New Year, New You!

We’ve all made promises, said the words, and probably even wrote down our resolutions for a new year telling ourselves that 2011 was going to be THE year for change!! ….But was it? It is important to set goals and actively monitor them to keep yourself on track but if you’ve found that your method isn’t providing results don’t give up, try another approach!

Recalling POP (Place of Possibility), an event hosted by YWiB in 2011, we wanted to share our insights collected over the year from some highly motivated goal setters to ensure 2012 is YOUR best year yet!!

Consider your goals, in detail, and then put them down on paper or if a goal of yours is to save paper, type them into an electronic document.

When setting your goals be SPECIFIC! If one of your personal goals is to save more money make note of HOW you plan to save that money. Ask yourself: Where will the saved funds come from? What will I cut out of my life to create this excess cash? And, how am I going to monitor my savings? For example, “By June 10, 2012 I plan to have saved $2,500 in a building block GIC account. I’ll save this money by dining out once a week and buying coffee once a week instead of daily.”

And if your goal is to be more physically active ask yourself in what ways do you want to be more active. “I plan to run the 10K Vancouver Sun Run on April 15th in less than 50 minutes.” OR “Not only will I set aside 3-4 hours a week to commit to my gym membership this year but I am going to register for spin classes twice a week to keep me on track.”

Consider goals that may seem “out of reach”. A goal wouldn’t be worth setting if you didn’t have to work hard to achieve it. Keeping that in mind, push yourself by setting goals that are barely attainable so that you are challenging yourself!

Focus on timelines. Setting short-term (0-6 months or even 1 year) goals are critical to ensuring long-term (1 – 5+ years) goal achievement. Because you are setting specific goals for yourself deadline dates shouldn’t be a surprise. “I will host my first art showing on July 15, 2011.” OR “I will participate in my first competitive half-marathon in August 2012 and full marathon by October 30th, 2012.” (Of course if you are a runner it would be best to choose specific races you wish to qualify for.)

Categorize your goals. “Personal/Health”, “Professional”, “Financial”, etc. This will help you to remain organized as well as focused on your objectives.

Add to your goals throughout the year. Goal setting shouldn’t be an annual thing you make yourself do, make it part of your routine. Keep a journal or agenda that is specific to your goals and put it somewhere that will remind you of them regularly.

Forget fear and don’t let failures get in your way! The most successful people in the world have ALL failed it’s no secret. The secret is that their failures taught them wonderful lessons and those lessons encouraged them to continue striving for their dreams. For those times when you feel like you’ve failed at something read this blog post. Bookmark it, it’s worth it!

Find a format that works for you and use it. There are a lot of goal-setting structures (and Apps) out there so find your favorite and use it. I have yet to find a great App for me but I like to write my goals down. If you find a good one please share it with me but until then, Lululemon Athletica is the creator of my personal favorite, I love the colours!

Final tip, accountability is key! Consider someone you can appoint to hold you accountable to your goals. A friend? A partner? A parent? Find someone you trust and can be honest with. It may be easiest to find someone who’s willing to make the same commitment to goal setting so you can support one another. We’ll call it “Goal Setting Anonymous”.

So if you only make one New Years Resolution this January make the best resolution for you, SET GOALS IN 2012!! “If you want something, go get it. Period.” Good luck and feel free to share some of those goals with us via @ywib.

And if all this hasn’t convinced you to stop making excuses – check out Matt Scott’s “No Excuses” Commercial