set goals, and do their absolute best to achieve them, using methods like this one. When you are thinking about your dream life, there may be many things that you want to achieve, and if they are truly possible, then you can work backwards to see how you need to get there.
An example could be:
- Life goal – run a marathon
- 2 year goal – to have run that marathon
- 1 year goal – complete 10k, apply for marathon
- 6 month goal – complete 5k
- 3 month goal – have reached 2k within training
- 1 month goal – finish first 1k
- 1 week goal – get running shoes, figure out a training schedule and start
This is just an example, you could train for a marathon however you wish and it may not take you 2 years to do so! But it’s to show how you can work backwards from your goal in order to get there. Giving yourself a timeframe is a great way of staying on track and not letting time run away from you.
Write It Down
Writing down your goals will make them more real, and if you’re like me it will make them more likely to stay in your brain (not sure why, I just love writing everything down!). Put them in your diary, on your fridge, to be reminded that you are working towards them.
Print photos off of the things that you are working towards – could be a house, holiday, different career, etc…whatever it is that you want to achieve. Make this year the year that you run headfirst towards your dreams.
What are your goals for the new year?