Do you guys make New Year's resolutions? I am a compulsive list maker. Goal setting is my jam. That’s probably why New Year's is one of my favorite holidays. It’s why I prefer morning to evening. I love a fresh start and the promise of things to mark off a list. Always moving forward, guys!
Here are a few things I’ve learned about setting goals.
They need to be reasonable. Know yourself and don’t you dare apologize for who you are. If you don’t have an hour, or more, a day to commit to running, don’t make running a marathon, this year, a goal. Be realistic. Instead of, “Run a marathon,” why not make, “Run a 5k,” your goal? There is no shame in starting small. You got to start somewhere.
Make your goals very, very specific. “Pay off debt,” isn’t a clear enough goal. “Pay off the $4,617.34 car loan held at Navy Federal Credit Union,” is a clear goal. Which leads us to…
Planning is key. Goals are merely detailed titles to concrete plans. If you want to run that 5k, you need to sign up for one and create a running schedule. If you want to pay off that car loan, you need to know how much money to increase your payments by, and where that money is coming from.
Keep the list short. Focus on just three or four big, important, twelve month goals. Let’s not overwhelm ourselves before we even begin! Or worse: Set ourselves up for failure with an unachievable list.
Remember to toss in some fun, easy goals you can knock out in a weekend. Nothing is more inspiring than achieving a goal, big or small. By giving yourself several small, fun goals you are creating the motivation you need to score the big ones! It’s like a win-win-win. By small goals, I mean ones like, “Check out that new restaurant downtown, sign up for a beer making class, paint the living room, learn how to do the splits, add $100 to my savings account.” Maybe this year try three big goals and five little ones. You can even go smaller. How about two big goals and four small ones?
Now spill! What’s on your list for 2014? What is the hardest part about setting goals? What's kept you from achieving your New Year's resolutions in the past?
Image number two found here