It’s the beginning of a new year and during this time of year we have all heard and read more than our fair share of yearly reflections, how to create goals and tips for writing a plan for those same goals. There is an overabundance of podcasts, books and online tips to help you achieve your goals. In reality, most of us are looking for methods for keeping our goal setting simple and focusing on small, attainable goals that we can work on and review consistently. Here are five simplified tips to use this year and beyond to get intentional about goal planning:
START A Habit/STOP A Habit
It has been suggested that you begin the year by starting one good habit and stopping one bad habit. Starting a habit to help you lead a better life, could be as simple as drinking water with every meal if you are trying to increase your water intake. Stopping a habit that is not good for your health or well being could be as obvious as to stop buying junk food as a substitute for healthy snacks. For example, for this upcoming year, I have decided to START getting at least seven hours of sleep daily and STOP skipping breakfast. These habits can be conquered as simple as setting an alarm to start a bedtime routine and stocking up on breakfast items weekly.
Have you heard of the focus of one word for 365 days? The idea is to choose one word that will help you live your best life. The one word you choose should give you passion, meaning, mission and purpose. To choose a word, start by making a list of words that come to mind such as: align, believe, explore, content, learn, strong, healthy. The next step is to narrow down your list to about 5 words, try on the words to see what feels right and the word that fits the best is the winner. Once you have your word, don’t forget to post your one word everywhere-in your car, as your screensaver, on your desk and even on the bathroom mirror.
According to research, any project or goal you want to accomplish can be completed by working on it for 15 minutes a day. Consistency is key and by investing a small amount of time on a consistent basis, you can start to add noticeable progress to your goal or project. You can be intentional by setting a timer and get working before the “official” start of your day. For example, if your goal is to read a book a month, you can schedule 15 minutes before you get out of bed (or before bed in the evening) to read and before you know it your 12 books will be read and archived.
Set SMART Goals
There is extreme value in setting SMART goals. My philosophy is that if my goals aren’t “SMART” (No pun intended. Well, maybe a pun was intended.) what’s the point in setting them? SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Setting SMART goals gives you the power to break large goals into smaller attainable goals and have a realistic plan of action. For example:
- I will work out 3 days a week
- I will finish reading one book a month
- I will drink 2 litres of water a day
These goals check all the SMART boxes and are easy to track for success.
Review Your Goals
We write goals at the beginning of the year and then we forget about them. Work happens. School happens. Life happens. The key to keeping your goals relevant is to consistently review them. This has always been my issue. Looking at the big picture we should review our goals yearly, monthly, weekly, and most importantly daily. By reviewing goals consistently, you can improve based on your progress.
You can take your goal setting to a new level this year with these five tips. If you decide to try something different with your goal setting and be intentional this time around, then please leave a comment and let me know. I’m rooting for you!