A new year brings up a lot of talk about resolutions. I’ve never been one for resolutions, but instead like to set goals. When I used to work as a School Psychologist, I worked a lot on helping to set goals for children. I took a lot of classes & did a lot of trainings on how to really set goals you can meet. I’ve seen a lot of new years goals going around that are unrealistic for a few reasons. I am a constant goal setter & am constantly trying to improve myself. If I can help any one else do the same, then that is great! Today, I thought it would be helpful to write a post on how to set attainable goals.
How to Set Attainable Goals
Goals don’t have to be for an entire year. In fact, I find that setting short term goals keep me on track for bigger ones. You can set goals for every new day, week, month, quarter, year or longer. I’m going to simply break down how to set attainable goals that you can measure & achieve. This will help ensure you can make improvements in whatever areas you want!
Goals should be specific.
Your goals should be specific. Vague goals don’t give you direction to actually achieve them. Instead of saying, ‘I want to a better morning routine,’ consider specifying what a morning routine means to you. Are you going to meditate? Stay off your phone until a certain time? Workout? Drink your coffee while setting you priorities for the day? What specifically does this look like?! You almost can’t get too specific. It helps you stay on track & know your exact plan. One thing we used to always say when I worked in schools was that any stranger should be able to come in the room, read the goal, & know exactly what that looks like. Keep this in mind when you are writing your goals!
Goals should be measurable.
Your goals should be measurable. You cannot measure ‘more.’ This means that saying you ‘want to spend more time with your husband & less time on your phone’ is not a reasonable or attainable goal. What is more? You need to define this so that you can measure it & no without a doubt if you’ve achieved it.
You can measure time, so how much more time do you actually want to spend with your husband? Do you want to have one date night either out to dinner or at home with a specific plan each week? For you this may mean getting a babysitter, or no phones, cooking a new recipe together, or eating at the table. Define it (see above on being specific) & then figure out how you want to measure it. Another example I see a lot is ‘Drink more water.’ Okay, how much water are you drinking now? 1 glass 8 ounce glass per day? Perhaps your goal should be to drink 2 8 ounce glasses per day. This is ‘more’ water, but it’s specific & measurable. See the difference?
Goals should be attainable.
Goals should be attainable. This doesn’t mean that they are ‘too easy.’ It just means that eventually, in a measurable time frame you decide on, you can achieve them. This varies based on the type of goal you are setting, but you should be able to attain it eventually. For example, if you are someone who never works out right now, setting a specific goal to walk at least five miles a day every day for a year is a little unreasonable for a place to start. Start with walking one mile a day, three days a week. Once you consistently achieve this goal, you can revise & up your criteria for success. Setting smaller goals or milestones to help you achieve larger goals is so important & helpful! Consider your big picture or long term goals & then set smaller ones that will get you on track to meet those. Just make sure you are setting reasonable goals! You don’t want to set yourself up to fail.
I hope this post on how to set attainable goals helps you when planning out what you want to work on or improve this new year. Remember, the new year is not the only time to set goals & make positive changes. Every day, week, or month can be a wonderful opportunity to make improvements! I set goals in every category– health/wellness, family/home, work, & social. If you’re curious on what my goals for this year are, LMK & I can share. If you need help setting goals for yourself, let me know! I love taking a broad goal like ‘drink more water’ & actually making it achievable for someone.
If your new years goals include fitness, as so many often do, check out my post on fitness equipment I love & stay tuned for my winter activewear guide coming soon. XO