Setting Realistic Goals for the New Year
As 2014 winds to a close, many of us look back on the last year and reflect on what we’d like to improve on in the new year. But with the average person breaking their New Years Resolution within a week, is it even possible to set goals and stick to them? We think so! Here are some of our tips to setting and sticking to goals.
1. Make a list
Write down the various goals that you want to achieve, whether they are saving some extra money, taking a trip, getting fit, or cleaning out and keeping clean different spaces around your home or office (check in next week for tips on cleaning out your house and keeping it that way) the sky is the limit! List, list, LIST!
2. Be specific with your goals
“I want to lose weight” or “I want to go on a vacation” are very vague goals with lots of wiggle room for failure. Saying “I plan to lose 15 pounds this year” or “I want to go on my dream vacation which will cost X amount of money this year” are much more attainable goals that you can work towards.
3. Set short term goals to reach your long-term goal
Dropping 15 lbs or saving up for your dream vacation don’t happen instantly. So set achievable short term goals. Try, “I will go to the gym twice weekly” and, “I will save X amount of money from each paycheck, totaling X amount in 6 months.” This not only keeps you on track for the whole year, it lets you feel like you are accomplishing something tangible each step along the way towards the big goal.
4. Make time for your goals
Going to the gym takes time so work it into your schedule, work cleaning each week into your routine so that you can keep your garage cleaned out without junk accumulating. Set up an automatic savings transfer with each paycheck so you barely even have to think about saving for your dream vacation. The more you are actively working towards the goal, the more it becomes a habit and the easier it is to reach those goals.
5. Make sure your goals are ones you REALLY want to achieve
Just check in with yourself before you commit to a goal, ask yourself, “Is this something I really want to/can do?” If you aren’t excited about the goal, you won’t be motivated to make the changes needed to achieve it.
6. Track your progress
Be sure to check in with yourself once you’ve chosen the goals, set the timeline and make time in your schedule to achieve them. You can also find a goal buddy – someone else who is working towards a similar goal so the two of you can help to motivate each other and keep yourselves and each other on track.
With these steps you can reach and exceed any goal you set for yourself in the coming year. Just remember that the point of a New Years Resolution is to make a positive change in your life that you are actually excited about, not to make your life miserable. With this in mind, be sure to pick a goal that enriches your life rather than detracts from it! That doesn’t mean reaching your goals won’t be hard work – but the harder you try the more satisfied you’ll be with the results!