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When I was younger the only time I thought about goals were at New Years Eve, and majority of the time I never stuck to my New Years resolutions anyway haha😂. I had a really bad habit of setting a big goal, but never writing it down or never planning out how I was going to achieve it… so throughout the year I’d forget about it and by the time it was New Years again I’d come to realise I never did it! What I did love doing (and still do) was writing myself to-do lists everyday particularly when life got busy. I came to realise that the small to-do lists everyday could very much be seen as mini goals that I had set myself, and that ticking each task off felt like an achievement. So, I started to physically write out goals of mine and had the same drive to tick them off! These are my tips for goal setting. They can be used for personal health goals, financial goals, fitness goals etc… really anything!
I have always had a funny relationship with New Years Resolutions; for years I would set unrealistic goals that I did no planning for and set goals that were simply not feasible in my life. They also didn’t really have any meaning or significance for me and so after a few days I forgot about them…until the next year. My old resolutions were things such as ‘quitting sugar’, ‘not eating chocolate’, or super general goals like ‘be healthier’.
What I found with goals like these; is first – why on earth would I quit chocolate or sugar!? I found often my goals were too broad and unspecific like the goal to ‘be healthier’. I have recently started setting smaller achievable goals with purpose and meaning and I have found it so much easier to stick to them. Setting ourselves super large goals with no plan can be really dangerous to our confidence in achieving them. It is also really hard to measure your successes within the goal and also have motivation to keep going towards achieving it.
If your goal this year is to be healthier, or make healthier choices – that is AMAZING. But I recommend defining what that means to you and setting small goals for yourself during the year. You may set a goal to do 20 minutes of exercise 4-5 times per week, to add an extra serve of veggies to your dinner each night or to do a 5 minute meditation everyday. These are all great ways to achieve your goal but more manageable. Instead of trying to do them all at once, you can work on them one at a time (until each becomes a habit) and then move onto the next one. This is much more sustainable and will help you make changes long term.
My goal this year is to run a marathon (a goal I have set before and not had any luck with). This is something that means a lot to me; and something I want to prove to myself. Running 42km is quite intimidating and I know the only way for myself to achieve the goal is to break it down and set small hurdles for myself across the year.
I aim to run a half marathon by June and then between June/ October to build up the km’s gradually to get to 42km. I find everything in life is much easier if you break it down and work out exactly how YOU can achieve it. Make sure you set hurdles towards your goal in time frames that you can actually achieve (just like if I set myself a goal to do a marathon in 2 weeks it would be impossible.)
You can do it! Just make sure you set yourself up for success with planning along the way. And of course remember sometimes life doesn’t go to plan, and it will throw things at us that may divert us from our goals. It happens to all of us and that is completely OK. You can change your timeline for your goal at anytime. You are in control.
Love from Steph and Laura xx