I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty bad habit of waiting until the moment is right to start something. I’ve always wanted to try out a ballet class, but don’t I need to be in great shape for ballet? Okay, well I’ll wait until I’m in perfect shape and then I’ll start the class. When’s the last time you thought you looked perfect? Yeah, probably too high of an expectation to put on myself before I even get started on a goal. With a new year here (and let’s face it – one that we actively want to look different than the last,) it’s the perfect time to share how to set goals… and then, actually stick with them.
Keep it specific, but not too specific.
There’s a fine line when it comes to setting goals. You don’t want to be too broad (i.e. get in shape,) but there can also be issues with getting too specific. We want to feel accomplished for reaching and getting closer to our goals, so setting too specific a goal can lead to feelings of failure if we don’t reach that exact point.
Example: let’s say you have a goal to cook more meals at home this year. “Cook more meals at home” is a little too broad. “Cook 8 meals a week at home” is a little too specific. What if you cook only 6 one week? That’s great compared to the 2 you were cooking, but that goal of 8 might make you feel like you didn’t achieve anything. The perfect goal for this? Set aside time to cook at home 3 days each week. Maybe that ends up being 6 meals, maybe it ends up being 3. Either way, that’s a goal you can achieve!
Don’t wait to start
If you read the intro to this blog, then you probably aren’t surprised by this tip. But, it may just be the most important one. Start your new goal right. Now. Sticking with our cooking example, don’t wait until your Amazon order comes in and you have more utensils to cook with. Don’t wait until you learn more about cooking or get the perfect recipe book – just start. Marie Forleo is no liar.
Now that we know the key to setting great goals, let’s talk about how to stick with them.
Plan out time for your goals
I get it. Sometimes, we feel like certain things we shouldn’t have to write down. We shouldn’t have to schedule time to remember to cook more meals or to call our family members more often. We feel guilty for having to schedule things that should be natural. But here’s the nudge you need: schedule it. Write in your planner that you’re going to cook some meals from 4-6pm on Monday. Write that you’re going to take time for yourself or call a family member at 2pm on Tuesday. There’s no shame in scheduling out these things. If that means you’ll do it (and let me tell you, it’s way more likely that you will,) then it’s a good thing.
Have frequent check-ins
If you set a goal for the new year and look back at the end of the year to see if you did it, you’re going to be pretty sad if the answer is no. If the answer is no 3 months in? Great. You still have time to work a little harder at that goal. So mark in your planner or on your calendar when it’s time for those self-improvement check-ins. After 2 months, can you say that you’ve been cooking more meals at home this year? If so, great! If not, perfect. We still have time to reevaluate what we can do in our day to get this goal accomplished.
Follow these 4 steps when setting your new year goals and let us know if you find yourself accomplishing more and more as time goes on! Happy New Year & happy goal-smashing.