8 Steps for Creating Goals that Stick

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With the new year comes the traditional new year’s resolutions. A chance to start again, get back on track and begin anew.

We come raring out of the gate and yet usually within the first two weeks we slip up.

A family treat we don’t say no to. A rainy day where we don’t get our walk in.

Or, we head back to work and decide that goal wasn’t really that important to us after all.

The difference between a successful goal and a goal that fades with the holidays is often about getting clear on why we want to achieve it and what it will get for us in the long run.

Here are our tips to turn what you want to happen into a reality:

1. Identify what you want to be doing differently in 3 months time, whether a one-off event such as a trek or race, or consistently and as part of a healthy lifestyle.

2. Get clear on where your goal sits with your values (what is important to you in your life). If you value your health, spending time with your family and being happy, how does this new goal support you in these? How do these values support you in your goal?

3. Call the shots ahead of time. What is likely to get in your way? What obstacles could trip you up?

4. How could you get in your own way? Self sabotage can look different for different people but it has the same outcome- decisions and priorities made that stop you from getting to where you want to be.

5. What will you do to get back on track? What are healthy ways you can reward your progress towards your goal?

6. Now make a SMART goal (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely), then make a list of all the steps you will need to achieve it.

Example: Goal: 30 minutes of exercise

S- Specific goal: 30 minutes of walking, swimming or cycling each day

M- Measurable: 30 minutes

A- Achievable:  I’m busy with my family on the weekend, each weekday is achievable

R- Walking is the easiest to arrange so I will do that 3 days a week in the morning before work and cycling and swimming in the evening once each

T- I will give myself 2 months to achieve this goal of regular exercise each weekday

Steps to get there:

  • Have my swim/cycling gear ready the night before
  • Ensure I have a suitable wet weather jacket for when it’s rainy
  • Schedule my exercise into my calendar so I don’t double book myself

7. Finally, how will you know you have achieved your goal? Is it to do something once like a significant event or is it to do something with ease daily for at least two weeks?

8. Celebrate each step along the way, you are doing it!

Remember, it takes 3 weeks to create a new habit. You don’t need a new year to start again, each day is a new opportunity to try again and take steps along the way to create a life you love to live.