Don’t wait until January’s New Year Resolutions – September is a great time to start setting goals…
It may be some time since you set foot in a classroom, but there is always a ‘new term/new year’ feel about September. Just as we all got a new pencil case and pristine exercise books at the beginning of a school year, coming back to ‘real life’ after the summer is a chance to take a fresh look at your life, your work and what you want to achieve.
And unlike gloomy old January, there’s still a warmth in the air and some sunshine around to help lift the mood and help you to feel motivated.
Going away from your usual environment and distractions, whether you’ve been off on an exotic holiday, or just enjoyed a staycation away from the daily grind of work and the school run, often allows us to think with a clear head about what we want to achieve next, our long-term goals and what we would like to change in our lives.
However, daydreaming on holiday is just the start. The next step is to actually set those goals and work out how you can achieve them, because a goal without a plan is just a wish!
Have a vision
Before you start setting goals, you need to have a vision of where you want to end up. Perhaps it is to achieve a healthy life work balance, enjoying family time while maintaining a career.
Perhaps you want to live abroad or retire or be mortgage-free at 50. Do you want to get back to a much-loved hobby, or maybe you just want to streamline your life to allow more time for you and your relationships?
Maybe it is work that is leaving you dissatisfied – are you hoping for a promotion, a new challenge – or maybe you have an idea for a small business that you would like to put into practise. Work out what your vision is, then you can start setting some goals to help you reach your vision.
What goals will you set yourself?
The next step is to set some attainable goals in a plan to achieve your vision. These goals should be attainable – you need to be able to recognise and celebrate your achievements as your journey progresses, otherwise you just won’t stick to it. If you’re looking for a new job you might want to book yourself on a training course, or update your CV. If you’re planning a new small business, book a meeting with a business adviser or set up an e-shop.
Why set goals?
Goals offer you a way to focus on what you want. Sometimes you have to set smaller goals to help you get to a long-term goal. When someone wants to lose a lot of weight, they don’t focus on when they lose 4 stone, because that is a long-term, hard-to-achieve goal. Instead they break it into small chunks – the first half a stone, then stone and so on.
Setting achievable goals helps you to stay motivated, with regular opportunities to celebrate your progress.
Do goals work?
The good thing about setting goals is they help you to gauge your progress. They also enable you to recognise when something is not working or if your focus changes, before you have spent many hours/weeks – even years on the wrong plan!
So, you need a vision, and you need a plan, which includes some goals. Write it down! Maybe you’d like to share your goals with friends on social media or on a blog, to help you stay on track. Perhaps you’d like to write them in a diary or journal where only you can see them. Do what works for you.
Finally, if you need another incentive, according to a goal-setting study at Harvard University, students who had written down both goals and a plan, were eventually making ten times as much as the rest of the 97% of their class.
Don’t know where to start?
Sometimes people have difficulty setting goals, because the goals are not in line with their ‘core values’. If you’re unsure what your ‘core values’ are and wish to explore this in more detail, then book in a coaching session with us today.
If you would like to discuss this subject in more detail, we offer a free 30 minute skype consultation – drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise please continue to browse the website or call us on tel: 07739 898167.