Help with setting goals

December 29th, 2006

The last few days have been very relaxing. I have prayerfully started to think about some of my goals for next year. I have found that setting goals at the start of the year works for me so I keep doing it.

I had a thought though. What if you are not very good at writing goals and actually getting them done. If that is you, here are some of my tips.

1. What do you want to achieve?

That might sound simple, but it is always a good place to start! What things do you daydream about doing? Where would you like to see yourself in 12 months time? Is there something new you would like to learn or master?

2. Be realistic

If your goal is to run a marathon and you haven’t done one before, try setting some short term goals first. Look around for 5 kilometre races (3 miles) and see how you go in them first. Being realistic in your goal setting will help you not to get discouraged if things don’t turn out too well first off.

3. Write an action plan

What are you going to do to achieve your goal. If you want to lose 5 kilograms in weight, how are you going to do it? Write an eating plan and an exercise plan. Be specific like how many times per week and you going to exercise and write it in your diary. If you set aside time for it in your schedule, you are more likely to actually do it.

4. Review your progress regularly

I make a point of reviewing my goals and progress towards them every three months. I take a look at them at the beginning of April, July and October. That way I can measure how I am going and if I need to make some adjustments.

5. Realise you might stumble along the way

Most of us get lazy and lose focus every now and then. You might say to yourself that I will allow myself a week off exercise twice in the year for whatever reason, but I will start again the next Monday. Having that freedom will help you not to feel like you have “fallen off the wagon” and failed when you take some time off.

6. Reward yourself

If you have written some goals and you are working towards getting them done, make sure you reward yourself along the way. If you have been working out for a set period you might buy yourself some new running shoes or piece of gym equipment. Rewarding myself motivates me to keep going and moving forward.

7. Set a new goal

If you are close to achieving your goal then look at setting the next one. If you are aiming to run the marathon and have successfully run several 5 kilometre races, look around for a 10 kilometre race or a half marathon. If you are not looking to constantly improve or move on to the next goal you may find you lose interest and motivation.

A last tip is to get your goals down on paper and keep a journal or diary on how you go. That will make it easier when the review time comes and allow you to better monitor your progress.

Hopefully these tips will help you to get started on the way to achieving your goals. Don’t forget to let me know if this has helped or how you go with things. Because one of my goals for this year is to help others achieve theirs!