by Sandi Thompson, guest contributor
Here is the basic recipe to help you achieve your goals and dreams.
Stick closely to the formula and you will have success. Leave out any steps and you’ll have a flop. It really is like baking a cake or a batch of cookies!
- – Be as clear and specific as possible about your goals. I like to state clearly whether they are goals for health, finances or family. Having different categories is helpful.
- – Be passionate about your goals. Attach a strong emotional component to them. Emotions lead to action and action is what you will need to take to reach your goals. For example, I’m passionate about eating really tasty AND healthy food. One of my goals is to spend a little more time planning meals ahead of time that are going to pack a big flavor punch. I get excited thinking about the possibilities and how I’m going to make it happen.
- – Decide on the ways that you will measure your success: inches lost, IRA contributions or photos of family fun time. I like to use a calendar and make a notation when I reach any of these goals. With all the great technology available for smart phones, iPads, and computers this is really very easy. If you like handwritten notes, that’s fine too. The idea is that you measure your success in a tangible manner that works for you.
- – Specify all the strategies and tactics that will lead you to accomplish those goals. What new habits will you need to create to meet your goals successfully? One of my goals is to have a writing schedule that I can follow by mapping it out for the entire year – before January hits. That means one of my new habits will be to make time daily to check in with my progress. Making it a daily ritual at the same time each day will turn this activity into a habit in a short period of time. Repetition becomes ritual – which is what a habit really is.
- – Describe the specific action steps that you will commit to do. Either write them down or make a video so that you can watch yourself make a strong commitment to your goals.
- – Will you commit to reducing your sugar intake? Maybe going to the gym 3X a week? Perhaps you will plan a family outing to the beach? Whatever it is that you are going to commit to – record it and refer to it often.
- – Create a timetable for your action steps so you can monitor your progress. As I mentioned, I’m creating a timetable for a writing schedule that I will follow throughout 2012. Whenever I complete each assignment, I will have a way to monitor my progress.
- – Finally, REWARD yourself when you reach your milestones: better blood work, savings accrued or any mini-goals achieved. Since I’m all about health and wellness, I try to make my rewards non-food items – or at least not a sugar-bomb treat. When I complete my writing assignments on time I will treat myself to a movie or a pedicure or perhaps even a day at the coast. All those are meaningful and fun for me, reinforcing my desire to keep on track with my goals.
What will you do differently in 2012 to help you reach your goals? Let’s have a dialog here and help keep each other on track.