“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.” – Mark Victor Hansen
Have you looked back at 2017 and wondered what you accomplished, whether it be in your personal life, work life, or health and fitness related? Without working out what you want to achieve, and what you need to do to get where you want to be, it is easy to drift through life, not living it to the full. So, let’s make this year different; now’s the time to decide what you want to achieve and create your goals to reflect this.
Why does goal setting work? The actual action of writing down your goals makes them real; a target, something to aim for, or work towards. By taking the time to work out what you really want to achieve, you buy into the result. When you work out what you need to do to reach your goal, it suddenly becomes within your grasp. Goals act as motivation to you; they help you overcome procrastination and avoid distractions (very important in this digital world where there are potential distractions all the time on your phone).
An example would be
“I want to feel amazing at the wedding I am going to in June.”
So, there are several things you need to do to make this happen; maybe you need to commit to exercising two or three times a week, eat more healthily, and you need to go shopping for an outfit which makes you feel fabulous. You may need to save money so that you can buy the outfit, or allocate time to exercise, or search for new recipes to try. But once you break down the goal like this, it suddenly isn’t a pipe dream; you can see how it can be a reality.
What is important when setting your goals, whether they are work, personal or fitness related? You may have heard people talk about SMART goals or objectives; this is an acronym to help you write your goals.
- Specific – to know when you have reached your goal, it needs to be specific and clear. In our example, “feeling amazing” may not cut it in the business world, but in this case, it is just as relevant as deciding on a dress size you want to be or a specific weight you want to achieve.
- Measurable – ok, I will admit, feelings can’t really be measured, but as it is a personal goal, you know if you have achieved it. More measurable goals could be to buy your first house, change jobs, or loose X inches from your waist.
- Achievable – you want your goal to stretch you, to drive you to succeed, but not be so hard that you think you will never get there. If your goal is too big (maybe 5 years away, for example) then break it down into smaller, more manageable steps, and choose the first mini goal as your first target.
- Relevant – You need to be able to control whether you reach your goal; if you are relying on others, then you need to re-write the goal to only include the part which you have control over. Also, if you aren’t really bothered whether or not you reach your goal, then it’s not going to motivate you, and in the end, you will be demotivated as you haven’t achieved something you set out to do.
- Timescales – it is important that there is a date by which you need to achieve your goal, otherwise there is no incentive to do anything.
Hopefully you are clearer about the usefulness of goals and how to write your own. Now comes the exciting part; take a piece of paper and brainstorm what you want to achieve this year. Look at what you come up with and take the strongest ideas further. Build your goals around these ideas; probably have a maximum of 5 goals, depending how big or time consuming they are, and use the SMART principles to write them. Once you have your goals, write down what you need to do to achieve them and you have your action plan for the year (or whatever timescales your goals have). Finally, to help you commit to them, share them on my Facebook page under the goal setting post: https://www.facebook.com/thefitnessfairyuk/posts/615469241956986?pnref=story