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Getting Going with Goals

So many people seem to live their lives in a state of permanent wishing for something or someone they don’t have. But they don’t do a damn thing about making their wish come true! As the year end approaches and we start buying 2014 diaries and saying things like “Gosh! Where has the year gone?!”, it’s a time when many of us think about goals and new starts*.

Whether it’s business or personal (or more probably both),stop wishing and start goal setting. The first thing is to write down your goals otherwise it remains a wish and the few Good Fairies who grant wishes are either hard pressed or on strike.

So write your goals down. If you write them down and build in a set date for accomplishment you have something to plan and work for.

The next thing is to look at the mountain you want to climb and break it right down to mini-goals with milestones. Think of them as the various camps you need to reach before you get to the summit. Planning these smaller goals makes it easier to formulate a definite plan of action, but in addition to that research shows that hitting smaller milestones provides real motivation and a sense of achievement.

Do something towards achieving your goal every day, no matter how small it is. It keeps your momentum running. If you are well-energised and enthusiastic, you cope better with the inevitable set-backs.

Things will go wrong sometimes. Sometimes it feels to me as I stomp round kicking the corporate cat that I am moving Kilimanjaro stone by stone all alone and the blessed thing keeps having avalanches just to spite me. Not that I am in any way a drama queen. But that’s life. Sometimes you take one step forwards and three back. Review the steps you’ve taken and think through the good and bad choices you’ve made. What went wrong? What went right? What could you have done differently? When something goes wrong, don’t beat yourself up. Learn from it and move on. I have new taught myself to see problems as opportunities (at east in retrospect) so that I feel more positive about having problems rather than drained by them.

Measure your progress and celebrate your successes, even modest ones. It’s a great feeling when you know you’re on your way to achieving your goals.

Start small and the big stuff will follow. But do start! Good luck!

* Personally, if losing weight is your goal, I think January is the worst time of the year – I always tackle it when the weather’s a bit warmer, the days longer and the urge to hoover up comfort food has diminished. I can eat salad, feel more energetic and get out for run in the evening after work. The chances of success are optimized.

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