How often do you achieve the goals you set for yourself? Or maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, how often do you write goals?

It’s getting to that time of year when many people start giving up on resolutions they set themselves for the New Year. The average point at which people give up on their New Year’s resolutions is at 6 weeks. A statistic, which indicates most people aren’t able to make positive changes that they truly crave. Even if you are someone who doesn’t need the motivation of a New Year to set goals, it is incredibly common to have an aim but give up before you get the results you were after. 

The missing piece of the puzzle

Whether you’re someone who doesn’t bother setting goals because you know you’re unlikely to follow through, or you find yourself setting an unachievable goal every other week, it’s worth thinking about how you write your goals. Paying more attention to this could be the missing piece of the puzzle and give you the motivation to follow through with changes in your behaviour. 

To do this, ask yourself these key questions:

  1. Identify your goals: What do you really want? What is the exact objective you desire? You need to have a clear outcome in mind. 
  2. Identify your purpose: Why do you want to achieve this goal? What will it bring you? If you know what you’re moving toward, you’ll find ways to make it happen by learning how to set goals.

Make it SMART

Right, now you’ve asked yourself what and why – jot down a few of these goals and start making them SMART. An old classic but a method regularly forgotten about when it comes to things like New Year’s resolutions. Against your goals note down the following:

  • Specific: The more detailed you can be, the better. If your goal is to lose weight, be specific about how much and why you want to achieve this, it might be to fit into old clothes again. This will make it easier to visualize and achieve what you want and will put a reason behind your aim, which will enable you to persevere with the plan you developed during goal setting when things get challenging.
  • Measurable: When it comes to effective goal setting, tracking your progress is critical. Setting clear parameters and identifying milestones will allow you to track your progress and know when you have achieved your goal. It will also be helpful in the future if you’re looking to build on your goals and develop them further. 
  • Achievable: If you can’t attain your goal what is the point?
  • Realistic: You live in the real world, so make sure your goal setting matches up with reality. Does this goal fit with your current lifestyle? This doesn’t mean you can’t dream big or go after something outside your comfort zone. But it does mean you should be focused on goal planning that you can realistically work toward. 
  • Time frame: Having a clear idea of your timeline during goal setting creates a sense of urgency and also feeds into measurability. Bite-sized milestones can be much more motivating than long term goals, as if you’re on track you will feel a sense of achievement more regularly. 

Focus on what’s important

Finally, a key thing to consider is the number of goals you have written. It’s best to focus on 1 or 2 short term goals and maybe a longer-term goal too. This way you won’t be overwhelmed and unable to focus on what’s driving you to achieve your goal.

If you have set fitness or health-related goal, working with a PT to achieve this will keep you accountable and you’ll have your own cheerleader for every step of the journey. Let us know whether you’ve used our tips for setting new goals and how you plan on achieving them in the comments below!