Make Your Resolutions a Reality
Writing your goals down is the first step in achieving goals. Consider the difference grocery shopping with or without a list makes. Shopping with a list can allow you to plan and prepare, such as searching circulars for in-store deals, clipping coupons, and meal planning without having to run to the store again. Shopping without a list means relying on your memory – both what you want to get and what you already have. The list simplifies things and allows your mind to not be overwhelmed. Writing your goals does the same.
Keep your eyes on the prize by posting your written goals where you can see them. Some people will even post affirmations or reminders on sticky notes wherever they may see them – on the bathroom mirror, on the fridge, in the car - to keep it top of mind. Visualizing your positive outcomes is something everyone from Napoleon Hill to Tony Robbins encourages for making it a reality. Visualize achieving the goal, including how it will feel and look to be obtained.
This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Being specific includes the who, what, when, where, and why of the goal. Measurable means quantifying where you are now and where you want to be with methods in place to track progress.
Attainable means that your goals are able to be met in the timeline. It also asks you to consider what it would take to make it possible. For example, do you need a gym membership? Accountability? To cut up your credit cards? Being realistic doesn’t mean setting your goals low, but rather setting them in a way that stretches you while also being possible. Be honest with yourself and ask if you’re willing and able to do the work required to achieve the goal. If so, it is realistic.
Finally, make it timely by giving yourself a deadline – or multiple deadlines if you break down the goal into building blocks. Deadlines create a sense of urgency that pushes us to get it done.
Getting clear about how to achieve the goal will help you break it down into more manageable, forward-moving steps. Look at what is needed to make your goal attainable. Break your goal down as far as you need to (ie. daily tasks, weekly or quarterly objectives) to systematically reach your long-term goal.
There is a lot to be said about gratitude, fun, and celebration. Sometimes we get so driven and focused on outcomes, we forget to celebrate the small stuff. Make it a regular practice to look for fun in your day, express gratitude for the progress you are making, and celebrate each small achievement on your way to your big goals.
Don’t consider it a failure if something doesn’t quite work. Sometimes goals are made but then life happens - something unexpected and out of your control surfaces. Give yourself time, permission, and grace to re-evaluate and adjust.