How to make resolutions and formulate goals that you might actually have a chance of achieving

It’s that time of year again, “New Year,  New You” blah, blah ….

You are assaulted from all angles by people telling you to make plans and goals for the next year, and frequently  being asked what your ‘New Year Resolution’  is going to be.

So you go along with the crowd, feeling virtuous as you vow that this will be the year that you:

  • Lose weight
  • Take more exercise
  • Get a grip on your finances
  • Get a new, more fulfilling job
  • Improve your personal relationships …………..

Does this sound familiar?

Don’t get me wrong – I am all for setting goals and visions and in fact do it for myself all the time. But there is a better way to go about it – a method that when applied correctly is likely to result in you actually achieving your aims and ambitions.

YOU CAN GO THROUGH THIS PROCESS AT ANY TIME THAT FEELS RIGHT TO YOU – In fact sometimes it is better to let the frenzy of Christmas and New Year subside so you can think clearly about what you really want.

Allocate yourself some space and time to do the goal setting exercise thoroughly.
Take time to reflect on the past months and year and consider:

  • What were the highlights?
  • What didn’t work so well?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • What do you want to change?

Then think about what you want to achieve this year or over the coming months. The trick here is to “dream without limits”. Do not restrict yourself with thoughts like  ‘I would like to do X, but that would never fit in with my family….’ etc.  AND don’t play small, think BIG

Examine all areas of your life:

  • Physical Health
  • Emotional well-being
  • Financial health
  • Relationships
  • Home environment
  • Work or career
  • Friends and social life
  • Spiritual life
  • Anything else which is relevant to you

Our life is never just about one thing, it is multi-dimensional. All areas of our life need to be addressed or we could be held back from reaching our full potential.

For each of these areas give them a score from 1-10, (with 10 being “fantastic”),  according to how you really FEEL about them, (Not what you think you SHOULD score them as according to other people’s values).

Then for each area which does not score a perfect 10 answer the questions, ‘what’s missing?, what needs to be different?, what will make this part of my life a perfect 10? What obstacles are in the way?

Select one or more of above to work with. I suggest you choose the areas, which if you change them, are going to have the most impact, i.e. the ones with the lowest scores. The temptation is to try and alter all of them, but this could be too overwhelming. Remember it is better to do one area well and succeed, than to attempt several and not make any progress. So select what is right for you. The ones that you are really fired up about and feel inspired to tackle. (you can come back and revisit the other areas at a later date if necessary)

Once you have chosen your area then list out the goals. (There may be more than one goal for your chosen area).  Make the goals very specific and measurable.

For example:

Goal: – to release 14 pounds in weight to look good on my wedding day

Next for each goal, start writing down ways to make this happen and list all the steps you might need to take. Break down each step in manageable and actionable items.

For example:
Take up a new exercise program

  • Investigate health club membership
  • Find out what classes are available locally

Change my eating habits

  • Give up snacking between meals
  • Eat a proper breakfast
  • Consult a nutritionist

Etc …………….

If you find it hard to get started on an actionable item then break it down into even smaller steps. Make sure you add a date by which you will have completed that step.

By breaking things down to small, manageable steps you will make progress and before you know it you will have reached your goal.

So anytime your life is not going in the direction you want and you realise that something needs to change, then try this process.