It’s the beginning of a new year. For many of us, it serves as a clean slate and the opportunity to set personal improvement goals. Many of which involve healthier choices about exercise and food. Unfortunately, statistics show that 80% of people fall off the proverbial goal wagon by the second week of February.
So how do you avoid becoming a statistic?
The key is to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Risky, Time sensitive) goals, and set systems in place to keep you on the accomplishment track!
Goal Setting Exercise for 2018:
The exercise below is designed to get you thinking, dreaming and showing up in a BIG way this year. Clear some time in your calendar to really dive in and work through the following questions as you identify what you REALLY want in 2018. Do the exercise keeping both your personal and professional lives in mind.
STEP 1 - SET YOUR STAGE
Create a cozy, inspiring environment for completing this exercise. Have several sheets of paper on hand as well a mug of hot tea, water with lemon, coffee, or any beverage that will aid in clear thinking. Allow yourself to freely dream BIG and see what emerges!
STEP 2 - SET YOUR GOALS
Spend 10 - 20 minutes writing down or drawing out your biggest, wildest goals for your life. Include both short-term and long-term goals. Use the following questions as prompts to get your creativity going:
- What do I want to accomplish in the next 10 years?
- What legacy do I want to leave?
- What is missing for me in my life? How can I bring more of this into my life?
- If I could do anything this year, what would I do?
- If I could show up and be anything, who would I be?
- I want _____ in my life.
After 10 - 20 minutes, look through all that you brainstormed and use a highlighter to highlight those goals that are most important to you and that will have the BIGGEST impact on your life this year.
STEP 3 - DETERMINE YOUR WHY
Next, take each goal that you highlighted and put that goal at the top of its own sheet of paper. Now spend 5-10 minutes listing out WHY that goal is important to you. Do this for each or your top goals. Here are some prompts that may help:
- How will you feel in the process of achieving this goal?
- What will achieving this goal bring into your life?
- Why is this an important goal to you NOW?
- What is your goal behind this goal?
- Why this particular goal?
STEP 4 - MAKE IT VISIBLE
Once you have your WHY listed for each of your top goals - highlight the top reasons why each goal is important. Choose 3 - 5. Grab a separate piece of paper and list out your top reasons WHY for all of your top goals (those that you just highlighted) so you have them in one place. Keep this in a spot where you can see it every day to check in and keep the vision for why you are doing what you are doing in your life and in your business.
STEP 5 - BREAK IT DOWN
Now spend time with each of your top goals for the year and brainstorm every possible step that you can imagine that it will take to bring that goal to fruition - both big and small. Break it down. When we break a goal down into small, actionable steps we can prioritize those that need to be completed first and create a quarterly timeline for the year and then a monthly timeline. It really helps to take a big, audacious goal and chunk it down so you don’t become paralyzed by feeling overwhelming.
STEP 6 - PRIORITIZE WORKING TOWARDS YOUR GOAL
Then one step at a time, block out space on your calendar during the coming year to tackle these individual steps toward your top goals. Re-visit the process quarterly to stay on track and to stay in touch with your WHY.
STEP 7 - CREATE ACCOUNTABILITY & SUPPORT
This last step is super important: Assemble your fellowship. Assembling your support network to help hold you accountable is a crucial piece of the goal setting process that most overlook, hence the 80% fail rate for New Year’s resolutions. Having support when the going gets tough and the motivation wanes will help keep you on track to achieving your biggest goals. Call up a friend, co-worker, colleague, or family member and discuss a framework for holding one another accountable. This could be weekly phone calls, email check-in’s, quarterly coffee dates, etc. Whatever works for you and your accountability partner - and remember to sprinkle some fun and celebration in as you accomplish each step in your plan!
About the Author:
Bestselling Author & Consultant
Founder & CEO of MIND BODY LIFE