Every year countless Americans set New Year resolutions in the hopes of changing a bad habit or two. The problem is the majority of these people give up soon after because of lack of direction, distractions, and no motivation.
Changing habits and accomplishing new things typically requires more than a decision to do so, it requires goal setting. Goal setting is a plan of ACTION that will get you from beginning to end with milestones along the way.
Unlike New Year’s resolutions goals can be set at any time. Setting realistic goals can lead to a healthier lifestyle and improved self-esteem. If you want to teach your children how to set realistic you need to learn how yourself.
10 Basic Steps in Setting Goals
- Set specific goals – be as exact as possible. When you set specific goals you are more likely to succeed. For example, instead of saying that you are going to save money, set a specific goal to save $15 (or whatever the dollar amount) per week for the next 10 weeks.
- Put your goal in writing – write down exactly what you want to accomplish and post it in a place where you will see it every day. Write it in positive language – instead of writing, “I will stop eating junk food” re-word your goal to say, “I will eat healthier foods.”
- Read your goals – you should read your goals at least twice a day to help stay motivated.
- Set realistic goals – goals should be set that are challenging but realistic. If the goal is not within your reach then you won’t succeed. Be mindful of your schedule, finances, and other personal affairs when setting realistic goals.
- Develop a plan of action – nothing ever gets done without an action plan. A decision is just a decision until you put it in motion. Create a timeline with milestones toward your goal.
- Have faith – believe in yourself that you will be successful and reach your goals. Stay positive about your progress focus on the benefits of succeeding.
- Be flexible – setbacks and the unexpected can happen. Don’t get discouraged and give up. Keep on trying, eventually it will pay off.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help – one of the best ways to accomplish a goal is to get help from people that have done what you are trying to do. There are support groups available for almost anything.
- Reward yourself – as you achieve your goals you may want to reward yourself at the completion of the goal or major milestones. You should be proud of your efforts and rewarding yourself can help you stay motivated.
- Repeat the process – continue to set goals throughout your life. Short-term, medium, and long-term goals are important. The more you do it the better you will get.
Having clear achievable goals can bring a family together and help make everyone healthier. Positive changes, whether small or large can improve every day life. Children benefit from goal setting by learning how to plan and achieve success. They also learn how to manage their time and make good decisions that will have positive effects on their lives.