Look at your goals

It’s January again – the beginning of the new year.  Many of us start off strongly motivated to achieve New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, exercise, save money, and eat healthy.  Then a nasty virus hits us and we get completely derailed.  Setting goals that we fail to reach can be a big blow to our self-confidence.  A 2007 study showed 88% of the people surveyed did not achieve their New Years resolution.  Why?  They set unrealistic goals.

Here is the first of five tips to boost your self-confidence in 2018:

How to set achievable goals.

Tip #1 – Set a S.M.A.R.T. goal

Your new goal should be:

S – Specific. Write down the specific actions the new goal requires. Do not be vague.  “My business will be more successful this year,” is too vague.  “My business will earn $____ the first quarter by utilizing ABC strategy,” is a specific goal.

M – Meaningful. You will be more motivated to achieve the goal if it fits with your most important values. If the goal lacks a sense of meaning or purpose, make sure it is guided by your values and not by a desire to please others, follow a rigid rule, or avoid pain.

A – Adaptive.  Is the goal likely to help you move your life forward in a direction that will improve the quality of your life? If so, are you prepared to make these changes?

R – Realistic.  Is the goal realistic based on the resources that are available to you right now, taking into account your finances, your physical health, competing demands on your time, and your skill level? Or is the goal focused on a realistic plan to address inadequate resources, e.g. saving money, developing new skills, improving your health, etc.?

T – Time-framed. Place a time frame on achieving the goal by writing down specific dates and times that you will take action toward the goal. Break larger goals down into smaller steps with their own specific deadlines. If you have a yearly goal, break it down into quarterly, monthly, and/or weekly goals.

So forget about making vague New Year’s resolutions. Instead, write down a realistic, specific, time-framed goal that is guided by your most important values. Give yourself permission to slow down if you get sick. Get going as soon as you feel better. Your self-confidence will grow as you pursue a goal that is achievable and that will make your life more meaningful.

(Adapted from Goal Setting Worksheet, Russ Harris, 2008, www.thehappinesstrap.com)