Setting goals gets a bad rep. Those countless New Year’s resolutions that go uncompleted each year, or the Monday morning promise to yourself that’s forgotten by Tuesday. But there is nothing more fulfilling – and even life changing – than reaching a meaningful goal. Author Denis Watley believes, “The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable.”. You won’t achieve your goals overnight. But follow our guide and it will help you keep focused, inspired and determined to reach your goal in the quickest time possible! Here’s how.
First things first when setting goals is to define what you are looking to accomplish. You may have heard of SMART before, and this is a great technique to help you break down your ambition into easy to achieve steps. SMART stands for Specific (if you are too vague you will lose direction!), Measurable (Include an amount or dates that can be measured), Attainable (reach for the stars, but start with something that is achievable to help build confidence and boost moral), Relevant (keep focused on something you truly want to accomplish) and Timely (set targets with deadlines). This simple exercise will help you focus your efforts, and in setting a completion date, means you are more likely to make it happen.
Time to change
Now you have a clear path and deadline outlined for achieving your goal, you must allocate time to make it happen. Just like you would a date with a friend, book in time each week dedicated to YOU and your ambition. Whether you are learning a language, running a marathon, picking up a new skill or even starting a business – treat your ambition like a person that needs regular attention! Be prepared that this might mean your social life takes a slight hit – but share your goals with your friends and they will be sure to understand and help support you. It is also useful to use this moment to think about where you waste time. Start to think of your time as a valuable entity – then decide what you want to spend less time on, and what makes you truly happy and fulfilled.
Many of us want to be more organised, but don’t know how to do it! Start by investing in a good planner or goals journal. Make sure you diary is up to date, and plan in those days/ evenings you’ve set aside to achieve your dream. We love the Happiness Planners (which we stock online here), as they help keep you inspired with fun exercises, prompts and planners. It might not feel like a priority, but having a spring clean of your home or office will help you get your brain in productive mode. We recommend reading Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying” to get your house in good shape once and for all.
Invest in yourself
Setting personal goals is an act of self-love in itself, but don’t forget to give yourself some time to just wind down too. Book a massage, go to a yoga class, or put on a face mask and relax. When you are engrossed in a project, sometimes the best thing to do is to step back and do something completely removed – it will help with keeping things in perspective and boosting creativity.
Don’t give up
Of course there will be roadblocks on your way – from late nights at the office, to the flu or childcare letting you down. But expect this, prepare to be agile and keep going – don’t quit. The most successful people will all tell you the same thing – never give up on your goal! Inaction will be your biggest dream crusher, so set those SMART goals – and work for it.
words by Mea Perkins
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