Creating Your Best Year – 10 Tips for Setting Goals and Attaining Them | The Realistic Optimist

Creating Your Best Year – 10 Tips for Setting Goals and Attaining Them

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Creating Your Best Year – 10 Tips for Setting Goals and Attaining Them
A lot of us don’t know what we want in life. That’s why even if we work hard, we still can’t seem to find a sense of fulfillment or direction. But how can we know the right path to take if we don’t know the destination we want to reach?

Here are 10 ways on how you can set goals for yourself in one year and how you can achieve them.

  1. Know the things that you want to achieve within 365 days. To stay organized, you can categorize your goals in different areas of your life such as:

    • Health
    • Financial/Career
    • Family
    • Behavior and Attitude

    Write down your goals in paper. This will give you a visual representation of what you want to attain, helping you not to lose sight on what you need to work on. At this point, don’t think about how you’re going to achieve those things. Just let your ideas flow, write them down, and worry about sorting them later. What’s important is you get an idea of the things you want to achieve by the end of the year. Don’t let fear or doubt take a foothold on you as you do so.

  2. Sort your goals. There are a lot of factors that you need to consider in order to narrow the list down and determine which goals you should prioritize and which ones can wait. Be realistic as you go through the list and keep those that you think are attainable within the given period and resources.

    • What do you think are the things that you really need to work on this year? Set priorities. Some goals can wait, while others need to be worked on as soon as possible. Keep things that belong to the latter and focus on them first.

    • Are you sure that you can accomplish everything on your list? Only keep things that you are ready and willing to work on.

  3. Set your priorities. What are the goals that you need to take action on immediately? (e.g. go on a general check-up because you feel like something is not normal in your body)? What are the goals that are least important that you can work on later? (These are the goals that you can move next year or at another time.)

    Set your priorities
    Source: www.centriqs.biz
  4. Break down your big goals into smaller tasks, so that achieving them will not be so overwhelming for you.

    For example, if you want to lose weight, you can divide the goal into smaller steps so that it can be more manageable:

    • Eat right.
    • Go to bed on time and get enough hours of sleep.
    • Exercise on a regular basis.

  5. Create an action plan, so that you can turn your goals into reality.

    In step 4, you simply broke down the goal in small pieces. But in this step, you will create a more specific list of what you need to do for each small goal. Using the same example previously, this is what it would look like:

    • Bring a healthy lunch from Monday to Friday instead of eating out at fast food restaurants.
    • Walk for 15 minutes after dinner.
    • Instead of using the escalator or elevator, I would opt to use the stairs.
    • I will sleep from 9:00PM to 5:00AM
    • I will increase my consumption of fruits and vegetables.

  6. Create a timetable for your goals. This way, they become more achievable, you can attain them in a timely manner, and you can stay organized.

    Sample:

    Create a timetable for your goals

    Once you’re done doing your timetable for a year, plot it on your calendar so that you can easily track your progress. It’s up to you if you will use an actual planner or rely on a mobile app for this.

  7. Have a contingency plan. It’s better to have an alternative route in case you miss a goal. Consider that you can come across roadblocks along the way, and they can be things that are uncontrollable such as:

    • Poor Health Condition
    • Bad Weather
    • Accidents

    It’s not about being negative; it’s about being risk-averse. Creating a Plan B is necessary so that you can be prepared if ever you encounter inevitable situations.

    Let's say I have a plan to travel on April, but I had an emergency that time. What should I do? Here are some of the ways I can deal with the situation:

    Plan A: Because this trip is very important, I will keep my travel budget intact and will use my emergency fund for the unexpected expense I encounter.

    Plan B: I will adjust my schedule and move my trip at a later week or month.

    Plan C: If it’s not so urgent, I can postpone my plans until next year.

  8. Learn how to motivate yourself so that you can be successful in attaining your goals.

    • Are you going to reward yourself each time you accomplish a goal? If so, what will it be?
    • Place a calendar in areas that you always see in your home or in your workstation, so that you can always see your progress—how much you have done and need to accomplish.
    • Let a buddy or friend join you in this journey and motivate each other.

  9. Track your progress. Check your calendar or planner at the end of each day, week, and month. Doing so will not only help you determine how far you’ve come, but it will also help you figure out if you need to make adjustments on your existing course of action.

    Track your progress

  10. Stay positive. Your mindset and behavior are huge factors to your success. If you let negative thoughts get in your way, you will never be successful in this journey.

    • Learn how to divert your negative thoughts to positive and uplifting ones.
    • Always go with a crowd who can influence you to do good.
    • Don’t forget to breathe and relax.

    READ: How to Be an Optimist: 5 Ways to Maintain a Positive Disposition

One of the keys to a meaningful life is setting goals. Wouldn’t it be nice to live a fulfilled life because you reached your aspirations through hard work, planning, and dedication?

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