Welcome to 2017! We hope the year is off to a great start for you! We are sure that many of you have set ambitious goals for the year, so we wanted to take a few minutes to provide some tips and tricks to help you achieve those goals.
First things first, make sure that your goals are achievable. We are all for setting ambitious goals but it is important to make sure that you are setting SMART goals. SMART stands for:
- Specific – Sure, setting a general goal like “lose weight” or “travel more” is easier than setting a specific goal such as “lose 10 pounds by July” or “travel to three new states this year,” but odds of you quitting on your goal will be greater. By being specific you know exactly what you want to accomplish.
- Measurable – Make sure your goal is measurable. Using the same example as above if your goal is to “travel more,” how would you measure if you achieved that goal unless you had a way to measure it? For instance, you could say you want to travel to one new city each month, or travel to five new cities by the end of 2017.
- Attainable – Though this may seem obvious, you want to make sure the goals you set are attainable. For instance, if you work a full time job and your goal is to “travel to 24 countries in 2017” you are most likely setting yourself up for failure. Goals are not meant to be impossible to achieve, so while you don’t want to make the goal too easy, you also don’t want to make it impossible.
- Rewarding – Again, this may seem like a no brainer but you want to make sure you are setting goals that will be rewarding to you. Maybe your best friend set a goal to run a marathon by October 2017 and she wants you to join her. If you hate running and will never feel anything but torture while training and running the race then don’t make that a goal of yours. It may sound silly but we are sure there are people out there willing to set goals just to appease others and that is not what a goal should be about. When you achieve a goal you should feel rewarded at the end.
- Trackable – Although not all goals may not fit into a specific time frame, you want to make sure you set up a way for any goal to be tracked. For example if your goal is to “travel to 6 new cities by December 2017,” set a reminder at the beginning of each month to check in with yourself and see if you have any trips planned. Some goals, such as “lose ten pounds by July” are more easily trackable as you can plan to weigh yourself every two weeks to see if you are on track to achieve your goal.
Once you have set SMART goals, it is important to maintain your motivation to achieve them. A great way to keep your motivation up is by knowing why you set the goals in the first place. For example, why do you want to lose 10 pounds? Why do you want to travel to three new states this year? Take some time to think about the motivation behind your goals and then write it down somewhere you can see it every day. Maybe it is a sticky note on your mirror or on a piece of paper you hang on the fridge – just make sure you read it every day because it will help you remember why you set the goals you did and help keep you motivated to achieve them.
We hope these tips help set you up for a successful 2017!