March 2, 2014

A New Year Equals New Goals

For me a new year has always meant setting new goals. Growing up my Dad would sit down with each of us kids, one on one and ask us what our goals were. He would have us write our goals down and he would periodically check with us throughout the year to see how we were doing.

I can recall listening to many books on tape during family road trips about setting and accomplishing goals. One of the most important lessons I learned was that an unwritten goal is just a dream. In life there are dreamers and achievers. Dreamers dream of a better things to come, while achievers work to bring better things their way. Typically the dreamers dreams are just that a dream. While an achievers life has been drastically changed for the better. This message has really stuck with me and I think it is safe to say that I think it is important to set and strive to achieve goals.

So, how does one go about setting and achieving their goals? I think a good place to start is by making a list of the things you wish you to accomplish. This year my list of goals in broken down into four categories: financial, physical, spiritual, and other. I went through each of those four categories and thought to myself, "What do I want to accomplish? Where can I improve?" as my thoughts came I wrote them down. Then I went through my list and made my goals more specific and measurable.

Often times when people set goals they say things like "I want to lose weight." My question to them is how much weight do you want to lose and how are you going to do it? In talking with people I have found that most people have no idea how they are going to accomplish their goals and their goals are not very specific. In the case of losing weight, pick an amount of weight that you want to lose, analysis you daily habits and see what behaviors you can change to lose said pounds. When I work on setting my goals it is those little everyday habits that become my goals, not the big end goal of "losing weight".

Have a plan of action. Remember you won't lose weight by just thinking about losing weight.

Put your goals up somewhere where you will see them often and be reminded of the changes you want to make in your life. I think the bathroom mirror is an excellent place.

Record your progress, this way you can see the improvements you have made and where you still need to work.

Share your goals with someone, they can help encourage you to keep trying.

How To Set & Accomplish Goals

1. Make a list of things you want to change or accomplish.
2. Make your goals specific and measurable.
3. Write your goals down.
4. Have a plan of actions.
5. Hang your goals somewhere where you will see them often.
6. Record your progress.
7. Share your goals with someone close to you.
8. Repeat-- there is always room for improvement.

It's okay to fail or miss a day, it's not the end of the world. Rome wasn't built in a day, the changes you are striving to make will take time to become habit or routine.

Remember that each day is a gift. Don't let a moment pass you by. Live each day as if it were your last. Don't be afraid to try something new. Step out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there.

Here are a few articles I liked about setting goals.

The Best Time To Plant A Tree
10 Painfully Obvious Truths Everyone Forgets Too Soon