With the recent start of the New Year, everyone’s focus is on a new set of resolutions and goals. Many of us set our career goals at the end of the previous year, as a part of our performance review. The criteria for setting goals might be different for everyone, but here are some tips on how to set personal goals that you can actually achieve:
- Be Realistic
It is important to assess your situation before setting a goal, to ensure that you are being realistic about it. Make sure that you are willing and able to put in the time or work in order to achieve it. It should be attainable and within reach. Example: Your goal is to travel more this year, but you don’t have the budget for an elaborate week-long vacation. Instead plan a road trip, weekend getaway, or a few daytrips that you’ve been wanting to take!
2. Make a Timeline
Establishing a timeline for your goals will help you to stay on track. Start by writing them down on a calendar, so you have visibility of your time frame. If you actually see it on paper, you will be more likely to stay motivated. It will also help you to measure your progress along the way to ensure that you hit your target date. Example: Your goal is to lose weight by the summer season. Making a schedule of gym time and a meal plan will assist in the execution of the goal. Writing everything down, including your progress along the way, will greatly benefit your achievement success.
3. Break Them Down
Having big dreams is great, but sometimes it is necessary to break them down into smaller goals in order to achieve them. Example: Your goal is to purchase a home. Assess your financial situation and see how much you can save or spend this year. A more realistic goal would be to save money for a down payment. Make it a goal to set aside a certain dollar amount each month for a year.
4. Reward Yourself
It is good to reward yourself once in a while. Rewards give you something to look forward to, and help you to stay sane throughout the process. It can be anything that makes you happy, but should somewhat pertain to your goal. If you are continuously staying active, you could reward yourself with the purchase of a new set of headphones, water bottle, or a new piece of workout wear. If you are cutting down on spending to save money, you could reward yourself with a manicure, a fancy latte, or going out for a meal. I would suggest rewarding yourself with small things infrequently, so that you appreciate them more when it is time for a reward.
Lastly, I would suggest that you revisit your goals on a quarterly basis and evaluate where you are in reference to your timeline. Most importantly, try to remain dedicated and hold yourself accountable. I hope that these tips help you to set and achieve your goals for the year! Happy 2017!