You don’t need to wait for January 1 to set goals for yourself. Goal setting is about finding what’s important to you and figuring out a way to attain those goals. It is crucial that your goals are something YOU want to do, not just something that sounds good to others. The process of goal setting helps you understand where you are and where you want to go – it also helps keep you motivated. Here are some tips for setting goals for yourself:
1) Choose a goal or 2. Be specific. For example, “lose weight” or “get my black belt” are too vague. You want to be crystal clear in your intention – “lose 25 lbs” or “get my black belt by XXXX year”. Try to find a middle ground between aiming too high and underestimating your abilities. It is important to understand why you are doing what you are doing. What will accomplishing this goal mean to you?
2) Write your goals down. Be as specific as possible, include a timeline for achieving your goals. Be realistic – getting your black belt in a year is not an attainable goal. Write your goals in a positive tone – positive thinking goes a long way in helping you achieve the goals. Keep a journal of your progress.
3) Make your goals measurable. For example, if you goal is to lose 25 lbs, you want to set a specific measure to lose 1 lb per week. Tracking your progress in these little increments provides you with small victories. These positive steps build momentum, boost your confidence and help you to keep motivated and on target to reach your goal.
4) Create an action plan – make it happen. This is vital to achieving your goals. “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. Decide when you are going to put your plan in to action, include details and timing of your plan, make milestones to help you achieve the goal on time.
5) Review your goals often. Go back to your journal, make sure that this goal is really what you want to do. Recognize and celebrate your success. Adapt your plan if necessary, just make sure to keep to your main objective.
6) Stick to the plan, but stay flexible. This will be the biggest challenge. Life sometimes throws you in a direction you were not expecting. This is where you will see how much your goal means to you – if it is important, you will find a way to make it work despite the change in circumstance. Don’t let distractions lead you down the road to procrastination. Go back, read why you are doing this, keep motivated!
7) Share your goals and find an accountability friend. Be brave, share your goals with a friend, family member, or instructor. As you go through the process, ask for feedback and reward yourself for milestones in your journey. For example, if you achieve the next belt on your way to black belt – reward yourself with a special dinner or a new uniform/bo staff/punch mitts. Having someone to help you stay accountable for your goals is priceless!
The bottom line is goal setting has powerful and lasting effects on your life and your well being. The power is in your hands – the sky is the limit! You can accomplish anything you put your mind to!! Be BOLD! Be AMAZING!!
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