How to nail your goals

Are you left with a bundle of New Year’s resolutions which sounded like a good idea at the time, but never made it past the idea stage?

Here are six hacks to revive those goals.

1. Know what you want and get SMART about it

Goals work best if they have broader purpose and a way to measure their success.

This works best in two parts. First establish the overarching WHY of your chosen goal. Ask, why is that goal important to you? Keep asking ‘why’ till you find a context that inspires you.  If you’re looking find a new job, perhaps your ‘why’ is to ‘do challenging work that uses my skills and expands my boundaries’.

Similarly a goal to lose 5kg might be more inspiring to have the ‘why’ of improved health, vitality and wellbeing.

Once you’ve got your overarching ‘why’, make sure your goals are SMART: SpecificMeasurableActionableReinforcingTrackable.

2. Find an ally

If you want to make your goal stick, share it with someone who’s willing to keep you in check. Tell them why the goal is important to you and ask them to remind you if you go off track. Tapping into groups that have like-minded people, or connecting with someone else who shares the same goal (or has already achieved it) can motivate you to stay on track.

3. Line your ducks up

Whether it’s a personal or professional goal, make sure you have your resources ready to deploy. Planning to run a marathon won’t turn out so well without a training plan and shoes that will go the distance. Ask, do you need to pace yourself, or is it a sprint? Know what you need to do (actions), have (resources) and be (personal attributes) to meet your goal.

4. Set micro-goals

Break down your overarching goals into bite sized micro-goals with milestones and diarise all the tasks you’ll need to complete to keep you on track.

5. Plan for a breakdown

It’s almost certain that something will come up that puts achieving your goal at risk. Life will get in your way, or maybe you’ll get in your own way. How you handle the obstacles and breakdowns will dictate your success or failure. Plan out what action you’re going to take when these breakdowns happen.

6. Celebrate the wins

Not all goals happen overnight, so it’s important to celebrate the small wins along the way to keep you motivated and to acknowledge how far you’ve come.

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