Planning Goals for the New Year

I hope you are enjoying December and making some memories amongst the business of the Christmas season! It feels too early to be thinking about the New Year, 2019, but before long it will be upon us!

In the week following Christmas, before the New Year has begun, is the perfect time to start thinking about your goals for the coming year. I say ‘goals’ rather than ‘resolutions,’ as I think the word ‘resolution’ has been given a bad wrap over the years – something we make on January 1st that we’ve thrown out the window by January 2nd. Things like ‘losing weight’ and 'exercising more’ are very common resolutions and there’s a reason we can’t stick to them for very long – they don’t follow the SMART goal strategy.

There’s a quote that says “goals without a plan is just a wish.” This cannot be more true for resolutions. What better way to make a plan, then with a brand new personalised notebook from Padtastic? We are almost 50% more likely to achieve our goals when they are written down, so explore Padtastic’s amazing range of notebooks on their website in many stunning designs, choose either A4 or A5, personalise the cover and the internal pages, and start the new year on the right foot!

When you are making a goal, it is really important to make sure it is a SMART goal. SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Timed

For a goal to be Specific, it needs to be clear and easily understood. You need to write down exactly what you want to do. “Get fit” isn’t specific, but “I want to run 5km in 30 minutes” is. To be able to run 5kms, you need to have a certain level of fitness and by writing down this goal, you know exactly what you want to achieve and what you need to do to get there.

Furthermore, “get fit” isn’t Measurable, as it isn’t able to be measured. “I want to run 5km in 30 minutes” is able to be measured, as you can measure whether you can a) run 5kms in distance, and b) run 5kms in a certain time limit: 30 minutes.

To ensure your goal is Achievable, make sure it a) does not push you beyond what you can do, and b) isn’t too easy so that it isn’t a challenge for you. If you can already run 5kms in 31 minutes, setting a goal of 5kms in 30 minutes probably isn’t going to challenge you. However for someone who has never run before wanting to run 42kms in under 2 hours & 45 minutes is a great long-term goal, but to be achievable, this will need to be broken-down into smaller goals that are more achievable along the way.

Make sure your goal is Relevant to the things that are important to you in your life right now, otherwise you won’t be motivated to try and achieve it. Don’t set goals that you think you should have or because others are pressuring you to do it. If fitness and health are important to you, then setting a goal to be able to run a certain distance in a certain time is ideal.

Finally, your goal must be Timed. “I want to run 5kms in 30 minutes” is a great goal, but is made even more specific by adding the time-frame in which you want to achieve your goal – “I want to run 5kms in 30 minutes within 3 months.” Perhaps there’s a fun-run coming up in 3 months that you can work towards.

Now that we’ve written down our SMART goals, choose a friend to be accountable to, who can check in to see how you are going with your goals (or even a reminder in your phone). Also, make sure you have a good mix of long, medium and short-term goals. It feels great to work towards something over time, but we need to experience success in order to be motivated to keep going. Perhaps our goal of a 5km run could be broken up into:

  • “I want to run 3 times a week for 10 minutes each time for 4 weeks” (short-term goal)
  • “For weeks 5-8, I want to run 4 times a week for 20 minutes each time” (medium-term goal)
  • “For weeks 9-12, I want to run 4 times a week for 30 minutes each time” (long-term goal)

Make sure once you achieve your goal, you set another, but also make sure you reward yourself and enjoy your success! What SMART goals have you set for 2019?


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