Tuesday, January 1, 2013

7 Tips for Goal Setting Success!

Happy 2013! Here is a little guide of tips on goal setting that I put together. 

These are tips that I use personally that help me achieve the goals that I set. Many I have read, others I have just determined work for me as I set more goals. 

I hope that these help you set fun and challenging goals for 2013!

Tips for Success in Goal Setting:

1) Make fun goals! - Don't think that because it is the beginning of January that your goals have to be all about saving money, losing weight and de-cluttering! If those are some of your goals, great! If not, that's great too! The best way I have found to set goals myself is to mix the fun in with the more tedious ones. That way I get a good mix and feel accomplished in multiple ways at the end of the year. You aren't going to want to accomplish your goals if you aren't excited about them. 

2) Make your goals specific & measurable - Making a goal like, "exercise more," "save money," or "read more books," is setting you up to fail. When setting a goal, think about where you are now for the goal and where you want to end up. Be as specific as possible. For example: "read more books" - how many books did you read last year? how many books would you like to read this year? Is it a feasible number? Is it ambitious enough to be motivating? What types of books do you want to read? When do you want to complete the goal by? How will I know if I completed my goal? 

Your new improved goal might look something like this: "By January 2014, read 7 books, 2 of which are biographies and 2 of which are travel books."

3) Write goals as if you know you can complete them- This gives you the confidence of feeling like there is no question of your capabilities each time you read it. For example, the improved goal above about reading becomes even better when it is specific & measurable as well as written with confidence. The new goal would look something like: "By January 2014 I have read 7 books. 2 of which are biographies and 2 are travel books."

4) Be Ambitious!- Lululemon Athletica, a encourages their employees, blog readers & customers to set what they call BHAGs. Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals. We are competitive and we like to improve ourselves. Giving yourself a little bit of a challenge is very motivating and exciting. Last year, I could have very easily set a goal to make 50 new recipes in a year. That could have been a challenge, but 100 was truly exciting! I'm so glad I pushed myself to do it! I was very motivated to finish it because it sounded so impressive. 

5) Set a Mixture of end-point and on-going goals- I find that I do best with goal setting and achievement when I set some goals that have a definite end-point like, "see coldplay live in concert" and others that are on-going like, "floss 3 X's per week" If your entire list is on-going goals, you will probably wear yourself out and get stressed by trying to keep up with too many on-going habits at the same time. If you set only end-point goals then you might not feel very challenged. Picking a good mixture really helps me stay motivated and achieve more things in a period of time.

6) Start Small- Start with about 5 goals, especially if you are new to goal setting. I have started setting more and more as I have learned to identify what types of things I want to achieve and how I work best. You should be able to set a list that feels reasonable, but a little challenging to you. Don't overwhelm yourself with 50 big goals for a year the first time around.

7) Reflect on Your Goals, OFTEN- When you make your goals, make sure you revisit them monthly. Looking back at your goals helps keep you on track and excited about possibilities throughout the year/season etc. And at the end of the year make sure you see how you did. Did you set too many goals? Did you set too few? Were they all too similar? Evaluating your progress is a learning process. Don't be hard on yourself! Trying is half the battle! The courage to try something is often times much more important than achieving it. It is kind of like that quote "the journey is greater than the end destination." Post reviewing my 2012 goals, coming tomorrow! :)

Below I have added links to my goals for 2011, 2012 & 2013. Check them out for inspiration and examples of how it is hard to start out. My 2011 list is really unspecific and contains WAY too many things with not enough on-going/end-point variety. It might be helpful to get ideas, but it is a good example of how NOT to set goals, especially starting out!

For more goal setting posts, check out my achieve tab. 

To see my 2013 goals, click here.
To see my 2012 goals, click here
To see my 2011 goals, click here.

I hope that you found this post helpful! :)

What are your favorite goal setting strategies?

All for now,


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