Goals. Most people have a love-hate relationship with goals. They love them because they are such a great idea and a wonderful way to motivate us to achieve, as well as evaluate our progress, but hate them because for many they more often than not go unattained and simply frustrate them. This isn’t what goals should do! So here are some simple ways to set goals so that we achieve them! After all, what good is a goal if it isn’t something you achieve? Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure that you see change in your life this year.
Narrow your focus. That’s right, start small. Pick two or three areas tops, that you want to work on. Too many people say to themselves, “I want to do this, and this, and this, and this…” and they end up doing nothing! Most of what you do throughout your day can be done without a lot of mental or emotional exertion, but change isn’t one of them. So focus down to a couple. This way you can get some victory in these areas. Here are some areas to think about: Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Spiritual, Financial, and Relational. What areas need some work? Now, what one thing should be the first item on the change list? The others will come later, but for now, you should focus on two or three total.
Keep the long-term in mind, but set your sights on achieving your goals in the short-term. Do you want to lose 75 pounds? Good. Long-term you will. But for now, think short-term. Don’t think about losing 75 pound by summer 2008. Think about losing 5 pounds by January 1st. This does two things. First, it makes it urgent. Instead of blowing it and saying, “Oh well, I still have 21 months to lose the 75 pounds” (because eventually that becomes 2 months to lose 75 pounds), your goal is only a few weeks out. This is better in terms of reaching your goal. Secondly, as you reach these shorter goals, it gives you regular victories instead of regular progress. Progress feels good, but achieving a goal is awesome!
Reward yourself when you achieve the goal. When you lose the 5 pounds by January 1st, go get yourself a grande whole-milk mocha. But just one! Then get back to your goal for February 1st. This puts a little fun back into the process of self-control and self-discipline. You will look forward to the reward and when the going gets tough, you will say, “two more weeks, two more pounds, then…” That’s it. I truly believe that it can be that simple for you.