Falling back into Old Habits: 3 Tips to Aid in making your New Year’s Resolutions successful (Tip Number 3: Write Goals Down and View Daily)

     Starting out 2011, many of us would like this year to be different.  We would like to eat better, exercise more, spend more time with our families, have better relationships, or whatever else might be important.  In the beginning, our hopes and dreams are strong and might bring about short-lived successes but the problem is that these successes often do not last long.  Many individuals find it easier to slip back into old routines because that is what we are used to and it alleviates the stress of trying a new behaviour.

     In the next few months, I would like to provide you with 3 tips to aid in making your goal setting more successful for 2011.
Remember this year is your year and I’d like to help you make it successful.

Tip Number 3: Write Goals Down and View them Daily)

     I cannot stress this point enough!  Write your goals down and put them in a place where you will see them daily.  We are forgetful. We become distracted. Our daily lives can often become quite hectic leading individuals to forget about their goals because of the daily pressure and grind.  What is visibly right in front of people is usually what gets the most focus and attention. Be smart and anticipate this problem: write your goals down and put them where you can see them, lest you forget.

     When first setting goals, many of my clients report various feelings and thoughts that arise: overwhelm, embarrassment, anxiety, fear of failure, and fear of success even or they might think that the goal is too small or so big that it is unrealistic.  I want to note that these feelings/thoughts are very valid and might be holding you back.  It also might be advisable for you to get some help in examining them. That being said I would like you to Imagine what your life would be like if you were to act despite these negative thoughts/feelings?  Take a moment and really delve into this new life.  What do you feel? What do you see?  Who is there? What environment are you in?

Okay now here’s a chance to start acting.

Start small…If goal setting seems daunting to you than start small.

1.       Write it down

2.       Give it a time period

3.       Place it where you will see it every day.

SMART-PATH Method of Goal-Setting


  This next section is for individuals looking for more advanced goal-setting tips.  You may have heard of the SMART method of goal setting, it is a fantastic aid to help you to achieve your goals. Below is a review of the SMART method along with a few more useful points I have added for you to consider when writing out your goals.  I call it the SMART-PATH method of goal-setting.


S = Specific              Write out your goal in detail.  If your goal is vague how will you know what you want to achieve, how to achieve it or even that it has been achieved? Get in shape is not a specific goal.  A better goal is to go to the gym three times a week to do one-on-one kick boxing, take an hour long belly dance class and a one hour Latin dance class. Getting specific is easy just ask yourself who, what, when, where and why questions.

M= Measureable   Making your goal measurable allows you to see if you are getting closer to your goals or further away.    Ask how long it will take.  Ask how many, how much or how will you know when it is achieved.  For example a saleswomen might want to make 20 sales per month.
A= Attainable         Almost any goal can be attained but are you willing and are you able to put the effort into attaining it?  You must have the drive and it must be humanly possible to achieve.  You cannot lose 50 lbs in one week but you can lose 3 lbs per week. 
R = Reasons/Reward  Understand why you want to achieve your goal.  Having very clear reasons for the goal means you understand the rewards of it.  Write out why you want to achieve the goal and what the rewards will be.  It is helpful to even imagine yourself having the reward.  The reason for writing this down is because when you face an obstacle or lose motivation you can look at the reasons and the reward and remember the importance of the goal.
T = Time – Bound   I would like to lose 15 lbs by June 14, 2011.  Not someday I would like to lost 15 lbs.  Set target dates to provide a sense of urgency without it you will be in no rush to complete your goals.  This is helpful for procrastination.
P = Positive            Write your goals down in the positive.  The Law of Attraction is a very popular trend today.   It states that we attract what we think about the most.  Let’s imagine that one of my financial goals is to be debt-free.  If I think about debt, debt, debt, I will only attract more debt to me.  If, however, I put a positive spin on my goal and imagine financial abundance I will bring myself more money.  The more positive goals that you give yourself the more positive the results will be.  An extra bonus is that when I focus on things that make me feel good I have a lot more energy to bring about my financial success.  Thinking about debt can put us into a negative state (it can cause a negative downward spiral; we might begin to feel depressed, worried, anxious leading to possible sleep/health problems) and can zap energy.  I would like to challenge you to think positive as much as possible at all times not just during goal setting because the benefits are substantial.    
A= Areas                   We are the sum of all of our parts and the same is true for the areas in our lives. All areas of your life are important and to lead a full, rich life we must have balance.  Write goals for all the areas of your life:  Health and Wellness, Education, Career, Money, Family and Home, Fun and Recreation, Spiritual and Ethical.   
T = Tense                  Present-tense. Write your goals down in first person, present tense and pretend they are true right now.  This is the idea of writing your goals down as if you have already achieved them.  Do not write, “I will be happy.” But, instead write, “I am happy”.  The reason for doing this is because it is giving your brain an instruction to carry out.   It also helps you to make it feel real and believable.  At first you will feel very silly doing this but soon the goal will be more believable in your own mind.  When you truly believe in something you will move mountains. 
H= High                         Aim high!  Don’t be afraid to dream big.  You get to create your own success in life.  Let’s make that success the biggest you can make it.   The saying I often use in my one-on-one coaching sessions is, “if you shoot for the moon and don’t make it at least you will hit the stars”! I know that the what ifs….will come.  What if I can’t do it? What if I don’t have enough money? What if I fail?  I guarantee you that whether you dream big or small the what ifs…will come.  So if you only allow yourself to aim for the highest dreams possible your life better will be so much better. 

Remember:  Out of sight…out of mind.  Write your goals down and look at them every day.  Having these goals visible will allow you to keep them in the forefront of your attention and remind you to stay focused.  The more that you see these goals the more likely it will be that you will make choices that lead you to reaching them.

Would you like to learn more about life coaching and how it can help you? Visit http://www.kristaroesler.com/ or call 647-388-0742 to book an appointment.

Remember that change is not easy and a life coach can help make your new behaviours, thoughts and feelings sustainable

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