Top 5 Tips: How to set goals for the next year
The past year has been one to remember. It saw the world come to a complete standstill; all the aspects of modern life that we took for granted were taken away and it left us in a complete state of disbelief and shock. But fortunately the world is returning to a state of norm and this means that the next year will be full of opportunities to complete the things you didn’t have the chance to last year! The best way to make sure you achieve everything you want to is by setting some goals. This can be quite difficult but with the right tips you can use goals to streamline your life and focus on the targets that matter! Read on to discover the Top 5 Tips for setting goals for the next year and see what you can achieve…
1. Observable and Measurable – One today, two tomorrow
An important thing to remember when setting yourself some goals is that to see progress and to notice a positive difference in your life because of that goal, they have to be observable and measurable.
It’s all good saying that you want to achieve something but if you can’t measure how well you are doing in that task, it won’t get done. Take this example; instead of saying ‘I want to get healthier’, because this is a vague statement that has no way of being measured, say ‘I’m going to go on 3 walks a week that are all longer than 20 minutes to increase my stamina’. Do you see the difference? The first goal is too vague and generic. It isn’t specific to you as an individual person and it cannot be measured or observed because the subject of the goal, health, is too abstract. The second goal, however, is much better! It’s focused and gives you a standard that you will clearly be able to see that you are living by. You can record the number of walks you take and how long you walk for and over time you will see a difference! That difference is the observable proof that the goal is having a positive impact on your life.
– When choosing a goal, make sure it isn’t vague but specific.
– Make sure that it is observable, we react to things we can see, and;
– Make sure you can measure your success in it. Because if you can’t, it’s not worth the time.
2. Be realistic – Ambition over Arrogance
A simple mistake that many people make when setting themselves goals for the next year is that they are too ambitious! Now we’re not saying that you shouldn’t be ambitious and set yourself some impressive goals, but what you shouldn’t do is set goals that are so ambitious that they end up being virtually impossible for you to achieve at this time. Let me explain; in this case say that you are a freelancer and you set yourself this goal; ‘get 40 clients a month within 1 month of starting freelance work’. Anybody could see that this will be almost impossible for someone starting in the industry. It takes time to build up your skills, experience and your network. This can’t be achieved in 1 month. A much more sensible goal could be; ‘I want to increase my clientele by 4 people a month’. This may sound pathetic but it is more measurable and not so much ambitious that it borders on arrogance. So when thinking of your own goals make sure to be honest with yourself; be more self-aware and recognise your own limitations. If you set yourself goals that are ‘impossible’ to achieve you will set yourself up for disappointment. If you want to set yourself a goal that is overly ambitious, break it down into smaller steps.
– Be honest with yourself.
– Don’t set goals that are ‘impossible’ for you to attain at this current moment.
– Don’t be overconfident or arrogant as this will lead to disappointment.
– Set reachable goals that you know with a bit of work you can achieve.
3. Goal equality – Too much focus in one area is the same as not enough in another
Another problem many people seem to have when setting themselves goals for the next year is too much of a focus in one particular area. What I mean by this is peoples goals tend to revolve around one area of their life, whether that be career, money, relationships, health, etc. This isn’t a healthy way of thinking because, as the title of this point states; ‘Too much focus in one area is the same as not enough in another’. Instead people should have a goal for each of the important areas of their life to ensure that they improve in a well-rounded way. Of course, different areas of life will be important to different people and this up to you to figure out. Too much focus on your work life could lead to a rise in stress and the neglect of your mental health for instance. While too much focus on your career could lead to a downfall in the state of your relationships.
So in summary:
-Try to set goals for all the areas in your life you feel are important and you want to develop.
– Don’t develop tunnel vision by focusing on one area of your life.
4. Future alignment – If you want a forest, plant a tree
People set goals so that they can achieve things in the future but often enough the goals they set themselves will only help them in the short run not in the long run. It’s important when setting yourself goals that they align with your future ambitions. To make sure they align with your future goals, you first need to think about what you hope to achieve in the future and then set yourself goals that are going to help you achieve those ambitions. If the goal doesn’t help you get to where you want to be, then don’t do it. For instance, if you hope to have a future career in marketing then it would be a smart move to set yourself a goal in gaining experience in that sector. Remember, if you want a forest, plant a tree.
-Think about what you want to do in the future and align your goals with that ambition.
-If the goal doesn’t help you in the long run, it’s not worth it.
5. Finally, ‘Expect the Unexpected’ – Look out for next big opportunity
By now you should have a better understanding of how to set yourself some good goals but we have one last tip that you should keep in mind. That is, sometimes when we set ourselves goals in certain areas we can become completely focused on that one thing that we end up missing other opportunities that have come along because we thought it wasn’t related to the goal we set. This means that we end up missing out on an amazing opportunity that could have changed our life!
So when setting yourself goals keep in mind:
-Keep an open mind.
-Keep an eye out for new opportunities.
-Don’t let your goals dictate what you should be focusing on all the time.
Goal setting can be a difficult and laborious process that requires a level of maturity and introspection that people don’t always have the energy to do but I promise you, if you spend 10 minutes thinking about what you want to achieve in the future and setting yourself some goals to help you on that journey you will find yourself becoming more successful in the areas you care about.