Already, there’s that procrastinator on your shoulder, isn’t there? “Hey Jeff, I’ve got 365 days in a year, I can write my goals come January. I can start later.” Not so fast there, bro.
Forbes has this great article on the dangers of procrastination that show the practice of pushing things off COSTS YOU MONEY! Late credit card bills, buying last minute gifts at inflated prices, etc. Set your goals today so you have time to tweak them before January 1 comes rolling around.
Goal setting can be tricky. So let’s look at some steps to help you maneuver the minefield to make 2016 the best year of your life. And if you’re negative side is already trying to tell you that you won’t succeed, check this link out for some encouragement.
The Ultimate Guide to Setting Goals
Write down your goals. Think about it – there’s a reason Mrs. Thompson made you write sentences after you threw your lunchroom milk at a classmate. Writing things down helps you remember them. The more you write things down, the better they’ll stick with you (and you’ll learn your lesson).
Keep it simple. Shooting for 15 goals is not only challenging but a recipe for failure. Keep your goals to around 5-6. It will make them easier to remember (especially when you write them down) and more doable.
Set constraints on your goals. You’ve heard the anacronym around SMART goals and for good reason. The more Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Bound they are, the better chance for success. Losing 15 pounds is specific (number of pounds), it’s measurable (with your scale), it’s actionable (lose), it’s realistic (versus claiming to lose 50 pounds) – BUT it lacks a time-bound component. Pro-tip: Lose 15 pounds by June 1 – that’s a winner. Plus, it’s going to make you look fabulous just in time for bathing suit weather.
Take time to think through your goals. It’s no wonder people forget their New Year’s resolutions before Valentine’s Day. You need to take some time and think them through. Challenge yourself to sit down and commit at least 30 minutes, hopefully more, to think what you want out of yourself in 2016.
Consider a goal based on “What’s important to me?” Don’t create a goal that someone else wants for you. Your results will ultimately succeed out of a good plan and your desire to succeed.
Consider a goal based on “What do I want to change about myself?” In many areas of your life, things are pretty good. No brain power needed in those areas. But spend some time thinking about what you wish was different and what that would look like if it were. If it’s a valid enough change necessary, write it down.
Consider a goal based on “What will challenge me?” If you’re going through life smelling the green grass, waving at the neighbors and whistling show tunes, you need a challenge! Character comes about through struggle and struggle comes about through challenge. Set a goal for yourself around something you enjoy but pushes you to a physical or mental limit in a good way. (Run a race, lose weight, read so many books, improve your self-esteem, etc.) In Rise of Superman, there is this beautiful concept of challenging ourselves to push just 4% on an ongoing basis to achieve something amazing. What’s your 4% challenge?
Consider a goal based on “What will get me closer to my purpose?” We all have a reason we are here on this great planet. What’s yours? And are you doing all you can to share that gift with the world?
Consider a goal based on “Who depends on me?” Your family, your friends and your co-workers are just a few people who depend on you. What would it look like if you let them down because you didn’t (fill in the blank)? Plenty of goals could be created just on this one question.
Consider a goal based on “Who do I depend on?” Do the people you depend on get as much back in return as what you derive from them? What if that friendship/relationship eroded because of something you neglected?
During the month of January, I’ll have a month long series around Starting Over in 2016. That series will include many topics around finance, health, exercise, willpower and a host of many other items. I’m super excited about it.
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