Now is the time of the year when most people make goals for the next year. Despite all the news that most New Year’s resolutions fail, we still are quite convinced we can do it this time. I think there’s nothing wrong with that in general. We need goals and plans in our life, it gives us a direction and fulfillment. Sometimes we also need this extra reason or little push to start now. However, there are a few things that could help you reach your goals better. Of course you can find many lists with tips, but I hope you’ll still find this useful. These are the tips I came up with together with my fellow Hippo.
Keep in mind that it’s all very individual, so if it doesn’t suit you, change it to what you think would help you. I, for example, don’t write my goals down, I keep them in my head. Other people prefer to write it down, to remind them of their goal and to make their head less full. I also don’t use time frames. I set a goal, but without a certain date. Because I usually start immediately and keep working till I reached it, I don’t need to plan it. That doesn’t work for me, I plan in my head and keep adapting every day. For a lot of people however, it helps to write it all down in a planner and set dates, otherwise you’ll keep delaying it.
- You don’t have to start on January 1. If you think of a new goal when it’s April 12, you can already start it. It can be easier for you, if you don’t delay the process if this isn’t necessary due to other reasons.
- Make realistic goals. Realistic for you! Try to think of where you are now and what you can realistically achieve during an estimated period of time. People tend to be over-enthusiastic or maybe too strict for themselves and set extra high goals. It’s also important that you only look at what you want and how you feel. Don’t look at how fast someone else can lose weight for example.
- Why do you want to achieve this goal? This is very important to know, especially for your motivation. But it also helps to find out if it’s something you want, or does someone else want it from you?
- Divide your goals in little steps. Instead of one very big goal, try to split them up. That way, it’s easier to achieve it and you can see that you’re making results better. And that keeps you motivated. Also try to include how you’re going to achieve that goal. For most people it also helps to make a sort of deadline. Keep in mind that this is estimated and that you may reach it sooner or later. That’s no problem, because you can always adapt your goals along the process. So not just ‘lose weight/get fit’ but ‘I’m going to get a fitness coach in January; I want to row 2 times a week etc.’ Try to add how this will help you/what it will bring you and why you want to do this.
- Evaluate your progress and if necessary adapt your goals. You can’t predict the future. Maybe you get a surgery and that’s why you can’t sport for 6 weeks. There’s nothing wrong with adapting your goals, even if you have to make the standard lower. As long as you did your best and you always know, deep inside, if that’s what you did.
- Don’t try to achieve too many goals at the same time. The more goals you set for yourself, the highter the chance you won’t be able to achieve them all. It’s better to do one at a time. Keep in mind that you start when it’s possible for you, not when you’re supposed to (such as January 1).
- Reward yourself when you’ve made progress, or tried really hard even though you achieved ‘a lower standard’. Don’t be too
- Make some fun plans/goals for yourself as well. Life shouldn’t be all about what you have to do. It’s also important to save some time for relaxation, fun etc. So if helpful for you, make that a goal as well. For example: I want to pick up my hobby painting again and try to paint once a week, because I used to enjoy that a lot and it helps me relax.
[Photo of a hand with a red marker and next to it three cells that are marked finished]
These tips are also important when you’re busy with your psycholical or physical issues. For example when you’re trying to rehabilitate or come over your fears. Very important to take small steps and be kind to yourself. Sometimes you need to take a step back or stand still for a while, that’s ok, as long as you know and feel that you’re trying what you can. And most people are like that, despite the common thinking that we’re all lazy and that’s why we’re taking slower. Don’t compare yourself to others, ok? What might be easy for someone, can be incredibly hard for you, such as going to the supermarket. That doesn’t make you stupid or pathetic at all.
Goals and progress are all personal, individual. What you need maybe different from what someone else needs. Some people need another person to coach them, but maybe you want to keep your goals for yourself, because you don’t do well under pressure. If you tend to be perfectionistic, try not to be too hard on yourself. If you secretely know you could use a (little) push from time to time, keep that in mind and sometimes try to increase your borders, even if you don’t feel like it.
Good luck with your goals and plans everyone! Do you have any tips?