Goal setting. It’s something we hear about often, especially as a New Year dawns. Check out these five tips that will help ensure your goals get you what you want.

The beginning of the year is a great time to focus on what you hope to achieve in the following weeks, months, and even years. Rather than wallowing in the post-holiday blues, take some time out and think about what is important to you. Think about what you would like to achieve and the best way for you to do this. It is important the goals you set are realistic. Setting realistic goals will be motivation alone.

Here are five tips to help you set realistic goals.

  1. Keep it real

A goal needs to represent something which you are both willing and able to work. If your goal is to run a marathon when you don’t enjoy running and are not likely to go running, then you’re setting yourself up to fail. Instead, focus on something you know you will work hard to achieve. Goals will require consistent effort and specific actions that need to be taken on a daily basis.

  1. Write your goals down

You are far more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. This way you can refer to them daily to keep them at the front of your mind. Writing down goals also makes them real. It helps us commit to the goals and gives us something to visually see and reflect on.

  1. Start with just one goal

If you set one goal at a time, you are more likely to achieve it rather than becoming overwhelmed and giving up on the lot. As you get that goal under control, you can slowly start to add more goals to the mix. If your goal is to get fit, start with a small dose. Too many people make the mistake of leaping into exercise when baby steps are what’s needed. Click here to read the actual science behind this. As your fitness increases and you feel more confident, you can start lengthening your workouts and adding more variety to the mix.

  1. Make a plan

Take your one big goal and sub-group it into achievable smaller goals which are concrete, measurable and time-based. Having a deadline often helps as without a timeline, there is no sense of urgency.

  1. Reward your hard work

Have rewards in place for when you reach your goals. They will not only motivate you but make you feel good when it’s time to pay up. It might be that new pair of jeans you have had your eye on but not quite fitted into (until now), or a treat at a day spa.

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