Five ways to set goals that work

The secret to successful goals

It’s that time of year again when lots of people are talking about making resolutions, setting an intention and creating goals for the new year.  Wonder what most people want to change?  Tied for the top three spots at 37% are: eat healthier, exercise and save more money.  Interestingly 32% aren’t even bothering with setting goals at all. 

More important than creating your goal though is what you do before you write down or commit to your goal.  Too many people focus on goal setting and not goal preparation.  Six month later, they wonder what went wrong.

Here are some tips to set the stage for creating successful goals:

Find your why:  Ever wonder how one person manages to lose weight and maintain it while another  loses it and then puts it back on?  It’s complicated but a large part of the reason is the why behind the goal.  If you are losing weight to look good for an upcoming wedding or high school reunion… guess what happens to that plan once the event is over?  On the other hand, if you are losing weight so you can be a happy energetic mother to your family and to set a model of health that you hope they will also follow, I imagine you can see the difference that will make, not only in the outcome but the sustainability of your goal. 

Examine your self-limiting beliefs:  Do you belief that you deserve to live a different life?  Do you describe yourself as someone who just doesn’t have any will-power?  What do you repeat to yourself that sabotages your motivation and resolve?  Challenge those beliefs and turn them around into beliefs that serve you better

Create goals that are SMARTER:  Most people have heard of goals that are SMART which is an acronym for:

S: Specific

M: Motivating

A: Attainable

R: Relevant

T: Time-based and trackable

This is important.  However, I would add that goals need to be SMARTER:

E: Evaluated

R: Revisited

Too many people set goals, write them down and then go back to their regular routine.  Creating the goal is just the beginning.  There needs to be an action plan with a time frame.  You might think of this as creating mini goals.  Success needs to be evaluated on a regular basis and goals often need to be revisited, tweaked or adjusted based on progress.  If something is not working there is no need to continue doing it without making changes and adjustments to improve your success. Here’s another post on SMART goal setting.

Stop waiting and take action:  Most of us spend a great deal of our time in life waiting.  Waiting for perfection, waiting for rescue, waiting for discovery, waiting for certainty or waiting for permission.  The irony of the situation is that most of these things won’t happen until we stop waiting and take action.  Imperfect action.  Move forward on your goals even when you are unsure.  As Stephen Covey said, “Begin with the end in mind” then focus on the important and not the urgent.  This means that you set daily priorities and create a time frame to maintain that focus.  Here’s another post on the importance of taking action.

Be grateful:  Find the pleasure in where you are right now.  As you are taking action on accomplishing your goals, you will have greater success if you first find the happiness in where you are and then move in the direction of where you want to be.  Want to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle?  Learn to love who you are no matter your weight.  Want a new and more fulfilling job?  Look for the benefits of your current situation, while you plan your move.  I know it seems counter-intuitive but it is easier to move toward something positive and growth oriented, than it is to run away from something negative.  Here is a post of being grateful even when life is difficult.

I would highly recommend Lynne as a Life Coach for two reasons, especially if you are highly motivated. The first is because Lynne has actually lived what she is teaching you!! She is a product of her own approach to living your dream–and that’s what she so wants to help you do. The second is that she is so affirming and encouraging, she believes in you–so why not believe in yourself?  Diane Calhoun


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  1. […] Commit to lifelong goals–we all have a purpose on this earth and when we live our lives congruent with that purpose, we are naturally happy.  Whether your purpose is to create a masterpiece or coach someone through hard times or create a successful business, focus your energies on that goal and happiness will follow.   […]

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