We’re fresh into the beginning of 2015 which means most of us have set some new goals or resolutions for the year. Right now it’s pretty easy to stay focused on achieving our goals as they are fresh in our mind and our motivation is running on high. As the year goes on, however, it can become more difficult to maintain the same level of focus and intensity. Once our focus is gone our goals might not be far behind. Follow these guidelines to help you stay focused on your goals throughout the year.
Set Only Meaningful Goals
It’s important to set goals for yourself that are important to you and hold personal value. It’s easy to get caught up in setting a goal that you think you should accomplish, for instance saving money, exercising, or losing weight. While those are all goals worth setting, if they aren’t important to you personally, it will be more difficult to achieve them. By setting goals that are important to you, you’ll be more invested in achieving your goals, especially when it comes to facing and overcoming barriers and obstacles. I also think it’s helpful to follow the SMART acronym (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Trackable) when setting goals.
Strike a Balance Between Realistic and Challenging
The goals you set for yourself should be both realistic and challenging. Goals should push us outside of our comfort zone, but not be so overwhelming that we don’t know where to begin. If you don’t get a little sense of discomfort or even fear, you may not be challenging yourself enough. On the other hand, if you’re not seeing any progress over time, it could be a sign that you need to break down your goal into more reasonable pieces. If you suspect you’ve set an unrealistic goal for yourself you don’t need to scrap the goal entirely. Simply scale back your expectations to a more reasonable level.
Also, it’s important to be honest with yourself about whether or not you have the appropriate resources in place to help you reach your goals. Time is a great example of a resource we tend to overlook. When planning your goals for the year make sure you have enough time to dedicate to achieving your goal.