What are your New Year’s Resolutions this year? To lose weight, buy a new house or car, further your education, or maybe meet that special someone? Whatever your New Years Resolutions are, you will be much more likely to achieve them if you set a system in place that you can follow on a daily basis.
Big dreams don’t manifest into reality overnight, but by taking small steps toward these dreams every day, little by little parts of the dream become reality.
Set Reasonable Goals
Every year you should begin by setting reasonable and specific goals. For example, if weight loss is a goal for you, you should start off by assessing how much weight you need to lose, and then setting a reasonable goal for the year, one that can actually be achieved. For example, given that it is healthy to lose a maximum of ten pounds per a month, no yearly goal should be set to lose more than one hundred and twenty pounds in any given year
. You should also set a specific amount of weight to be lost, although one hundred and twenty pounds is the maximum amount that can be loss, perhaps you want to lose only fifty, or twenty. A specific amount should be specified, don’t just have a vague, unspecified goal to lose weight vague.
The same is true for any other goal that you might set; you have to take into account, the time that you have to achieve your goal and the resources available to you in the pursuit of your goal. When you truly consider the time and resources at your disposal, you should be able to set a reasonable and specific goal in any area.
Break the Larger Goal into Smaller Ones
OK so, you’ve established your reasonable and specific goals for the year. Where do you go from there? Once the annual goals are set, next comes the process of breaking those larger goals down into smaller more manageable ones. Suppose a goal is to return back to school to further your education. A smaller goal, to be set for the first quarter of the year (January through March), could be collecting information on schools in your area that interest you and researching the various program offered at these schools.
It is very important to break the larger goal down into a series of smaller ones so that will progressively further the larger goal. If you set out a series of steps that need to be taken to reach the larger goal, the goal will seem less overwhelming, and much more manageable. Since this is a resolution for the year, it may be appropriate to break down the larger goal into twelve smaller goals for each month of the year. This is just a guideline; your goal may require more or fewer steps depending upon what the goal is.
While you are setting goals it can’t hurt to also set milestones. Milestones are in between the larger goal that you’ve set for the year, and the smaller goals you have set for a shorter period of time. A milestone is an event that marks significant progress toward the goal. For example, if your goal is to lose fifty pounds, a significant milestone toward that goal could be twenty-five pounds. (Because you are half way there.) If you’re goal is to go back to school, as significant milestone might be completing all of your research and finally deciding upon a school and completing the admissions application. A milestone is a significant accomplishment that occurs on the way to your goal. You can revise your milestones (and for that matter your smaller goals) along the way. But what is important is always having some kind of plan in place. A plan that moves you along toward the goal.
Do at least Five to Ten Small Things Each Day to Achieve the Goal
This is probably the most important advice of all. Take small steps every day toward your goal. This is where goals are made or broken- in your daily routine! It is so easy to begin the New Year in full force, rushing toward your goals with such ambition and zeal! But then life happens. Other responsibilities get in the way-. Before you know it, you missed five gym workouts in a row and you are gaining weight because of it, or working late has prevented you from researching schools.
A slump in the housing market is hampering your house hunting or a glitch in your car loan approval process has gotten you frustrated! Once several days or weeks are missed, it is normal to become frustrated, and to want to abandon the goal all together! THIS YOU MUST NOT DO! It is human to fall off the wagon, but is even more important to get back on! Don’t waste time and energy putting your self down for opportunities missed. Just know that this is all apart of the process. Things do occur that get in the way of steady progress toward our goals. But these things can be easily overcome, if we get back on track as soon as possible and return to the daily habit of taking at least five small steps toward the goal every day.
Reflect Upon Progress
This is easy to do if you write down the small steps you take toward your goal every day. At the end of the week, or month, or whatever time period you are comfortable with, take a look at all of the work you have done toward the achievement of your goal. Evaluate the good decisions as well as the missteps. Perhaps you found the perfect house, made a bid on it, but lost it in a bidding war. Don’t be discouraged. Often times we can turn life’s disappointments into opportunities so long as we are willing to keep a positive attitude and learn from them. Stay focused and keep directing your positive energy to the achievement of your goals. Before you know it you will be reaching those significant milestones that you set earlier.
Reward Yourself for Reaching Milestones
This is very important! Celebrate each significant milestone you reach, don’t wait until you achieve the larger goal, milestones along the way are very important! Sometimes what ends up being even more important than the goal we set, is the journey that takes us there, the friends we meet along the way, and the growth we experience as a result of our efforts. Be sure to celebrate all of this! Following the five simple steps above, you just might even achieve your New Years Resolution before the years end. Wouldn’t that be cause for celebration? Even if you don’t, you will have learned so much just from the effort; enough to take you well into the next year’s resolutions successfully!