Goal Setting

A new year often means new year’s resolutions, right? You start the year with plans to:

  1. Go to the gym 5 days a week
  2. Eat healthier
  3. Stop drinking
  4. Find a new job
  5. See your family more
  6. Spend more time with friends

Phew, that’s a lot to fit in, my brain already hurts just thinking about all of that. How do you even fit that all in? You start off with a bang but you get to the 1st February and realise work deadlines are already crazy, you haven’t joined a gym yet, and you haven’t seen your friends or family for 2 weeks.

Goal Setting

See, the problem is we so often set our expectations too high. The reason we so often fail our new year resolutions is that we don’t plan for success – we just hope that it will just happen.

Think back to when you were at high school or university – you had goals right? Assignments to be submitted, exams to prep for – you had targets and you put time into getting it done. You also had people holding you accountable. Fast forward to your first job – you had aspirations, you wanted to climb the corporate ladder, earn lots of money and then maybe settle down and have a family. In short terms you were motivated.

Fast forward and your job is just your job – it pays your bills, you can’t stand your workmates, your boss is a bully and you are basically going through the motion’s day in, day out. Not only that, you don’t have time for anything else like exercise or even family and you’re too tired at night to go to the gym. Your aspirations have disappeared and you realise that this could be you for the rest of your life, Kind of like you’re sleepwalking through life. Motivation lacks, you start eating bad, you stop exercising and you find yourself having a glass (or more) of wine every night.

Now this might sound like you, or maybe you’ve managed to climb that corporate ladder, you got to the top and now where do you go? What’s next? Where’s the next challenge?

Let me tell you – once upon a time you were on track – and you can get back on track. You just have to think about what you really want to achieve and then work backwards from there. Think about the things that make you happy, what makes you get out of bed in the morning, who makes you happy and set your goals from there. So many people fail their new year resolutions because they set themselves up for failure from the start.

If you want change, and you want to stick to your goals here are 5 things to do differently this year to make sure you achieve your goals:

  1. Start your goals before New Year – don’t wait until New Year to set and start goals – set goals throughout the year, knowing they will flow into the following year. That way you’ll start your year already feeling like you’re on your way and ready to tackle your goals. You’ll be more likely to keep working consistently throughout the year towards your goals. Even if disaster hits, or challenges present themselves, you already know where you’re going and what you need to do and little setbacks won’t feel impossible. It’s so important to have continuous goals, not just at new year, that you can pivot and reset when needed. 
  2. Set 1 or 2 goals not resolutions – If you haven’t been to the gym in 5 years, stop for a second and think about “why” you want to start going to the gym now. Is this the best place for you? What do you want to achieve from the gym? Maybe you could think about a more approachable goal like getting out after work 2-3 nights a week and walking around your neighbourhood for 30minutes. Or take to your local walking tracks with a friend. It doesn’t matter how you move your body; it just matters that you move it. Perhaps look into different fitness groups in your area like outdoors bootcamps, walking groups, yoga or even Pilates. Just remember you don’t have to be out there smashing your body until it hurts, the gentle forms of exercise can be just as, if not even more effective than a hot sweaty gym session. Consistency is the key here.
  3. Write down your goals – Make sure they are somewhere you will see them every day and keep checking in on them – when you see your goals, you are more likely to hold yourself accountable. Write them on post it notes and stick them on your mirror, or on your desk at work, even make them your screensaver. Write them on your phone or computer so that you can check in on them regularly. When you visualise what you want, you are less likely to forget it and you are more likely to keep working towards your goals.
  4. Break down your goals into mini goals – when your goals seem smaller, they are more achievable and you’re more likely to tick them off which makes you feel accomplished. Whether your goals are exercise, work or family related there is always a way to break them down. Let’s just say you want a promotion at work – it’s not just going to happen overnight; you need to figure out how you’re going to get it. Your first step should be to write down what position you want, what is required in that position and what you need to learn to show others that you could do the job. Think about short training courses you could do in the short term and think outside the box. Offer to take on extra work and show your initiative. 
  5. Tell someone – Make sure you have someone who will hold you accountable. If you’ve got people in your corner then you will be way more likely to succeed. If you don’t back yourself, make sure someone else does. Trust us, it takes a village. Set up regular catch ups with a friend to check in and go over where you’re at. Don’t go it alone because that’s not what life is about. We are all in this together and being able to support each other is what keeps us going. Remember – many of the most successful business people of all time have mentors, coaches and friends who were all cheering them on from the sidelines. Don’t forget that you deserve that support too.

Lastly don’t rush – you’ve got a whole 365 days to achieve your goals and believe me they might change along the way, but don’t lose your purpose, don’t forget why you set these goals in the first place and keep yourself accountable. If you have something to work towards, you’ll have more energy, you’ll be happier and far less stressed.

Life is meant to be a journey, not a race. You might fall, but you will always get back up again and you have your people there to help you out.

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