New year, new you? It’s something we’ve all said before, and in many cases, it’s become an annual habit. According to a recent survey, just 75% of us are still as committed to our goals one week into the new year – a figure that drops to 71% after a fortnight. And it appears that our commitment and dedication to the cause is eroding as the year progresses, with only 46% of us remaining engaged at the six-month point, and just 9–12% of us seeing them through to the end of the year.
It doesn’t bode well, because preparing for success just to fail at the first hurdle might feel like an unending loop. The frustration of never quite getting where you want to go and the sense that you’ve let yourself down – again – are difficult to swallow, but the good news is that it IS absolutely possible to achieve those objectives you’ve been dying to cross off your list. It all comes down to the strategy you take, and getting it right may mean you set out on the road to success with all the tools you need to get there, and nothing and no one can stop you.
Goals and goal setting are critical for accomplishing just about everything in life, whether it’s a shining profession, a multi-million pound business, a loving relationship, or an amazing level of fitness, but most of us still fail to do it successfully. When we forget to set ourselves meaningful and feasible objectives, we deprive ourselves one of the most powerful tools for succeeding in our resolutions – but along with mentality and discipline, it’s a key technique to help bridge the gulf between “where we are” and “where we aspire to be”.
It’s critical to remember that every goal you set for yourself must be specific; else, you’re setting yourself up for failure. So, rather than declaring you’re going to ‘become fit’ or ‘reduce weight,’ establish what fitness or ideal weight means to you. Do you want to be able to run a 10k in a specific amount of time, or do you just want to be able to walk up the stairs without being out of breath? How much weight do you intend to lose?
A goal that is simply an idea is of no value to anybody, and as the great artist Pablo Picasso put it: “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”
It’s important to remember that any goal you set yourself must be a tangible one; too vague, and you’re already setting yourself up for failure. So it’s not just about setting goals, but also about believing you can achieve them – and designing a fail-safe method for going from point A to point B. So, how can we set and achieve goals for the new year? Here are the best strategies for achieving your objectives in the new year.
Identify Your ‘why’
Your why is the foundation of your motivation and, ultimately, your feeling of purpose; thus, before you can establish and achieve any objective, you must first determine what yours is. Why do you want to be in shape or reduce weight if that is your goal? Is it because you want to spend as much time as possible with your children and be a part of their lives? Do you want to get rid of a medical condition? And why is that if you want to lessen stress in your life? Perhaps you wish to be calmer and more patient with your loved ones, or simply enjoy your life more.
Simply said, your why is the fundamental logic that supports, feeds, and leads your behavior, and it is what will keep you going throughout the year. Every time your resolve wavers, it’s something you can return to, sustaining you when your emotions subside, when it gets tough, when you’d rather stay in bed than go for that early morning walk, swim, or run – or when you’d rather have the Hagen-Daz ice cream than the nonfat yogurt – and that will ensure you keep moving forward, no matter what.
Make A List Of Your Goals
You’ve probably heard the expression “bad planning leads to very lousy performance,” and it couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to defining and attaining objectives. Writing down your goals may appear trivial, but it is one of the most crucial tasks you can do since it serves to cement their importance in your mind and your devotion to them, as well as acting as the first step toward figuring out how you’re going to make them a reality. Written goals provide direction, energy, inspiration, and self-accountability, as well as a strong proclamation of intent – so get yourself a fresh notebook, take your favorite pen, and write them down as soon as possible.
Make Them S.M.A.R.T
A goal must be clear and deliberate in order to be genuinely achieved. Good objectives should be Specific (S), Measurable (M), Achievable (A), Relevant (R), and Time-based (T), therefore give yourself a deadline as well as understanding exactly what you want the outcome of your efforts to be. Do you want to be able to check your goal off your list in six weeks, six months, or by the end of the year? Only by understanding this can you figure out what measures to take and how hard you’ll have to work to make it happen.
Set Short, Medium And Long-Term Goals
Setting enormous, long-term goals for yourself may easily leave you feeling overwhelmed, especially if you’re already a long way from where you want to be, but breaking them down into smaller portions will immediately make them feel more feasible. For example, if your ultimate goal is to be able to run a marathon, having smaller milestones to cross off along the way will allow you to recognize your progress and stay encouraged.
Begin with a 5k, then a 10k, and work your way up to a half marathon and beyond, scheduling these minor victories throughout the year so that if you need to take a break, you can clearly see how far you’ve come. Achieving those smaller, short-term objectives (the low hanging fruit) will provide you with the motivation you need to pursue greater goals in the future, as well as assist you in maintaining that critical momentum along the way.
The power of visualisation is often underestimated, but it’s a step you should not neglect when it comes to working towards your goals
Visualize Yourself Reaching Your Goals
The power of visualization is frequently underrated, yet it is an important step to take when working toward your objectives. If you can visualize it, you can believe it, and if you believe it, you can make it a reality. We become what we repeatedly focus our attention on, therefore focusing on where you want to go will keep you on track no matter what life throws at you. Spend ten minutes each day, with your eyes closed, visualizing how your life will look and how you will feel once you have achieved your objective – or get a diary and write it all down. You’ll be astonished at how much of a difference it can make, and it’s a terrific way to stay positive during the process.