Saturday, January 10, 2015

11 Goal-Getter Tips for the New Year

Push yourself "11 Goal-Getter Tips for the New Year"
If you never push yourself you will never be better than you are today
It’s that time of year again; the New Year. A time where a lot of people around you, and possibly yourself included, will be making New Year’s resolutions. It’s a time to start powder fresh. A time of sparkly new beginnings, and also a time of ends to some hairy things we may want to forget, or at least push under the rug for a while. I really do love this time of year, to reflect on what I accomplished throughout the year, and also a very good practice to look back on things that I thought that I was going to accomplish and didn’t. Why didn’t it happen? Looking back at our failures we can sometimes learn even more than from our successes, and then
fix what didn’t work.
We set goals and resolutions to improve upon ourselves and become closer to the person we envision ourselves being, yet sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Why? Respect yourself enough to work like a herd of buffalo in order to achieve your goals. Be an inspiration to others. That’s going to be my plan, and I’m sticking to it!

I always say that I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions, but rather goals for the new year. I feel like goals are more solid and have a better chance of survival. New Year’s resolutions are usually very cliche, general, and sometimes even laughable because of the percentage of people that fail (a whopping 88% to be exact!). Ask anybody who goes to a gym the amount of people that are there the first week of the year compared to 6 months later, or even 2. All those people had good intentions with their resolutions, but most fail. What can you do to make sure that when Dec. 31st comes around again you can look back and be proud of all the accomplishments you conquered, all the goals you made and smashed, and even more so all the things that you can do the next year to build upon the amazing changes that you made this year?

I’m looking forward to making a lot of positive changes in my life this year, from small things like starting each day with a strength training workout, to getting a summer job that puts me on the right career path. I am approaching my goals with a vengeance and I am going to be a beast about taking them down and smothering them one by one. In fact, I hope to be so diligent with accomplishing all that I can possibly dream up to do that I want to be able to revisit my list in 3 months and up the bar. This year is going to be my best year yet. I don’t just believe I can do it; I know it. And that is half the battle. I am going to be a Bad-Ass Goal Getter. Do you want to be one with me?

"I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he had imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." --Henry David Thoreau - Walden, or Life in the Woods

Here are the strategies that I am going to use to construct and accomplish each and every one of my goals. Use one or all of them to help you along in your goal-setting process.

1. Have the desire - This is absolutely the single most important thing when thinking about your goals. Without having the desire to accomplish your goals you can forget about all the rest. It won’t happen. Desire fuels motivation and helps remind you to be persistent on those days when you just ‘don’t wanna’. You have to want it, realize why you want it, and be willing to work for it. Every. Damn. Day. Remember, there’s really only one person that matters in this whole goal-setting process: you. You are the one that has to do the work, you’re the one that has to go through the sweat, blood and maybe even tears to get it done, and in the end, you are going to be the one with a tremendous smile on your face because of what you accomplished.

Think about why you started "11 Goal-Getter Tips for the New Year"
When you feel like quitting think about why you started
2. Set SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.

Specific - A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general one. This is the difference between saying that you want to ‘get in shape’ versus saying that you are going to work out 3x’s a week and eat 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Measurable - Establish criteria for measuring your progress and you will get a sense of achievement and motivation to continue when you meet these smaller, measurable goals.

Attainable - Set your goals high, but attainable. And realize that goals that may have seemed out of reach before eventually become more realistic, not because the goals are smaller, but because you grew to match them. Dreams come a size too big so that you can grow into them.

Realistic - Your goal is realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Decide what is possible for you, but don’t set yourself up for failure. I often have the habit of trying to do too much, and then don’t get done nearly as much as I would hope/like. You can always start small and add on and increase your goals when you revisit them. 

Timely - Make a time frame and stick to it. Set a deadline for meeting your main goal and work backwards making smaller, more attainable goals that work towards your main goal. Breaking down the bigger goal into smaller chunks makes the main goal feel not so daunting. Also make sure you celebrate when you meet your smaller benchmarks or milestones. After all life is about the journey, not the destination and how you get there is what’s really important. Celebrating your successes, no matter how small, will keep you motivated to keep going.

3. Visualize - Close your eyes and drift away to the day when you accomplish your goal. How will you feel? What did the journey look like for you? Was it worth it?  How will your life be different? Do you get a sense of excitement? Perhaps even butterflies in your stomach? Did you feel like a bad-ass goal getter? Don’t forget also to take the time to think about what it would feel like if you don’t accomplish what you wanted to. How does that feel? Will you miss out on something great? Will it be disappointing? Will you feel regret? Use that as a motivational spark to keep you going. Do this on a regular basis to keep reminding your brain how amazing it will be when you finally taste the sweetness of success and challenge yourself to be better than you knew you could be.

