The new year welcomes a fresh start, often filled with goals and resolutions to encourage personal growth in all areas of life.
Unfortunately, the all too common story is of a once energized, positive, goal-seeking adult whom soon becomes complacent, discouraged, with a goal that is put off until the next new year.
While creating a goal is a noble effort, below there are three mains recommendations we believe will help you can reach the goals you made in 2020.
Make a Plan, and Plan it Well
Don’t just make a goal, plan your goal. Put together a plan on how you will be able to realistically reach your desired goal.
Daniel Fryer, a psychotherapist and author explained this well by saying, “Setting ourselves big goals like “get promoted” or “save money” may seem tempting as we enter a new year, but when we fail to break those large-scale ambitions down into smaller, achievable steps, we set ourselves up for failure.”
To expect results without a plan is asking for failure. If your goal was to “be more present” by decreasing your time on your cellphone, consider thinking of ways of how that would be possible. Perhaps you could create time limits on your phone that you don’t have the password to, decide to put your phone in a separate room when you go home from work, or just simply decide not to bring your phone to certain public events.
If you have a strong desire to reach a certain goal, but you don’t have a plan on how you’ll execute that plan, more likely than not, that won’t be a goal, it’ll just be a dream.
Determine What is Realistic
In addition to creating a plan to fulfil our goal, there’s also the nature of the goals—and how realistic they really are—to consider.
In a Forbes article, they recommend that we first need to make a distinction between realistic goals and changing habits. It reads, “If you’re addicted to something—like tobacco or booze—you can surely change, but it will take a sustained effort. Don’t expect to do it alone. Get some help.”
This help can range from a reliable friend or family member, to a doctor, or a therapist. Though this goal may be harder than a more passive goal of let’s say “writing in your journal for five minutes every day”, it still is possible by creating celebratory milestones.
Nicki Louise James, a woman entrepreneur, said, “I’m a big believer in having big goals, and always striving to hit them–but also making sure I have smaller ones to help me get there. Then when I tick something off–when I hit my target–I know that I’m moving forwards.”
If you have a habit or addiction you’re trying to quit, don’t give yourself an “all or nothing” mindset. Create small goals that will help lead you to your big goal. Each small goal will give you confidence you need to push a little harder and become that much closer to reaching your desired goal.
Though change can be exciting and new, it’s better to give your all to a couple of goals than to set several. If you created 15 New Year resolutions for 2020, chances are you’ll barely hit three. Decide on one to two main goals you would like to achieve – and break those goals into the five or six flexible steps you need to take to get there.
By being deliberate on your specific goals, you will be able to really commit the time and energy necessary to help make your goals a reality.
Make 2020 the best year yet. Create goals and reach them by planning your goals, being realistic about your goals, and being deliberate while you execute them.