Starting January 1st I won’t be able to find a parking spot at my gym.
It happens every year. Around the end of February, I get my parking spaces back as all those well-meaning fitness resolutions fade away.
A new year means new goals and resolutions for many of us.
We start with the best intentions, but what makes the difference between keeping the resolutions and letting them slowly fade away until they disappear completely?
Knowing how to set goals that stick can help. But before we go there … what’s in it for you?
Here are a few compelling reasons to set goals:
- You get your goals accomplished faster when you take time to clearly articulate them and write them down.
- We are naturally motivated to work toward positive images of our future i.e. setting positive goals for ourselves.
- Setting goals allows us to move into action vs. staying passive i.e. our brain shifts into a mode of “getting things done”.
- Accountability - goal setting tends to keep us accountable to what we know we want to see happen for ourselves.
A few tips on how to set goals that stick:
- Your goals must match your passions. If you are setting goals based on what you think you “should” do … the chances of you accomplishing those goals are slim. Figure out what you really want to see happen for yourself, frame it positively and then turn it into a set of goals.
- Be as specific as possible
- Challenge yourself - go big. What’s the point of setting goals that you don’t have to work for?
- Focus on process instead of outcome. Research shows that when you create a goal that allows you to control your behavior you’re more likely to achieve it. For example - “I will eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day” is a process goal vs. an outcome goal: “I will lose 25 pounds”.
- Engage support. Share your goal with a friend and ask them to check in with you about it on a regular basis. Or look into getting a coach. Executive coaches are trained to help you set goals that fit you, and their job is to help keep you accountable.
Need more ideas?
Check out The Magic Lamp: Goal Setting for People Who Hate Setting Goals by Keith Ellis, or one of the many apps available to help keep you on track:
- Things (iTunes)
- Goals On Track
- Goal Setting Workshop + Simple Habits and Goals Tracker Coach (iTunes)
So … what are your goals for 2012?