Do more, be better

After the hangover

by Jessica on 22 December 2011, filed under Working It Out

Here we are just a few days before Christmas, and amidst the frantic shopping, parties and rushing to get work finished, we find ourselves thinking about the New Year ahead. There is something so enticing about the ‘fresh start’; the next step, the chance to make change in our lives. It is this feeling of hope which makes it such a powerful time.

Setting goals for the New Year is the easy bit but as time passes we often take our foot off the accelerator. Where new goals are exciting and shiny, a few months down the track they represent nothing more than an impossibly hard slog. It is hard not to become cynical when by the 15th of January it seems even the best of intentions have slipped.

So what can we do? Goals are made for a reason. Our lives can truly be transformed when they are realized, so here are a few tips to ensure that 2012 won’t just be like ‘every other year’:

  1. Frame your goals carefully – too often people make vague or broad goals and resolutions. “This year I am going to be healthy”, “I am going to travel”. But without clear measurable parameters it is impossible to stay on track. Make sure you can answer the question “How will I know I have achieved my goal?”
  2. Baby steps – Once you have framed your goal in a measureable way work out what it will take to get there. Few goals can (or should) be achieved in a single bound. Chances are there will be lots of small actions or changes that culminate in the achievement of the goal. Write up these steps as a To Do list which can be introduced into your daily life.
  3. Keep it top of mind – Now that you have a plan, the next challenge is staying on track with it. You need to make sure you are regularly reviewing where you are at and where you are heading. Keep your goals and plan in a prominent place and review them regularly. Whether that is on your bathroom mirror, your Pinterest.com board or stuffed into your wallet; being reminded of the plan every day will help you take those small actions. It will also keep you motivated as you will never lose site of where you are trying to get to.
  4. Find someone to help you – Relying on yourself to motivate yourself is hard work so engage the help of others. Tell your friends and family about your goals to keep you accountable and enthused. Also seek out experts or people who have done what you want to do to guide you. If you are starting a new business find a business coach or mentor, if you are starting out at the gym get a Personal Trainer to show you the ropes. The power of other people in helping us to achieve is amazing.

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