Goal-setting in a New Year

One of the rituals of a new year is to plan self improvement in the form of a resolution, then ultimately slip back into your former habits. There’s got to be a better way.

Actually, there is. In an article entitled “How to Set Goals You’ll Actually Achieve,” Amanda Loudin lays out a plan to make sure your goals are not just wasted rhetoric.

First, a caution from Frank Smoll, professor of psychology at the University of Washington. “[Setting a goal] is highly individual”; there’s no one way to achieve success. But it really helps to have a strategy.

With that in mind, the first step is to pick a specific, realistic goal.  “It’s better to have a systematic approach and identify the one or two that are the most important,” Smoll says. And your goal(s) must be realistic.  “If it’s too big, it will scare you off; too small, and it won’t motivate you,” says Zander Fryer, founder of the coaching company High Impact Coaching. “Each individual must figure out the goal that gets them moving.” It also helps to have a timeline.

Next, create a plan of attack. Smoll recommends actually setting two goals — a process goal and product goal. A product goal is the ultimate objective. A process goal would outline the steps it takes to get there. 

Also, be accountable to yourself and others. You’ll probably need help sticking to your plan. Fryer suggests choosing someone who you don’t want to disappoint, paying for a mentor or accountability partner, or finding someone with similar objectives through a professional or social media group — “Having a mentor, a partner or social accountability will help when you reach a sticking point.”

Finally, find joy in the process. You won’t be motivated all the time, so it’s important to mark the little success milestones. “As you make progress along the way, celebrate each of the smaller steps,” says Smoll. “I like the saying ‘Yard by yard is hard, but inch by inch, it’s a cinch.’ Self validation is very motivating.”

When you do finally reach your goal, you might find the process—not the product—was the real prize. 

The complete article is at https://time.com/5909923/how-to-set-goals/? .

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