The month where, if you’re anything like me, nothing really gets done.
You’re kind of in limbo for the first part of the month, not being able to get much done as things wind down for the festive season, and then forget about the second half of the month!
December is the perfect month to start planning your goals for 2018. You’ve got time to think, and time to actually do some effective goal setting. Although this article is mainly written from a fitness perspective, you can easily apply these principles to other areas as well. Here are 5 things to think about when thinking about your goals for next year:
One thing before you start doing these. Your goals need to be specific, and measurable. ‘I want to lose a bit of weight’, doesn’t cut it. It’s measurable, yes (unless you don’t have scales in your house, and whether you should or not is a long story!), but it’s not specific enough. How much weight? The more specific your goals are, the more likely you are to achieve them.
1. What do you want it all to look like this time next year?
365 days from now, what do you want to have achieved? If you already have a 3/5 year plan, where on that plan should you be in a year’s time? How do you want to feel? What milestones/major events do you want to have had done
2. What does next summer look like?
OK. You you’ve got your big shiny goal for a year’s time. Now with that big goal in mind, what does next summer look like? What will you have already needed to have achieved to be well on your way to the big, shiny, 365 goal? What sacrifices have you had to make? What big things will you have planned by now?
3. What do you have to do from January?
You’ve got your year goal. You’ve got your summer goal. Now what do you need to start doing in January to get the ball rolling?
4. So what do you have to do now?
One year, sorted. 6 months, sorted. January, sorted. NOW WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO NOW! Because this is where it starts. NOW. Start doing something now, today (not tomorrow), that will start you towards your big shiny 1 year goal. This will ensure that you hit the ground running in January.
5. Write it all down and put it somewhere you can see on a regular basis.
This last step is key. Let me repeat.
WRITE IT ALL DOWN AND PUT IT SOMEWHERE YOU CAN SEE ON A REGULAR BASIS!
Psychology research has repeatedly proven that a goal that is written down is much more likely to be achieved. A goal that is written in a place where you can see it can improve you chances of success even more, as you will be reminded of your long, medium, and short term goals more often, even when you are having an off day.
Speaking of off days, they are OK. Everybody gets them. It’s how we respond to them that is important for our long term awesomeness. You can choose to let a relapse ruin everything and let the world come crashing down on you, or you can accept it for what it is: part of being human, and get back on the wagon as soon as you realise you’re in a relapse.
I’m lucky enough in my life to know lots of very successful people, politicians, CEOs, doctors, and alike. In my experience, it is not because these people are smarter, its that they commit significant amounts of focussed energy and time into setting goals.
If they can do it, so can you.