The New Year always comes with all kinds of new things. New projects, new beginnings, new goals.
How far along are you in achieving your goals for this year? Are you breezing through your healthy lifestyle checklist? Is your financial plan starting to take shape? Are you learning something from that new you hobby you promised to master?
If you’ve slacked off or feel like you’re lagging impossibly behind in your new year’s resolution, don’t worry! You are not alone.
About 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February, according to U.S. News.
Rather than dishearten, the statistics should motivate you to become smarter in the way you make your dreams a reality.
I’ve devised the S.T.A.R.T. model which can help you successfully set goals, stick to them and finally achieve them. Incorporating this model into your goal-setting just might change your life. Here’s how:
In order to be strategic, one has to have clarity. Are you clear about what you want to accomplish? Clarity eliminates uncertainty which can make your goals seem overwhelming and even impossible. You can be clear by making your goals achievable and specific.
Write down your goals and make them as specific, measurable and actionable as possible. For example, it’s clearer and more specific to say “My goal is to go to the gym three times a week this year” than “My goal is to lose weight this year.” The way you phrase your objective can significantly shape your perception and motivation.
Tactics is all about taking detailed steps that will bring us closer to our goals. To be effective in your tactics, you need to identify the different factors that will contribute to the success or failure of your objectives.
For instance, if your goal this year is to set aside 30% of your monthly income for savings, then you will need to recognize important factors like your spending habits (what items do you usually spend your money on?), your temptation points (which places causes you to spend beyond your budget?) and so on. When you’ve identified your triggers, you can then find ways to effectively address them.
Being accountable means you take responsibility for your goals and the power you have for making them come true. One way to reinforce your accountability is by tracking your progress. What activities are you doing to realize your dreams? How often are you doing them?
Enlisting the help of an accountability buddy can also help you stick to your goals by checking on your progress and encouraging you to push forward. Your accountability partner must be someone you can trust. Be honest and open about your weaknesses so your buddy can help you overcome them.
In order to stay motivated you need to ask yourself “Why am I doing this?” This answer to that question is your rationale and it will give you a personal connection to what you are trying to achieve. You would not be able to move forward and make progress if you do not see the point in what you are doing.
Think about the specific reasons why you picked your specific goal. For example, if your goal is to “start eating at least 1 vegetarian meal every day,” you could say your reasons are because a high cholesterol runs in your family or you are trying to lose weight. Stack as many reasons as you can so your objective becomes as personally meaningful and real as possible.
Your goals will not be very significant if you do not have a sense of urgency to achieve them. Having a timeframe will give you a sense of urgency which in turn will motivate you to be more will encourage you to be more proactive with your action plan.
An effective time frame should include a specific deadline for which you want to accomplish your general goal and small milestones for tracking smaller progress. Use these to remind you to stay focused and motivated.
So are you ready to S.T.A.R.T. making your dreams happen?
Sharon Kaibel is a performance and productivity coach. Sharon helps business owners create the strategy, structure and systems to build and grow a profitable business. Join her Closed Facebook Group, the #ACHIEVERNETWORK for the community, resources and trainings to become an extraordinary achiever.