new year goals

As the year comes to an end, it only means there’s a new beginning. This year was full of success but there’s always more room to exceed. Resolutions are meant to be made for the new year, which makes the current time a perfect opportunity to start thinking about 2015 resolutions.

To set and achieve your goal, research shows it helps to follow this process:

1. Write down your goals
Studies and surveys have shown that you are far more likely to achieve your goals if you write it down. Writing down our goals also helps make them real to us.  If we just think about a goal, it’s not physically real – and it’s easy for us to change our minds.  When we write it down however, the very act of writing helps us commit to the goals – and also gives us something we can visually see and reflect on.

2. Short term milestones
Goals that are far out of reach are easy to procrastinate on and put off. It’s fine to have long term dreams – but in the short run, you should have regular mile stones as well.

For example, if your goal is to write a novel, rather than just saying you’ll write a novel this year and leave it at that, instead commit to a certain number of pages or words a month – these short term milestones will help you stay on track, and will make your long term goal much more manageable.

3. Be specific
If your goal is to “lose weight” – how will you know when you’re done?  Going along with the above of setting short term mile stones, even if your long term goal is “get in better shape” – you can still be specific such as “be in good enough shape to play football for two hours twice a week.”

The more specific you are, the better motivated you’ll be as you get closer to achieving your goal.

4. Start with just one goal
Unfortunately, trying to accomplish too many things at once is frequently a recipe for failure.  For most people, changing too many aspects of their lives requires an overwhelming amount of willpower, and ends up being unrealistic.

5. Schedule in time for your goals
If you don’t make time for your goals, you’ll never accomplish them – it’s as simple as that.  Along those sames lines, generally speaking, the more time you allocate per day to your goal, the faster you’ll achieve it.

6. Set goals you actually want to achieve
Don’t set goals because you think you “should” or because they “sound good.” Look at your life and the direction you want it to take – set goals that you realistically can achieve, but more important – pick goals you want to achieve.