January is rife with “New Year, New Me” posts and almost everyone goes into the new year with a list of things they want to achieve in the next 12 months. Unfortunately, though, by the time February and March come around, we’ve started to let things slide a little bit. Here are a few tips to get you motivated and set up for success this year!
1. Understand Your Why
Why do you want to achieve this goal? Really sit down and think about this. Most of us set goals that we think we should be achieving (hello, “I want to lose weight after December”), or it’s based on what others think we should achieve. But if we set goals based on this, then we often lack the drive to keep working on it when things get hard. Find a bigger “why”– this is what is going to keep you going on the days when motivation is low. If you can’t find a meaningful reason to go for it, scrap it and find a goal that you really want to achieve!
2. Set an Umbrella Goal
Most of us have heard of SMART goals by now – setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. For me though, I think that the two most important aspects of this are specific and realistic. Setting a wishy-washy goal that isn’t actually attainable is just going to lead to you being stressed and demotivated – and no-one wants that!
Set a big-picture goal that is specific and realistic. For example – “I want to compete in a 15km run in June 2019, within the cut-off time”.
3. Plan Ahead
Once you have an idea of your goal, plan ahead for any obstacles that might come your way. Taking 5 minutes to answer the four questions below will really help you plan for any potential obstacles or set-backs:
- What do you want?
- What is your expected outcome?
- What are the obstacles?
- What is your plan to overcome each obstacle?W
4. Set “Micro Goals”
Achievement keeps us motivated! Setting smaller goals that will get you to your Umbrella Goal will keep us on track without feeling demotivated and like we aren’t getting anywhere. So, set a series of small goals that will move you forward and keep you interested.
Using our 15km Umbrella Goal as an example, creating a weekly kilometer goal might help – such as running 15km a week for 4 weeks. This could be 3 x 5km runs, 2x 7km or just 3km per day. Then after that, you can start adding more kays onto each week, or adding time-based goals.
5. Keep Track and Stay Accountable
Write down your big goal and your micro goals and when you achieve them. Having them down on paper will cement the goal in your mind, and keeping track will help you see what is working and what isn’t working. You can start to see patterns and you can adjust if you need to so that you can keep moving forward.
Once a month (for longer term goals), sit and assess where you are at. What is working and what isn’t? Do you still want to achieve this goal? Are you on track? What can you do differently? If you need to change things up, this is when you can do it! There is nothing wrong with a little detour if it’s going to keep you interested and moving toward your Umbrella Goal! If you find you are in a rut, sit and try figure out why or talk it out with someone. Some people find that telling friends and family about their goals is helpful.
7. Any Progress Is Good
You aren’t going to be hitting your targets every day perfectly. Life still happens in between goals! So if you aren’t smashing it 100% all the time, keep reminding yourself that any progress is still good progress! You’re moving forward, and that is what is important! Remember that a 1km jog has more in common with a 10km run than a 0km run.
So, to summarize – your goals need to be yours, and you need to have a plan in place to achieve them. Sometimes we hit a few road blocks, and we need to be prepared so that we can get back on track and move forward!
Make 2019 your year, re-set your goals and smash them!