Remember New Year’s Eve? Almost five months ago many people shared their New Year goals with friends and family.
Comparison website finder.com.au found that on average 58 per cent of Australians broke their New Year goals.
I spend a lot of time with my clients discussing, writing down and tracking their goals, here are my tips.
Write down your achievements over the previous year
Before you start setting goals for the year ahead, look back over the previous year and write down every achievement.
For example, completed kitchen renovation under budget and on time; travelled overseas with family to Iceland and Greenland; lost 3 kilos (kgs)to achieve target weight of 72 kgs.
Reflecting on your achievements is something we just don’t do enough.
It also helps to put you in a good mind frame to start thinking ahead and setting goals.
It is also very satisfying and reminds you of what you have achieved over the last year.
Write down your goals
Writing down your goals is the first step to being accountable.
Research shows that people who have a habit of regularly writing down their goals and reviewing them tend to live more satisfying lives.
Be specific in your goal writing
There is a little trick in writing goals. They need to focus on behaviour and be measurable.
For example, I see many people write “I want to be healthy” as a goal or “I want to retire”.
These are more a statement of a desire or value.
Not very easy to measure or track.
Instead, in order to be specific and measurable, your goal should read: “To exercise for 30 minutes three-times a week by December 2017”.
Put your goals in a place that you will see them every day
If you are not seeing your goals every day, how can you possibly have a high chance of achieving them?
My wife and I print out our goals and stick them in our wardrobe near our undies drawer
Funny, but it also ensures I see them every day.
Review your goals regularly
Set as one of your goals “To review our goals on the last Friday of each month over coffee in 2017”.
If you don’t measure and track your progress your goals may be forgotten.
Some of my goals changed through 2016 and that is fine, because my wife and I were reviewing our goals throughout the year.
At the end of 2016 we had achieved most of what we wanted.
Don’t be too disheartened if you don’t achieve every goal
I fell four books short of my goal to read ten books in 2016.
On the plus side, I read six books more than if I had not set any goal.
Use the opportunity of reviewing a goal that was not met, to decide how important that goal actually is to you.
It may be a good opportunity to reset the goal knowing that you really have a desire to see it achieved.