4 Tips for Setting Effective Goals
As Christmas approaches, I'm starting to think about 2019. The new year brings a lot with it, doesn't it? It's exciting to have a fresh new start. I get fired up about dreaming about what's to come, setting new goals, and creating a killer vision board! Do you?
It wasn't always this way for me. Over the years, I learned three lessons that have enabled me to set meaningful goals and reach them.
#1 - Set "Stretch" Goals.
I used to dread the whole goal-setting process. Every single year, I'd put pressure on myself to achieve unrealistic goals. You know, like I was going to exercise 45 minutes every single day (when the most I'd been doing was 2 times a week), eat perfectly clean (when I'd had sugary Cokes every day for the last month), etc. In other words, setting myself up to feel like a complete failure!
What I learned? To set goals that require me to stretch but not stretch so far that it's unrealistic. (Taking the exercise example above, I'd set a goal of 45 minutes 5 days a week rather than every single day.)
#2 - Set the Number of Goals That Works for You.
The other challenge was that I tended to set too many new goals at once. Remember that one size does not fit all. Some people can take on a bunch of completely new challenges at once and be fine. That's usually not the case for me. I've found I'm usually more successful when I set two or three new challenges, reach them, and then set new ones.
#3 - Don't be Afraid to Experiment with Different Goal-Setting Approaches.
There are lots of great goal-setting tools and systems out there. I kept trying to find the one that would work for me. The problem was that one approach didn't fit every situation I found myself in. Now, I adjust my approach to suit my goals, mindset, and schedule at any given point in time.
Sometimes, I take a "deep dive" approach to goal-setting -- using worksheets and tools to set a number of goals at once. Other times, I take a big picture approach and set a few larger, less specific goals
I hope you find the lessons I've learned helpful as you ponder what you want to see happen for you in 2019. Let me know what you're dreaming of!