As we kick off the new year, many people will sit down and create a list of resolutions they hope to accomplish in the next 12 months. Unfortunately, it’s much easier to make that list than to stick to it throughout the year. There is, however, a better way to set and achieve your goals.
Your goals will most likely fall into two categories: personal and professional. For each category, think about immediate goals, short-term goals and long-term goals. Immediate goals may be things that can be accomplished this week. For example, updating your resume may be an immediate goal.
Short-term goals are things that can be accomplished in the next few weeks or next few months. These goals may have mini-goals, or steps, embedded into them that must be accomplished before the entire goal can be reached. Professional development might be a short-term goal if you are planning to take some courses or training in the next few months.
Long-term goals are the most complex. They often require multiple steps and an extended period of time. Some of the most common long-term goals are related to wellness, exercise and diet. Changing lifestyle habits takes time and results usually aren’t visible overnight.
How To Achieve Your Goals This Year
Sometimes it makes sense to break long-term goals into chunks, or sets of short-term goals, so that you can see and feel the progress being made along the way. If overall better nutrition is your long-term goal, you might break that into manageable chunks of monitoring caloric intake and eating out at restaurants less often. If your goals are measurable, it’s easier to hold yourself accountable to actually achieving them.
Document your goals. It’s helpful to document these goals and then post them in a visible place so they stay in the front of your mind regularly. As you complete the goals, cross them off the list. There’s just something about marking items as completed that helps you move onto the next item.
Use technology tools to assist you. Set calendar reminders with deadlines for progress. Edit your goals as necessary. You may need to adjust your list based on personal and professional circumstances that arise throughout the year.
Reward yourself for successfully achieving your goals, but don’t punish yourself for failing. Celebrate your success! It’s hard work achieving goals, so make sure you take a few minutes and savor the feeling.
It’s also perfectly acceptable to rework your list if you find your goals aren’t achievable or have changed. Perhaps your goals were too lofty or are no longer in line with your personal and professional plans. Make revisions as you move through the year and keep striving to be the best you can be! Persistence is required if you want to achieve your goals!
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