Let’s be serious – every new year starts with the feeling of being super motivated and ready to make positive and lasting life changes – but by the end of February 90% of us are left feeling demotivated and negative! The reason? Setting unattainable or non-specific goals!
Goals should always be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely). The easiest way to make sure your goals you set are indeed ‘smart’ is to write them down! I always start by categorising my goals – Career, Education, Finance, Recreation, Relationships, Health and Fitness, Spirituality, etc. Once this is done you should go through each goal and make sure you add details according the following:
1. What is your exact goal? Yes you want to lose weight, but how much specifically? And do you want to lose a specific amount of kilograms or drop to a certain dress size? How are you going to lose the weight? Answer the 5 W’s (Who, What, Where, When, Why) and you’ll have a much clearer view of your goal and how to achieve it!
2. Now you need to set concrete criteria for how the progress of your goal will be measured. Ask yourself questions like: “How much?” “How many?” “How will I know if I’ve made progress?”
3. Goals should be achievable, according to your lifestyle, characteristics, etc. Setting a goal to become a world class athlete isn’t going to happen if you’ve never trained a day in your life and you don’t have the correct genetics. Rather set goals that suit you and your life.
4. Making sure that the goals you set are realistic is NB! Setting goals that are not realistic will demotivate as you are trying to achieve the impossible. You will never lose 20 kg’s in one month – so don’t set that goal. Rather set smaller goals that will eventually lead to you reaching your ultimate goal.
5. Set a time frame. Goals are just plans until you put a deadline to them. Also, if you set a cut-off date you will be more motivated to put your all into achieving that goal during your allocated time period.
This might seem like a lengthy process but if it is what it takes for you to achieve all your goals, I’d say it’s worth it? So find a few hours to sit and plan your year ahead and it could be your best year yet!