Many of us start each New Year determined to accomplish new goals.
Often, after a few weeks into the New Year we find our best-laid plans
derailed with the challenges and time demands of daily life. As a result,
many of us never actualize our well-intentioned goals. You don't have to
wait for new years to decide to take action on your most important goals.
Here are five time-tested suggestions for achieving your goals now.
Resolution: "A course of action determined or decided on".
The Random House Dictionary
1. When we experience a strong desire for something coupled with the
willingness to take action, we set the process of goal achievement in
motion. Effective goals are specific, tangible, time limited statements of
the results you want. Statements like "I want to be happier" or "I want to
be healthier" are too vague to lead you to results. Does your goal meet
the SMART test? Effective goals meet the following five criteria:
Specific: Does your goal clearly define what you want?
Measurable: How will you know when your goal is achieved?
Attainable: Is this goal possible for you to achieve given your
characteristics, assets and limitations?
Realistic: Does your goal make sense given your current
Time limited: What is the target date? Without an attached date a
goal is a stated intention rather than a desired outcome. You can
always change a target date. (Carter-Scott, 2000).
For example, an intention like "I want to be healthier" becomes "I will
exercise for 30 minutes per day five times per week for the next six
2. Another obstacle to goal attainment is trying to work on to many goals
at the same time. Unfortunately, this can dilute our ability to focus. It's
important to prioritize your goals. Select the most important resolution
and begin to work on it. If you feel you have multiple important goals to
work on, limit your self to a maximum of three to optimize your
effectiveness. Once you have determined your goal(s), list all the
possible things you can do to take action and make your goal come true.
Find one-step that resonates with you. Do the first step you selected and
then take the next step. If you work daily at something it won't take long
to break your goal down into bite size steps that allow you to accomplish
a big goal be it writing a book or securing a new job.
3. Structure your environment in a way that optimizes your success. For
example, if you are working on improving your health, structure your
refrigerator in a way that it supports this goal by keeping nutritious, low
fat food choices available. Set-up a walking date with a friend four times
per week after work. Organize your support team by asking for help from
people you know believe in you. Ask them for support on a daily and/or
weekly basis. Reserve time to work on your goal by saying no to things
that are not truly important to you. Then leverage this time to work on
your goal by building it into your schedule.
4. Change rarely happens in a straight line. It's often two steps forward
and one step back. When setbacks occur, process your emotions, put
the experience in perspective and then move on. Rather than beat
yourself-up with a question like "What's wrong with me? Ask, "What's
right with me?" "What is the next step I can take?" "What are my choices
now?" Then move forward.
5. Celebrate Success! Reward yourself after the accomplishment of
each step you take. Take the necessary steps to experience the
fulfillment of your goals!
Carter-Scott, C. (2000). If Success is a Game, These are the Rules: Ten
Rules for a Fulfilling Life. New York: Broadway Books.
Written by Suzanne Rudolph Ed.D., Licensed Psychologist and Certified
Personal and Professional Life Coach. She can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.lifecoachingsolution.com for more
information about coaching services.