Monday, December 15, 2008

New Years’ Goal-Setting for a Better You Part One

New Year’s Eve is a wonderful time to review your past year’s successes and areas that need improved and also to look forward to a New Year to make improvements in your life as a father, mother, parent, brother, sister, co-worker, teacher, and countless other areas in our lives. Too many of us make our goals at the first of the year and then stop trying in a matter of weeks or even days. I have thought of a process that will help you to lose that weight, be a better parent, stop smoking, and achieve the countless other goals that are often set every year and perhaps not achieved. You can learn how to set goals and achieve them to be a better “you”.

The 5 keys to goal setting are
1. Writing them down and placing them in strategic places where you can see them.
2. Break the goal into “bite size” chunks that can be more easily accomplished so you can create and reach these sub-goals.
3. Keep yourself motivated to reach your goals.
4. Being accountable to another person on your progress at set intervals of time.
5. Review your goal setting success stories to give you confidence to achieve more goals.

1. Write down your goals and place in strategic places. The first step in setting goals is to decide what you want to do and then write it down. Most of us making goals decide what we want, but fail to write it down. This is an important step because it gives you something on paper to refer to over and over again throughout the year or goal timeline. Write your goal down on multiple pieces of paper and place them in strategic places, such as your kitchen if you are trying to lose weight; on your TV if you are trying cut down on TV watching; in your day planner; on your wall at work; even in your wallet or your purse. The point is to keep your goal on the forefront of your mind so you can be thinking of it always. The goal will become a part of you and will be your main focus as you go through each day.

2. Break the Goal into Bite Size Chunks.I am sure we have all heard the saying “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” When we set goals it is as though we are planning on eating an elephant for dinner. The goal can be extremely large and very complicated. We need to break our elephant or goal into bite size chunks so we can see progress not get overwhelmed by the size of the goal that lie before us.
I refer to these bite size chunks as sub-goals. These are smaller size goals that will help us achieve our main goal. If the goal is to lose weight we need to set up sub-goals such as different weights to achieve on the way to the main weight loss goal; you could set up goals for eating better at night and have goals for one week at a time. There are other numerous sub-goals that could be created. Be creative and find ideas that will help you keep motivated during the journey of meeting your goal. In the journey is the real learning and growing that takes place.

Check in next time to read keys 3, 4, and 5 of my goal setting process on your way to becoming a better you.

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