As the end of the year approaches, you may be looking forward to the new year. A new year offers you the opportunity to look back at how you did this year and look forward to what lies ahead. This is why at iStratus, we start the goal-setting process in November. Before our days are filled with holiday parties, shopping, and family obligations, we like to take the time to focus on reflecting on previous goals and setting goals for the new year.
Before Setting Your New Goals
Before setting your goals for the new year, look back at your goals from last year.
Which goals did you meet?
Celebrate those wins. This is a part of goal setting that people too often overlook. Rewarding yourself for achieving a goal sets you up for success in your next set of goals.
Which goals did you not meet?
Inevitably, we will not meet some of our goals. Analyzing why is a helpful way to move forward. Was the goal realistic? Were you close to achieving the goal? Did you decide it just wasn’t important? Understanding what happened will help you make better, more strategic decisions when choosing your goals for next year.
For the rest of this article, we will share 10 of our favorite tips for setting goals for all areas of your life.
10 Tips For Goal Setting
1) Set realistic goals
When it comes to setting goals, it’s important to be realistic. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new year and set unrealistic goals that are impossible to achieve. This can lead to frustration and disappointment, so it’s important to set goals that you know you can reasonably achieve.
2) Set specific goals
It’s not enough to just set a goal to “lose weight” or “save money.” These goals are too general and it’s difficult to measure whether or not you’re achieving them. Instead, try to set specific goals such as, “I will lose 10 pounds by March” or “I will save $500 by the end of the year.”
3) Set achievable goals
In addition to being realistic and specific, your goals should also be achievable. This means that they should challenge you but not be so difficult that they’re impossible to reach. For example, if you’re a smoker, setting a goal to quit smoking by the end of the year is an achievable goal. However, setting a goal to never smoke again is probably not realistic or achievable.
4) Set timely goals
Your goals should also have a timeline attached to them. This will help you stay on track and motivated to achieve your goal. For example, instead of setting a goal to “lose weight,” set a goal to “lose 10 pounds by March.”
5) Set goals in writing
One of the best ways to increase your chances of achieving your goals is to write them down. This makes them more concrete and real. It also gives you a reference point to look back on when you’re feeling discouraged. We write our goals in the iStratus app so it is always convenient to find them.
6) Set goals in different areas of your life
When you’re goal-setting, it’s important to consider all areas of your life, not just one. This includes setting goals for your personal life, professional life, and physical health. By goal setting in different areas, you can create a well-rounded life and achieve a sense of balance.
7) Set goals with someone else
If you’re having trouble goal-setting on your own, try doing it with someone else. This could be a friend, family member, or even a professional goal coach. Having someone to help you stay accountable and motivated can make a big difference in your success.
8) Set goals that are meaningful to you
It’s essential to set goals that are meaningful to you and that align with your values and beliefs. This will make it more likely that you’ll be motivated to achieve them. For example, if one of your values is health, then setting a goal to lose weight or quit smoking would be more meaningful than setting a plan to save money.
9) Set goals that are challenging but reachable
Your goal should challenge you but not be so difficult that it’s impossible to reach. This sweet spot will help you stay motivated and focused on achieving your goal. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, setting a goal to lose 10 pounds by March is challenging but reachable. However, setting a goal to lose 100 pounds by March is probably not realistic or achievable.
10) Take action steps towards your goal
Once you’ve set your goal, it’s important to take action steps towards achieving it. This could include making a plan, setting a timeline, and finding resources to help you. Taking action steps will help you move closer to your goal and increase your chances of success.