Make 2016 Your Best Year Yet….
Notice how I didn’t say, “Make 2016 your best year ever”? That’s because we are still young, and we still have SO many years ahead of us, full of excitement, experience, love, amazing “ups” and the occasional “down”, so if we said 2016 was going to be our best year ever, we’d be short-changing ourselves, because the goal of life is to live every year better than the last, right?! So let’s make a pact to stop saying 2016 is going to be the best year ever because if you’re like me, I sure hope that my 22nd year on this planet isn’t my BEST year ever, but I know it will be my best year so far!
Goals—that’s what I believe this all boils down to; goals plus action equals achievement. You know the saying “shoot for the moon, and if you don’t make it there, you’ll land among the stars”? I love what that stands for, but unless you’re a total “glass half-full kind of gal”, this can sometimes be discouraging. This saying encourages setting HUGE, overarching goals, which is definitely a part of goal setting, but not the only part. If the only goals you set are the “big-ticket” goals, the immensity of achieving these goals can actually paralyze you, instead of propelling you, so the “action” part of the equation becomes diminished. For some people, these big goals are so scary, that they become “unrealistic”, and they quickly become categorized in the “someday” section of your brain; and this, my friends, is where dreams go to die. So here is my biggest goal-setting tip for you….
Set short-term attainable goals. When planning for 2016, write down all your goals you hope to achieve this year, and put a time-limit on each goal; some may be 3 month goals, some may take the entire year. Think of the acronym S.M.A.R.T. (see below) as you are writing out these goals…
Now, break each goal into 3 categories: must do, should do, could do. For example: One of my 2016 goals is to lose 20 pounds.
The “must do” goal is something you are absolutely going to achieve, it’s easily attainable. Write down the required action steps to achieve this level of your goal; they are most likely actions that you already take daily. Think of this as your “stepping stone”. For example, go to the gym 3x a week and lose 10 lbs by February 15th.
The “should do” goal is a realistic goal that inspires you, but will definitely require a new level of commitment. This goal is the level that you really desire to achieve, and by achieving this level, you know your life will be significantly better. Write down the required action steps to achieve this level of your goal; they will most likely be actions that will take some sacrifices and require you to step out of your comfort zone. Think of this as your “target”. For example, go to the gym 5x a week, lose 15 pounds by February 15th, run a half marathon in April.
The “could do” goal is the one that DOES scare you, and it scares you a lot, because it’s a big overarching goal. This is the level that would change your life forever if you achieved it. Achieving this goal will require an aggressively inspired approach; you are committing to not only a BIG goal, but a new YOU. Write down the required action steps to achieve this goal; these action steps will seem like a stretch, and they might even seem unrealistic, that’s okay! Write them down anyway. Think of this as your “over-the-moon goal”. For example, join a crossfit gym, go 5x a week. Lose 20 lbs by March 1st. Run a half-marathon in April. Run a half-triathlon in September. Compete in bodybuilding competition in November.
So you might be wondering why I included the “could do” goal if I just talked about how setting BIG goals can paralyze you, instead of propel you; this is true if you only set big goals. Big, scary goals are important and incredibly valuable because they allow you to visualize what you ultimately desire, and this visualization will help your subconscious move your conscious mind towards this goal. But it’s important to reward yourself along the journey towards this goal as well! Which is where the “must do” and “should do” goals come into play, make sense?? You can’t run before you walk, so each big, overarching goal you set has smaller goals that must be achieved first. For example, if I want to lose 20 lbs, I have to lose 10 first.
So to launch you into 2016, I encourage you to sit down and write out all your goals, take each goal, and break it into 3 separate categories, and don’t forget to add the action steps, this is SO important. The saying “shoot for the moon, and if you don’t make it there, you’ll land among the stars” is true, as long as you make those “stars” goals with specific action steps, as well!
Good luck and make 2016 your BEST YEAR YET!!!!