Tricks for Smarter Goal Setting - Celebrations 2
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Tricks for Smarter Goal Setting

It’s that time of the year again. Time to reflect on last year’s ups and downs. Time to look ahead to the new year with hope or trepidation. However, you want to look at it, New Years is a great time to set goals and take on new challenges.

Everything feels like a fresh start. You have a new chance to change the bad habits you could do without. But the truth is this isn’t some magical vortex of goal setting that happens once a year. Every new month can be a fresh start, every week is a brand-new frontier. Heck every morning is filled with possibility!

Try these tricks for smarter goal setting:

January is Not You’re Only Fresh Start

If you aren’t feeling particularly ready to hit the gym in the dead of winter- that’s ok! Know that you have every opportunity all year long to improve. And if January 1 feels too cliché, get after it in February!

Keep it Quiet

But don’t stall out before you start… You want to shout your new plans off the rooftop, right? Well some researchers say that telling people about your goals initiates the same feel good thoughts as actually doing something towards reaching them.

At the same time, if you don’t tell anyone at all, you don’t get the benefit of accountability. Strike a happy medium by telling a few people in your inner circle. Exchange goals and offer to check in with each other weekly. By having to tell someone what you have done instead of what you want to do, you increase your chances of succeeding.

Make Yourself Uncomfortable

Goals should be big enough to turn your stomach just a little bit. If you aren’t feeling a little nervous about it, you are selling yourself short. At the same time make sure that your goals are reachable. By using the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based) method for setting goals you are setting yourself up for success.

If you can’t tell that you have made any progress the process is going to lose its appeal and importance in your day quickly. So, set a specific goal for a specific time that you can measure and that makes you uncomfortable. BAM you’re off to a good start.

Reward Yourself

After you set your goal, work backwards to each mile stone until you reach your current level. If you want to squat 400 lbs., and your current best is the bar it may seem impossible. By breaking it up into tiny chunks, and specifying timelines for your milestones you have laid out a plan to step up comfortably to your goal.

With each milestone include the way you will reward yourself! If you focus on the process instead of just the outcome you can squeeze joy out of every step of the way. Maybe adding 5 pounds to the bar gets you a delicious coffee, 20 lbs. is an extra Netflix show… Make a list of what you like and incorporate it!

It’s a win-win! You are working towards your goals and doing more of what you love.

Get it in Early

Do something every day towards your goal… And try to do it before 10 am! By making it a priority in the morning it is less likely that other things will push it out of the way. Let’s face it, unexpected things arise every day if you have already made progress- even just a little before lunch you have one less reason to stress when crunch time hits.

Get in the Habit

So now you’ve sat and thought and decided you want to commit to starting piano, learning Spanish or getting Schwarzenegger ripped. You are excited, enthusiastic and oh so hopeful. But what happens when you are one month in? Work starts getting insanely busy, it’s cold out and you really would just rather not.

That is when routine, habit and will power really come into play. If you really concentrate on setting time aside and making your goal a priority at the beginning it will be a harder activity to cut out when the going gets tough. So, for the first month celebrate every time you work towards completing the goal.

Forgive Yourself

No one is perfect! And no one can do everything all the time. Cut yourself some slack. And know that tomorrow is another brand-new start.