- Don’t write them down – I mean, who needs to write stuff down?? My memory was good enough for me to pass that geometry test in high school, so it’s good enough for me now… Plus, if I write it down, I’ll have to see it every day and be reminded of my goal(s).
Writing down your goals helps you keep focused on the long journey ahead of you. It makes the goal real and not just something you thought of one day that would be a good idea. And, in addition to writing them down, post them where you can see them – every day. The more regularly you’re faced with your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them.
- Don’t have someone hold you accountable – If I tell my goals to someone else, they’ll judge me and make fun of me. I can do this on my own – just like the last 10 years when I hit my goals…to…ummm… Well, I’m sure I’ve hit some goal over the last decade, right?
Once you’ve written down your goals, you should share them with someone who can hold you accountable to achieving them. If they’re going to make fun of your list, then they’re not the right person. Find someone that will be firm with you, but also understanding that you’re going to trip up along the way. Have a regular time that you check in with each other and allow him/her to ask you the tough questions. Finding someone with similar goals may be a good idea here to so you can do this together…
- Give up before you even get started – These thoughts I keep having that I can’t do this and I won’t hit my goals are normal, right? It’s ok if I indulge them and buy into every lie they tell me about myself, right? Thinking positively about myself and my ability to follow through on hitting my goal(s) is overrated any way. That’s for losers.
Any time we try to get better, there’s always that voice that tells us we can’t or we won’t. Don’t listen to it. Don’t even allow it to go on for long lengths of time. Stop it as soon as it starts and know that although it will take some work on your part, you can do it. This voice is probably the #1 reason people don’t achieve their goals…because it stops people before they ever really get started.
- Don’t regularly celebrate the small steps toward the bigger goal – My goal is to lose XX pounds in 2014…so I’m not going to reward myself for anything until I hit that goal. No pats on the back or atta boys until my big audacious goal has been achieved. I have one goal and there will only be one celebration.
If you’re like me, then you like to set BIG goals. But, you must chop down these big goals into smaller bite-sized chunks along the way. I was talking with someone the other day who set a goal to lose 90 pounds in 2014. What a great, big goal! But then I broke it down into months and then weeks so that he can more easily focus on the goal and then also celebrate as he hits it weekly and/or monthly.
- Don’t be specific on the outcomes – What? My goal is to lose some weight this year. Oh, and to read more. And, don’t forget this one – to spend more time with my kids and family. Those ARE goals, right?
Setting goals is a science. Saying that you’re going to spend ‘more’ time with your family in 2014 is an awesome goal! But, how much exactly is ‘more’? And how do you know when you’ve achieved it? Doesn’t it make more sense to say I’m going to take each of my children and my spouse on 1 date night per month in 2014? You see what I did there? That’s something that is specific enough and measurable enough that you know whether you did it or not. And, there may be months when you don’t, but you just get back on the saddle and try it again the next month.
What goals have you set for 2014? Do any of these apply to the goals you’ve set?