Whether you’re an organised wizard who creates, plans and sets goals in great detail ready for the new year, or someone who has a rough idea of the goals they’d like to achieve and feel they’ll work towards them at their own pace, it can be highly effective to have a focus on the success we want to achieve. As a coach, I would of course argue that we can do this at any time of the year, it doesn’t have to be at the beginning of the year! Yet for many, the start of the new year feels naturally like a good time to think about change and personal development, so let’s think about how to set achievable goals that work for you.
1. Take your goals one step at a time.
It can be easy to create big goals that require change across many levels of our thinking and behaviour such as tripling our profits or completely rebranding our business. These are absolutely achievable when we break them down, creating small changes at a time to achieve an overall bigger and more sustainable change. So how do we break goals down? Let’s use an example of ‘utilising social media more within your business’. It may feel like you need to set the goal of being active 3 times a day on all social media channels, when in reality this is probably going to remove all enjoyment of being on social media and make you feel like you can’t keep up with the pace. Rather than going from 0 to 100, pace yourself. Choose one channel to post on twice a week for a couple of weeks, then gradually increase this over time to a pace that fits naturally within your weekly capacity.
2. Structured or flexible?
I’m someone who enjoys having flexibility within my work. This is pretty accurate across other areas of my life too, when things become too structured, I feel they become harder for me to achieve. So, it’s important for me when setting goals to have some flexibility. When I write my goals, I quite often fold an A4 piece of paper in half and write ‘do more’ on one side and ‘do less’ on the other. This technique helps me think about the areas that I want to achieve change within, and also lets me figure out how to achieve them through practice rather than setting myself ways to achieve them that in reality usually fail for me! For example, this year I have written ‘reading fiction books’ on the ‘do more’ side and ‘driving to places when I could walk’ on the ‘do less’ side. For me, that’s enough detail to achieve these goals. I understand others would need more structure within these goals such as ‘read one fiction book every two weeks, allocating 20 minutes every lunch hour to reading’. Both ways of writing goals are effective! When considering our approach to setting goals, think about goals you have set yourself in the past and how structured/flexible these have been and how achievable they were for you. If structure worked well for you previously, stick to structure. If it didn’t, think about how you can introduce a little more flexibility.
3. Bring in some fun!
There’s nothing harder to stick to than a goal which isn’t fun and brings no enjoyment to your life. When we think about goals for the new year, we often think about them being the ‘rules’ we need to follow to become the perfect version of ourselves… let’s face it, out of context that doesn’t sound much fun at all! So how about we reframe them to ‘ways to focus on the areas that bring us happiness in life?’ Or something to that effect! Dieting is a popular new year goal for many of us, but is dieting always fun? If not, let’s change it to something that is. Perhaps set yourself the goal of experimenting with different healthy recipes? Give yourself the flexibility of eating 80% healthy during the week and 20% of whatever you really fancy. We can achieve great change whilst having fun.
Enjoy setting your goals and sticking to them in a way that works for you! In need of coaching sessions to help you stay on track? Contact us to see what we offer.