Let's Make 2016 Fabulous!

Start by following this brief guide to Setting Better Goals

One of the favorite parts of my job as a life coach is helping people clarify their goals and break through the obstacles that have kept them from achieving what they want. We’ve all learned that even though we have the best of intentions, life gets in the way and all too quickly, our goals get put to the bottom of the to-do pile.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

This year, why not build confidence and feel happier? Let’s start together by helping you build better goals.

1. Understand the difference between a vision and a goal

If you want to live a happier, more fulfilled life, it’s important to know where you are going and how you are going to get there. A vision is the big picture. It is the dream for your life that inspires you and pulls you out of bed each day. A vision sounds like this: “I want to move to California” or “I want to be married by the end of the year” or “I want to leave my job”.

Goals, on the other hand, are the steps we take to get to our vision. The mistake many of us make is that we assume our vision is our goal. Goals are specific and measurable. They have to be completely in our control and not an act of God (hint: winning the goal this month isn’t going to cut it). Goals also have to be time based – in other words, we have to know when you are going to do what you say you are going to do.

When we write out our goals, we have to write out the steps we are going to take in order to reach our ultimate vision. If we want to get married by the end of the year, for example, we might have a goal of meeting 5 new people a month. In order to meet that goal, perhaps we decide that we will join an on-line dating site this week and reach out to 20 people this month. Make sure that every goal you set then meets the requirements that it be specific, time based, measurable and achievable (in our control).

2. Be Realistic

The number one reason we fail to reach our goals is that our goals are unrealistic. If you haven’t exercised in over a year and decide that you now want to run a 10K next week, what do you think might happen?

We set unrealistic goals and then beat ourselves up for not achieving them. We give up and say to ourselves “see, I knew you couldn’t do it.” We have “big eyes” and think that we should be able to achieve what we set out to do NOW.

If you want to reach your goals, make sure they are realistic. Give yourself time to do each and every step. No matter how big your goal is, if you break it down step-by-step, you are more likely to achieve your goal than if you try and take it all on at once.

3. Acknowledge Your Achievements

It doesn’t even occur to us to look for what we’ve done right. We are all so trained to look for our failures; we don’t even know what it looks like to seek out our accomplishments.

Imagine how differently you might feel if you were looking for all of the little ways you met your goals instead of looking for all you missed?

If you want to reach your goals this year, spend time each evening acknowledging the ways you’ve worked toward achieving your goals – even the seemingly small stuff. Don’t be afraid to heap on the praise.

Tell yourself how brave, strong, creative or amazing you are. Being your own cheerleader will go far in helping you recoup on days where it feels like your goals are still miles away.

4. Create an Accountability Structure

We all know this. It’s easier to meet our goals if we have someone willing to hold us accountable for what we say we want. If you are really serious about making changes this year, enroll a friend or coach who will be willing to bust you.

Make an agreement with an accountability partner that you will stick to the schedule you have outlined and set aside time to meet with that person each week. Pick someone who you know won’t let you off the hook, feel sorry for you or buy into your excuses.

Make sure that the goals have been clearly established between the two of you and that each of you knows what needs to be accomplished each week.

It helps of each of you has a goal that you are working on that you can hold the other accountable for.

5. Give Up Excuses

Excuses are normal, but are huge goal killers. The ability to achieve our goals this year, then, will be in direct proportion to our willingness to give up our excuses. Recognize that most of our excuses are really just fear, insecurity or laziness.

Recognizing our excuses (and the reasons behind them) allows us to let them go and remember what is important to us. I often recommend putting a post-it as a reminder that we want to live in a “No Excuse Zone”.

Even though we might be tired, scared or unsure, when we give up our excuses we learn to ask for help – which allows us to move more quickly toward what we say we most want.

Are you ready to begin?

Remember to write out both your vision and goals. Keep them somewhere where you can connect with them each day so that you can stay on track.

Want to learn more about achieving your goals and dreams? Join me for a FREE Breakthrough Shadow Coaching Discovery Session and learn how to break free of your limitations and get more of what you want out of life!