The beginning of January is always a refreshing time; it’s the start of a new year, which means it’s time to set new goals and resolutions and forgive ourselves for bailing on last year’s. Resolutions come in all shapes and sizes; the most common are probably health related (i.e. “I’m going to go to the gym every day”, or “I’m going to stick to such-n-such diet”). But of course, by February we’re finding it difficult to keep up with whatever promises we’ve made. Why? Well, most would probably agree that the resolutions and goals we are setting for ourselves are unobtainable – or at the very least, arduous. We say we want to do something, but we don’t plan out how we are going to do it.
This is not only true for health and body related resolutions, but career oriented ones as well. This year, you promised yourself that you’ll get that raise or promotion you’ve been waiting for, but it’s not just going to fall in your lap. Setting such huge goals, without a plan, can get pretty overwhelming, and when we don’t see results right away, we tend to just give up.
Thankfully, there are smart ways to set and achieve all of your goals this year. Check out these 5 tips for setting achievable goals in 2016:
- Write down your goals and resolutions.
Writing your goals down allows you to be more specific about goal setting, and shows that you have a clear idea of what you’d like to achieve. A study done at Harvard throughout the 70’s and 80’s actually proved that the students who had concise, written versions of their goals were more successful. Although in my personal opinion, written goals are useful and effective simply because it’s something to look at when you feel like giving up.
- Plan out what you’d like to achieve week-by-week or day-by-day.
While setting long-term goals is definitely important, setting short-term goals will help you feel as if you are achieving something as you go. For example, rather than saying “I want to lose 30 pounds by the end of this year”, try telling yourself “I’ll go to the gym at least four times this week, and I won’t eat any fried foods”. The second statement is an obtainable, short-term goal, and you’ll definitely feel proud of yourself when you’ve achieved it. Same goes with career-based goals!
Designate levels of importance to each aspect of your life. While your health and your career are extremely important, don’t let your goals negatively affect your relationships with friends and family or cause you to give up any of your beloved hobbies. Life is about balance.
- Stay positive.
You’re bound to have a few slip-ups here and there; don’t get down on yourself and don’t give up. Remind yourself why you’ve set the goals that you have on a regular basis, and even when you feel defeated, try to keep up a positive attitude.
- Reward yourself!
Don’t get crazy: if you’re proud of yourself for going to the gym everyday this week there’s no need to eat an entire pizza, but maybe have a slice or two. An even better option is rewarding yourself with an experience. Did your boss stop by your office today just to tell you that you’re doing a great job? Go see that movie you’ve been waiting to see, or take that day trip that you’ve been putting off. Don’t let all of your success go unnoticed – it’s OK to pat yourself on the back every now and then.
All of your seemingly far-out goals and resolutions this year will become much more accessible if you follow these 5 tips. Good luck and happy New Year!