4. Create a vision board - Take the visualization that you had in your mind and put it on paper where you can actually see it. A goal that you can actually see is massively more powerful than a goal that you just write down on a checklist(although I recommend doing this as well). It can be as simple as some tear-outs from a magazine that you put up on a bulletin board, a board on Pinterest, or if you have a graphic design background like myself, you can create a desktop wallpaper for your computer that is visually appealing. The main key here is to have your vision board somewhere where you will see it on a daily basis.

5. Start today - It doesn’t matter if it’s the 7th of January or March 31st and you’re just sitting down to write your goals for the new year, start working on them today! If you know what some of your goals are and the first steps to achieve them then don’t wait until you have everything written down, time-lined with an accompanying visual board, just start! If you wait for the ‘perfect’ time to start, it may never come. Taking the first step is often the hardest, and definitely one of the most important. It will help you gain momentum that you need to keep going.

Journey of a thousand miles "11 Goal-Getter Tips for the New Year"
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step - Lao Tze
6. Put it in writing - Writing reinforces thoughts and clears the clutter from our brain, win win. Writing your goals down also gives more power to your intentions. Ok, win win win.

"By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own." -- Mark Victor Hansen

7. Announce your goals to others - But use discretion. You want people on your side and announcing out loud or on a social site can bring you lots of support, but also some haters. If others say your goal is impossible; ignore them, continue to achieve your goal, and then prove them wrong! If you have a small group of friends that you know will support your goals no matter what, make a private group for that circle of friends only where you can go in and update them with your progress and encourage each other. This is especially helpful if your friends have similar goals. Be each other’s cheerleaders. You can also join a group online that is focused on the same goals as you are. It is a great tool to be able to know that you are not alone when you have setbacks and also have people applaud you when you reach milestones. You will be surprised by the people who will support you, and maybe even be inspired by your journey and start their own.

“Its funny how day by day, nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different.” - C.S.Lewis.

8. Be persistent and consistent - Work on your goals daily, whether you ‘feel like’ it or not. Make it part of your routine and the easier it will be to keep going. Have weekly check-ins for yourself and track how far you’ve come, what set-backs you’ve had and how to learn from them. Avoid distractions, stay focused, and have patience. People who achieve their goals usually do it because they kept going even when it was tough and/or it got boring. When you feel the most frustrated and most ready to give up, you may just be on the verge of a major breakthrough. Keep going, you won’t regret it! 
River's Perssistence "11 Goal-Getter Tips for the New Year"
A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but its persistence - Jim Watkins
9. Revisit, evaluate and adjust - Things don’t always turn out how we plan them to be. In fact, we are bound to have setbacks and have things go wrong; that is just part of the process, not the end. What defines you is how you react when wrong things happen. A good practice to have is to think ahead of some obstacles you might encounter so you are prepared for them instead of being let down when they happen. Setbacks can be looked as opportunities in disguise; learn from them. Use the opportunity to reconnect with your focus and your plan. Be flexible and adjust your goals or the way to get to them if necessary. Sometimes it can be worked out in a different way than you expected. Be open to any possibility or approach, especially if what you tried at first is not working.

It's going to be worth it "11 Goal-Getter Tips for the New Year"
I'm not telling you it's going to be easy, I'm telling you it's going to be worth it
10. Get & stay inspired - Find things in your daily life that will inspire you to get the job done. Surround yourself with successful, motivating people. Sign up for newsletters or blogs (like this one!), that will send inspiring things to you on a regular basis, all you have to do is read them. Read inspirational stories or quotes to keep you going. Learning about the struggles and successes of others can be a huge motivator and keep your mood positive. Which brings me to the last, but of course not least, tip.

11. Stay Positive - Science has proven that goals get finished 2 to 20 times faster when you’re in a good or great mood. That’s motivation enough for me! Always believe that you will achieve your goal and be your own biggest fan. Never say I can’t and let your mind win the battle. Instead of creating excuses, create ways that you can make it happen and make a list of the positive things that will result from achieving your goals. Remember, you want to look ahead with excitement and enthusiasm. If your mind believes it, your body can achieve it.

Goal-Getter Tips "11 Goal-Getter Tips for the New Year
Goal-Getter Tips
So there you have it. Those are the tips that I’m using this year to be a Bad-Ass Goal Getter. Follow me in my journey and keep me posted of yours. Feel free to comment below and tell me what works, or doesn’t work for you. Oh, and, I’ll be working on my vision board this weekend. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours… ;)

Playing with food, fun, fitness and adventure,

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