The world is full tools aimed at helping us achieve more but without a clear idea of what it is we want to achieve it may seem like we are going nowhere fast. Here’s how you can make the most of the coming year by refining your goals and connecting to the process.
Beloved by businesses, life coaches and the rehabilitation community alike, S.M.A.R.T goals are your go-to for breaking down what you want to achieve into clear actionable pathways. You can use this technique for all your goals; the aim here is to get you thinking about how and why you want to achieve what you do and to help you define what success looks like. The 5 steps are:
S: Make your goal specific. If you want to start running, make your goal as specific as possible ‘I want to run in the 5k in May’
M: How will you measure success? Your measure will depend on your goal – want to save money? Make your measure a specific amount in your savings account.
A: What are your actions to achieve your goal? Here you can get into the finer details. Draw up a bullet-pointed list of each step you need to achieve success
R: Is it reasonable/realistic? – All things considered, are you setting yourself up to fail or are your actions achievable? Do they help you reach your goal? Is your goal achievable in the time you have set yourself?
T: What is your time frame? How long will it take? Be realistic.
Now that you’ve set your goals you can use the technique of visualisation to mentally prepare yourself for success. Put yourself at the finish line of the race; visualise yourself putting money aside each payday and not dipping into it. The more detail you can bring to your visualisation the better. To put it simply, visualisation is a way of preparing yourself mentally for success in the future. Whilst it is not a 100% guarantee; there is science, anecdote and success stories supporting the process.
The practice of intention setting has its roots in the spiritual but don’t discount the power of having a regular, if not daily, ritual connecting yourself with yourself. When the days get tough, being kind to yourself and making an active choice over your thought patterns will help you maintain momentum. This is where the ritual of intention setting can work its magic as it will help you stay focused and grateful.
Often, the biggest hurdle is getting started and you can use micro-actions to trick yourself into taking those first steps. For example, taking the stairs rather than the elevator. These small moments may seem unimportant, but you will soon notice that they lead to substantial change.
Don’t leave your goal setting for your New Year’s Resolutions. Start planning today and make 2018 your most successful year yet.