Welcome to January 2016!
This is when all the resolutions come out of the woodwork and the gyms become a game of ‘first in, first served’ when it comes to the exercise machines. This is when the roads become crowded (again) as “the summer people” return home from their holiday and leave us locals in peace. This is when I sit down and think about what I want to achieve in the new year. I admit it. I am the person who makes goals. Even more than that, I don’t want to just “achieve” my goals. I want to smash them out of the bloody park.
I love goals. I love lists. I love a new year. I woke up on the 1st January and thought: “Hell yeah, I am going to kick ass this year!” I think this is something that occurs every year. I then find myself buried under a mountain of college readings and assignments in the middle of the year and I wonder where the time went. I “should have” achieve xyz by now. Ugh. Don’t you hate that?
I don’t want that to happen to you, so I have decided to come up with a few ways to help you achieve your goals for 2016!
Make them S.M.A.R.T.
I remember sitting in one of my public relations lectures and wondering why people kept talking about S.M.A.R.T. objectives. Why do smart objectives make them better? What are smart objectives? Why do we need objectives if we have a goal? I had so many questions.
Let’s start with S.M.A.R.T:
- Time-oriented (or time-tabled)
Objectives are a subset of goals that are measurable and have concrete terms, along with a fixed time frame. For example, my goal could be “To improve my fitness”, but my objective would be “To go to xyz gym three times a week in 2016”.
Having an overarching theme or goal for 2016 is brilliant (more than brilliant, actually), but it can also be overwhelming. People think that they have all the time in the world to achieve their goals, but that time flies by. Trust me. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals can help you achieve them by the end of 2016.
Break big goals down into manageable chunks
This is related to what I mentioned above. I usually set big goals for the year and then break them down into month-by-month chunks. That way, I can plan what I need to do each month and track my progress. It is easy to get intimidated by huge goals that you set during the “New year, new me!” mindset. If you set little milestones for your goals throughout the year, it will be easy to achieve your goals for 2016.
Do a little bit each day/week/month
There is no rule stating that you have to set a goal and smash it out in the first month. Heck, there isn’t a rule stating that you have to accomplish anything by the middle of the year or at all. I find it easier to achieve a goal if I can work on it throughout the year rather than having a set time (say April-July). It makes the whole process less daunting and more of an adventure. Isn’t that what life is supposed to be?
Celebrate the milestones
I love, love, love rewards and celebrating accomplishments. Pick a milestone (three months, six months, nine months) and celebrate your efforts for the year. You deserve it. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing. It could be a road trip to your favourite beach or a picnic in the park. It could be buying those shoes you’ve had your eye on or eating that piece of cake. Tailor it to your goals (or don’t), but make sure you celebrate every success that you have!
I said that there is no rule for accomplishing your goals. There is no rule stating that your goals have to stay the same either. Make sure you evaluate, evaluate, evaluate! If something isn’t working for you then change it. Don’t like the gym? Try working out at home or in a park. Don’t like sticking to a specific diet? Try a flexible diet or tracking your macros.
On the other side of the coin, if something isn’t challenging you then change it up! Your goals for 2016 are going to be a part of your life. You shouldn’t feel like you are bored or are being too challenged. They are supposed to be fun and something that you want to do. Don’t be afraid of changing your mind (Lord knows that I do it enough) and keep it fun!