11 Tips For Successful Goal Making

January 2014


January is once again upon us. I love January. It is a time for reflection on the past year, and a time to start anew. The world over people are setting their New Years goals and resolutions. Some will quickly fail and forget the goals and resolution they set this month for the coming year. However others will succeed in spectacular ways. I don't know about you, but I want to be in that latter group. I want this year to be a year of growth and improvement. Here are 11 tips I have discovered over the years that enable successful Goal making and keeping. 

1- Actually set goals.

There are tons of pessimists out there who will be quick to tell you that you are wasting your time making goals and resolutions that you are just going to break in a few weeks or months. Why bother? Don't listen to these naysayers. If you don't try how can you succeed?

2. Be Realistic in Goals.

Setting a goal to read 1,000,000 books this year when the most you have ever read in a year is 5 books isn't very realistic and thus is destined to be broken. If you have only ever read 5 in a year ask yourself why that is. Do you have trouble finding books that are interesting enough? Do you struggle with finding the time? Or are you just a slow reader? Once you discover your obstacles then you are ready to sit down and figure out a goal which will stretch you while still being attainable. In this example maybe 12 books would be an attainable yet inspiring goal for you. 

3- Set Goals That Inspire You.

Where it is true you don't want to be unrealistic in your goals, it is just as true that you want them to be grand enough to inspire you. If they aren't inspiring then you will quickly forget them. 

4- Be Specific.

This is an important one. Too often I hear people make these vague goals or resolutions like: I plan to be healthier this year? My goal is to be a better person. My goal is to not eat so much. Yes all of these goals are admirable, but how do you go about accomplishing these goals? How do you track such goals? How do you know if you have succeeded or not? If you really care about making a change you must be specific if what change you want to accomplish. 

5- Break Down Large Goals Into Mini Goals. 

This is an important one. If, like our earlier example you set your main goal to read 12 books this year then a great mini goal that would assist you in accomplishing your overall goal might be to read one book a month. If your goal is to Looses X amount of unhealthy weight this year then consider setting mini goals such as to lose X lbs a month. Or to drink X amount of water, work out X amount of minutes a day, cut out X from your diet, Get X amount of sleep... By setting these mini goals you are able to break your goal down into doable elements. 

6- Decide on Deadlines, and Benchmarks.

Deadlines and Benchmarks are important. This is how you can track your improvement. it is important to take regular personal inventory of how you are doing and where you can improve. Having clearly marked deadlines and benchmarks help you in this inventory.

7- Write your goals down.

I am a firm believer that if it wasn't recorded, then it didn't happen. This goes for goals and resolutions. If your goals and resolutions are not written down then they aren't goals and resolutions. They are just wishful thinking. 

8- Place Them Somewhere Visible.

Once you write down your overall goals, your mini goals and their deadlines and benchmarks it is important that you place them somewhere you will see every day. A few places to consider are the wall, the door, the fridge, your bathroom mirror. This allows you to keep in your mind what your goals are to better make a conscious decision to work on them. 

9- Share Your Goals and Progress With Someone You Trust.

I have discovered that I am more reliable in keeping with my goals when they aren't a private secret. When I share my goals with someone I trust then I have someone who I can share in my successes and who can encourage me through my failures. This support goes a long way toward helping me achieve my goals. Even better is if that person decided to work on the same things at the same times. Then you can make the journey together. 

10- Celebrate Each Benchmark and Achievement!

When you choose to consciously recognize and celebrate each success great or small you will find greater motivation to reach for that next success. This motivation is especially important when you are in the middle of a difficult goal. Knowing that you have something to look forward to if you just hold on a bit longer can make all the difference. 

11- DON'T GIVE UP!!!

I think this is the most important tip. In any endeavor you will hit rough spots. You will also face failures. Accept that now, and make the decision that you won't let that stop you. So what if you slipped up on your diet. That's no reason to throw everything out the window. Accept your minute failure then get up and resolve to do better. The greatest successes are made by people who just refused to give up. Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it. make it count. 

In the end Henry Ford was right when he said, "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right." The determining factor in whether you succeed or fail in your New Years goals and resolutions is you. DO you want it enough? Are you willing to keep trying? For what it's worth, I believe in you. Let's make this year, a year to remember as we make and keep life changing goals and resolution together. 


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