Have you ever noticed that the local fitness centers are JAM PACKED with people for the first few weeks of the New Year — but that by the middle of February, there are plenty of prime parking spots available almost any time of day?
The fact of the matter is, it's REALLY easy to set big, audacious goals (like losing 50 pounds) on January 1, but by the middle of February, many of those goals are already falling by the way-side.
This doesn't necessarily mean we're lazy or that we've been procrastinating.
It might just mean we set the wrong goals!
Just because it's relatively easy to set a few arbitrary goals at the beginning of the New Year doesn't necessarily mean those are the right goals for you, your life, your family, your business, etc.
So how do you to set the RIGHT goals?
1. Make sure they are something you're passionate about.
If you're not passionate about reaching your goals, there's really no way they are going to happen. Goals take time, energy, sacrifice, hard work, and determination — and I know I wouldn't be willing to do all of that unless I was really passionate about reaching a specific goal in a specific time frame.
2. Make sure they are something you're willing to work really really hard to achieve.
Your goals need to be your top priorities… period. If they are not some of your top priorities you will not make the necessary time to work at them. And if you don't work REALLY hard at achieving them, they're not going to happen.
Certainly, your goals don't need to be your ONLY priorities, but they should be close to the top of your list — so think about that as you look back over the goals you set just a few weeks ago.
3. Make sure they are something you can actually achieve.
It's great if you want to lose 50 pounds, renovate your entire house, or grow your business by 500% this year — but are those goals actually achievable?
Yes you might be passionate about those goals, and yes, you might be willing to work really hard to achieve them… but even still, is it realistic to think you'll actually be able to accomplish that huge of a goal in just one year?
If you only weigh 150 pounds, the likelihood that you'll lose 50 pounds is not very good. If you work 80 hours per week and are trying to do all the home renovations yourself while raising a family, the likelihood that you'll completely renovate your home in one year is slim to none. And if you've never grown your business by more than 80% in one year, the likelihood you'll magically grow it by 500% this year isn't looking great.
Anyone can set huge goals (and I'd encourage you to set goals a little higher than you think you can reach), but those goals won't do you any good unless they are actual achievable. Here are a few more tips to set reachable and achievable goals.
4. Make sure they align with your other goals.
If one of your goals is to grow your business but another one of your goals is to spend lots more quality time with your family — you might be stuck between two conflicting goals that will make your head spin all year long.
However, if part of your business growth strategy is to hire more employees so you can be at home with your family on nights and weekends, that might solve your problem.
So as you make your various goals, make sure they align with each other — if they don't, you'll feel the stressful "pull" almost immediately!
5. Make sure you can break them down into manageable pieces.
There's nothing more overwhelming than beginning a New Year with huge (but achievable) goals and simply not knowing where to start.
I like to make sure all my goals can be broken down into manageable bite-size pieces so I don't feel so overwhelmed.
For example, if one of my goals is to increase sales by 50%, I want to have a specific plan as to how I will go about doing that. Who will I contact? How many cold-calls will I make each week? Will I need to hire additional help or can I manage all on my own?
All those different things need to be considered before I make a goal to increase sales.
Although we all want to reach our various New Year's goals each year, there's really nothing to be ashamed of if we notice that our goals might not be the right goals at some point during the year.
One of the keys to setting and reaching goals is to evaluate those goals on a regular basis so we have the opportunity to tweak them a bit — or completely scratch them if the direction of our business or our life changes (which could very easily happen over the course of an entire year).
So if you're already feeling like your goals aren't a great fit for you, take a moment today (or this week) to reevaluate your goals. Tweak them, change them, or even completely re-write them to better fit your needs.
Once you find the right goals for you, it will be much easier and more fun to work towards achieving them!