Goals and resolutions are going to be spoken about greatly in the next few weeks, maybe even months. It’s that time of year again when we all sit down and evaluate what we want and how we’re going to be different this coming year. This might make some people better, while others feel more stressed because of this. It’s the pressure they place on themselves to do better than last year (yes, sometimes competitions with yourself can become unhealthy too). So, what are some of the tactics used by the most successful people to develop a sense of personal responsibility and set attainable and realistic goals. When this is followed, and thought out properly, trust me you’ll no longer feel stressed or anxious about your future.
Without further ado, here are simple steps to follow when setting your goals for next year.
I want to get this across from the beginning. The S.M.A.R.T goals system works and it’s good enough for anyone to be able to attain their aims. Make your goal Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Based. This is the best way to have a plan that works and all you have to do is simply follow it and you’ll be on your way to a better you.
As much as it is a pain to review your goals daily, it’s essential. You know why? It’s because your brain needs to be constantly reminded of the change you’re making and trust me when I say that it needs to be REMINDED because it’ll be so easy to fall back into old habits. There is a whole science behind the embodying of certain habits and multiple experiments have been done to prove that certain bad habits are so difficult to get rid of because our bodies and thoughts have gone into auto-pilot to keep these patterns alive. This means that to change them you’ll have to change your thoughts and subsequently go through a “withdrawal” phase where you’re letting go of all the past automated behavior.
Take Time Off
No I am not speaking of taking time off your plan or your attainment of your goals. It’s taking time off before writing down your goals, even if it was only two days. This is to allow yourself the time and the correct energy to write down what you truly want without the influence of the environment, people and things around you. You’ll find that a lot of what you think you want isn’t your own desire, but an influence derived from your surroundings.
Attach Emotion to It
Yes, you read that correctly. Attached purpose and emotion to your goals when you write them down. Ask yourself: “Why is this important to me?” “Why do I want this?” The purpose that you find in everything you do will change your approach. This means rather than dreading going to work, or getting that workout in, you’ll start thinking about the people you’re helping by doing your job well. As well as the health and longevity you’ll be attaining to do more of the things you like. Know your purpose, know your why.
Train Your Brain
I can’t state enough how important it is to reprogram yourself and your brain to think more of the thoughts that support your success and not demean or devalue you. Not only will you reduce your stress levels when you start thinking differently, you’ll also start to see certain patterns of behavior disappear when you are more self-aware and you’re putting in the effort to change what you know to be “true.” There is liberation in that. Imagine being liberated from all the thoughts and beliefs that limited your potential; imagine how much more you could do.
These are some of the ways that I have found helpful when writing down goals. The important thing to be aware of is the fact that you’re not going to be a whole new person because you set your goals or even when you have attained them. I purposely chose the title to this post to express the importance of the journey, not the destination, because it’s through the work you put in that you’re able to change. Now, the change could be for the better or for worse, it depends on how you train yourself to think, your level of awareness and knowing your purpose.