Goal setting strategies (Part 1 of 3)

New Year’s Resolution = A Goal Setting Opportunity

Goals are good, but how will you get there?

January 1 often presents an opportunity to think about setting goals, getting healthy, and challenging yourself. If you listen carefully at that New Year’s Party, you will hear statements such as:

  • I am going to lose weight, feel healthy, and enjoy my life more!
  • I am going to save money, pay down my debts, and actually save money this year!
  • I am going to have my best semester ever, get great grades, and feel proud of my efforts!

Great goals, but we need to add some action steps in there. As you think about your goals, consider

  • How can you measure it?
  • How can you stay motivated?
  • How can you reward it?

Measuring your way to your goal

Dream big, brainstorm about how you would like your life to be, visualize yourself there. Now, let’s consider the exact steps that will required to get there. To make life simple, let’s agree that your goal is to exercise more and eat more fruits and veggies so you can be healthier.

Draw a picture

  • Put your current life on the left of the page, and your desired goal on the right side of the page.
  • Start to plot the course to represent your journey. You will need lots of strategies to meet your goal. Try to be as specific as possible.
    • I will try one new NEW fruit or veggie a week
    • Week one I will eat 2 fruits a day, week two I will eat 3 fruits/veggies a day…
    • I will try one new recipe a week
    • I will walk 5 days a week
    • I will lift weights 3 days a week
    • I will sign up for a 5k (sub goals: um, train for that thing and actually DO the event)
    • I will never skip two days in a row of exercise
    • I will exercise with a friend 2 days a week
    • Over the course of a week, I will exercise once before 9 am, and once after 5 pm

  • As much as possible, try to create measurable goals.
    • I will get healthy: oh, how to measure that one!
      • I will go for a walk
      • I will eat an apple
    • I will feel happier: um, not sure how you might measure that one so easily
      • I will laugh today
      • I will genuinely smile at a stranger
      • I will take 3 minutes to look at pictures of my children as babies
      • I will take 3 minutes to think about a future vacation
      • I will send a complimentary text to a friend

Brainstorm some goals that hold meaning for you, that bring you value, and ideally can be measured. You might need to revise your goals, change your metrics, and solicit input. You may outpace your goals and need to make them more challenging, or maybe dial back a bit to remain sane while pursuing your goals.

Next post: staying motivated, because those awesome goals are going to feel less awesome after a bit. Your brain needs novelty, so we will work toward keeping you motivated!

Be happy and healthy, and move toward your goals. If you would like help writing your goals or staying motivated, please contact me and we’ll get you where you want to be in life!

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