Yay – a new year! The end of one year and the beginning of another provides us with the opportunity to evaluate where we are at; reflect on what we achieved over the past 12 months; and set a series of goals for the next 12 to 36 months (depending upon the timeframe you use and the specific goal objective).
Often at this time, we set out with conviction to eat better, get fit and save more. But it comes to mid-Feb, and all our good intentions have been forgotten or have fallen by the wayside as we migrate back into our old routines. Sound familiar? A great way to keep yourself accountable is to:
1. Write your goals down in a diary, notebook or device you use daily. I can’t
over stress the importance of this. Empty promises made over the clinking of
glasses at 12.01am on 1st January very rarely survive the test of time.
2. Ensure that they are measurable and specific – it’s all great saying you want to
get fitter or be healthier, but how will you determine success? For example, if
your goal is weight loss or more tone, use metrics to record progress.
3. Make sure they are realistic – running a marathon may sound aspirational, but
the reality is that without an extremely clear plan, the odds of it happening
are low. So plan to run 5km 3 times a week and slowly build from there
4. Put a timeframe on it – set mini-goals and reward incentives for achieving
5. Map out how you are going to get to your goal while being realistic – I call
these map steps. It’s one thing to say you are going to exercise 5 times a
week – but is that realistic with your other commitments? Can you schedule
in 3 comfortably and walk into work two days a week? Or always take the
stairs, not the lift?
6. Schedule it into your diary so you MAKE IT HAPPEN
7. Put in a quarterly review to see how you are tracking
The summer break does give most of us time to reflect, re-evaluate what is important, and reassess where we see ourselves in 12 months' time. It doesn’t have to take long to plan: the irony is that most people do it for key projects, but very few do it for their own lives.
I strongly encourage you to add more ‘me time’ to your goals. It’s strange that it isn’t the number one focus, given that the more we understand about ourselves, the more we will flourish and feel fulfilled. Check in weekly about how you feel about life – in my ‘me time,’ I review how I got on with all my ‘map steps’ and what they are for the week ahead. I also highlight one of my strengths I’m going to focus on and how I can use it in all areas of my life. I find this helps keep me out of autopilot and focused on my path rather than just drifting! It’s a time I really look forward to, as I know I am nurturing my growth.
Own your future – make 2023 your best year yet!