Creating Goals – I think I can speak for all of us when I say 2020 was a difficult year. However, there is a glimmer of hope just around the corner with the new year about to set in.
So let’s say goodbye and good riddance to the year that brought us COVID, long-distance relationships, difficult decisions, jobs loss and, an uncountable amount of family zoom meetings. Its time for a fresh start!
People love the ‘new me’ mentality for the new year, be it new year resolutions, goals, dreams, ambitions, travel etc. While I don’t necessarily think you need a new year to make such life changes, the marking of a new year does allow us in many ways to start fresh. It’s the turning of the page, a new start, a way to begin thinking about small, yet attainable goals we wish to achieve. Below is a guide to help you set these goals and some motivation to help you achieve them!
A Guide to Creating Goals for 2021
One key way to ensure you have a productive and positive year is by setting goals. This is pretty obvious, but if you want to achieve a better year than last, you need to consider such goals that can help you to better yourself. Be it physically, emotionally, or even financially. It is important to remember that goals will vary from person to person. Don’t focus on comparing your goals with others, but stay true to yourself and use the tools below to achieve them.
Set Specific Goals
At the end of the day, your goals need to be clear and well defined. The more in tune you are with the specificities of your goals the easier it will be to set the necessary steps in place to accomplish them.
This part is crucially important, most people will often fall into the trap of making their goals too generic. For example, ‘be healthier’, ‘lose weight’, ‘make money’, these are all great goals, however, they are surface level. When I say make goals specific, make them relevant to you! If you want to lose weight, how much weight? You want to be healthier, what do you need to change to be healthier? Is it eat fewer snacks or maybe less chocolate? If you want to make more money, set a goal of how much money you want to make, is it $100 or $10,000? Consider how and when you think you can feasibly make that amount of money.
So when you come to making your first goals, think about how you can achieve them. You’ll be surprised at what you can do.
Set Measurable Goals
Finding a way to measure your goals using dates, or precise numbers will allow you to measure your progress and keep you on track in maintaining your goals.
Picking your goals is one of the first steps to accomplishing them, but creating a timeline and a date for when you want to achieve them is the next. Planning the new year around your goals is the perfect way to get going.
The best way to show you what I mean is with an example. ‘Goal 1’ you’re planning to lose weight for next year and you want to lose 20lbs. You write down the date you want to achieve that by. Let’s say within 4 months. Doing this allows you to work out how many pounds you need to lose and how many weeks you have to do it. So in this case, you would need to lose 5lbs a month, roughly a 1lb a week. Although it’s a specific example, it shows you that by having a date you can work backwards to achieve that goal. The main purpose of setting a time and date for your goals is to place yourself in a situation where you can work towards them.
Additionally, you’ll be surprised at how influential a deadline can be. For myself, I often get stuck in the world procrastination, we’ve all been there, saying you’re going to do something but then watch 10 hours of your favourite trash tv show. If you hold yourself accountable by placing a date and time to when you want these goals achieved, it will make your life a lot easier.
A Guide to Creating Goals for 2021
Write Them Down
We have gone through making your goals, making them personal to you and having deadlines for when they need to be achieved. Now, this is an interesting part of our guide. Writing your goals down! You may think that this is pretty obvious advice and it is. However, by writing down your goals they instantly become tangible. They are right there in front of you and that is a powerful motivator.
Most importantly, you begin the first step in tracking them. If you know what your goal is and the date you want them by. You can start to plan out how you are going to get there. Writing them down allows you to keep track of where you’re at. So with my explanation before about losing weight, writing down what you need to achieve by when and tracking it makes the process not only doable but encouraging and rewarding. I don’t know how many of you get that satisfaction when completing a task and crossing it off a list, but I certainly do.
‘Get writing and keep tracking’
Make Your Goals Reasonable Yet Attainable
When it comes to setting goals for the new year it can be intimidating to choose just maybe one or two! The trick is to start small. If you try to overload yourself with too many new goals, you will eventually burn out.
The best thing you can do is take some time to sit with yourself and consider maybe the top 3 things you wish to improve. Make sure you choose relevant goals for YOU, again don’t base your goals off of somebody else.
For example I am doing my best to make it a habit of drinking more water throughout the day. For me, I know how important it is for my health and my skin and I have been finding that my lack of water intake has led to nasty headaches in the evening. Drinking more water is a goal relevant to me, its something small, yet attainable. In an effort to measure my progress, I invested in a time tracking water bottle that tells me how much water I am drinking throughout my day, and at what point I should be at during a certain time of day. This allows for my goal to be trackable and measurable.
You do not need to be the person who sets dozens of unattainable goals. In fact, it always becomes the case that that person either eventually burns out, or never actually achieves that goal.
It is also important to consider if the goals you are setting for youself are attainable. This requires self reflection and some thought. If your goal is not attainable you will beat yourself up for not accomplishing it down the line and you automatically set yourself up for failure.
Your goals should be something that will require time, dedication and hard work, but nothing too hard that you know is impossible.
For example, let’s say your goal in 2021 is to travel to over 40 countries. While this goal may have been possible in 2019, the world of travel during this time has changed due to a pandemic, so that goal is not really practical or achievable this year.
Don’t Be Afraid To Fail
This is one of the most important parts of creating goals. Don’t be afraid to fail! If 2020 has taught us anything its that failure is an option if you want it or not. My mother has always said to me that “if you never try you’ll never know”, and this is true for our goals. Regardless if you make those goals or not you are still learning and experiencing new things, it may take a few goes but each time you’ll get closer.
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